Comeback Ends in Overtime Loss
Down 2-0 at the
start of the third period, the Peoria Rivermen scored twice to force overtime
but fell to the San Antonio Rampage 3-2 on Saturday night at the AT&T
Center. Nick Drazenovic notched his career-high 20th of the season
to tie the game with 9:06 left in regulation before Matt Watkins chipped in the
game-winner at 4:29 of overtime.
(39-29-3-5, 86 points) remain in a tie for fifth place in the West Division,
now with the Chicago Wolves (38-29-4-6).
The Rivermen sit just one point behind Oklahoma City (38-28-2-9) with a
game in-hand and will have a chance to jump into fourth place tomorrow with a
win against Milwaukee.
Garrett Stafford started the scoring at 10:25 of the first period while on the
power play. Just 20 seconds after a tripping call against Derek Peltier,
Stafford grabbed a pass at the blue line from Alex Picard. Stafford then ripped
a shot from the point off the shoulder of Rivermen goaltender Jake Allen and
in. Picard and Mathieu Beaudoin recorded
Less than 3
minutes later, the Rampage extended their lead on David Brine’s second goal of
the year. At the 13:21 mark, Dean Arsene collided with San Antonio’s Eric
Neilson in the Rivermen zone while Rylan Galiardi brought the puck to the net
where Brine grabbed the rebound from just outside the crease and knocked it in. Eric Neilson was credited with an assist and
now has all three of his points this season against the Rivermen.
took its 2-0 lead into the first intermission and held that margin throughout
the second frame. At 4:40 of the third period, Anthony Nigro cut the Rampage
lead in half with his eighth goal of the year. A cross-ice pass from Dave Spina
was deflected by a skate and slid right to Nigro in the slot. Nigro then rifled
the puck up and over the glove of San Antonio goaltender Matt Climie.
Drazenovic evened things up at 2-2 with his third goal of the weekend. At
10:54, T.J. Hensick threw a puck to Graham Mink at the side of the Rampage
cage. Mink then deflected a pass off of Climie’s leg pad to Drazenovic in front
of net, who one-timed the puck home for the equalizer.
The game went
into overtime for the second night in a row. After both teams had opportunities
to seal the game in the extra session, Matt Watkins notched the game-winner
with just 31 seconds to play. During a fanatic frenzy in front of Peoria’s net
in which Allen lost both is blocker and stick, Watkins tapped a loose puck
under the Rivermen goaltender. The scramble came immediately following Allen’s
save on Randy Robataille as he raced in a on a breakaway.
the game with 33 saves in recording the loss while Climie stopped 27 of 29 shots
for the win. Peoria went 0-for-3 on the power play while the Rampage finished
The Rivermen will conclude their
road trip and their regular season road schedule on Sunday with a 5:05p.m. game
against the Milwaukee Admirals. The game can be heard locally on 96.5 ESPN in Peoria
or online at www.rivermen.net.