Game Recaps

Jake Allen Guides Rivermen to 3-2 Win in Pro Debut

Goaltender Jake Allen set carried a shutout into the third period and finished with 32 saves in his first professional start Saturday as the Peoria Rivermen beat the Houston Aeros 3-2 at the Toyota Center. The win was Peoria’s fourth in a row and improved their record to 4-1-0 on the young season.


T.J. Hensick registered his first two goals of the season while Graham Mink collected two points, including the game-winning goal, to increase his league lead in points with 11 (four goals, seven assists). Hensick has posted at least one point in each of the season’s first five games (two goals, five assists).Rookie Mark Cudari assisted on two of the team’s three goals.



Two fights only 2:26 into the first frame set the tone in Houston’s home opener. Peoria’s Anthony Peluso and Houston’s Matt Kassian fought just 1:58 in, and Adam Cracknell squared up with Drew Bagnall just 28 seconds later.


The Rivermen continued their strong first period play with a pair of goals from Hensick. His first of the year came from a poor angle that banked off the pad of Houston goaltender Anton Khudobin at 3:01. Cundari and Mink assisted on the goal.


Hensick found the net again with a perfectly placed slap-shot up high over Khudobin on a feed from Nathan Oystrick, his second of the game and second of the year at 13:49.


Allen settles in early in his pro debut, having stopped all 10 shots he faced in the first.


The second period was scoreless, but each team had their chances. Houston edged the Rivermen in shots 10-8 in the period. The Aeros found themselves in the penalty box five times in the period, but they killed off the four Rivermen power plays.


Robbie Earl put Houston on the board at 1:41 of the third, cutting into Peoria’s lead. A blocked shot ricocheted right to Earl’s stick and he put in his first of the year to break up a possible shutout for Allen. Chad Rau and Casey Wellman earned assists on the goal.


Mink increased Peoria’s lead to 3-1 on a goal assisted by Dave Scatchard and Cundari. Mink dangled through both Houston defenders with a toe drag and beat a sprawled out Khudobin for his second point of the night and second straight multi-point game.


Houston brought put themselves back to within one late when Marco Scandella fed Jean-Michel Daoust who one-timed a shot through the legs of Allen. The late Houston tally at 16:32 was not enough, and the Rivermen collected their second win of their seven-game road trip.