Rivermen Contribute As West Falls in All-Star Classic
January 31, 2011
The Peoria Rivermen made their impact on the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic at the Gant Center in Hershey, Pa. Monday night but were on the wrong side of the scoreboard. T.J Hensick’s first period goal put the Western Conference up 2-1 but the East came back and won 11-8 in front of 10,736 fans.
Rookie goaltender Jake Allen was named the starting goaltender for the Western Conference and made eight saves on 12 shots in the opening 20 minutes. He allowed the fastest goal in AHL all-star history, to Hershey’s Andrew Gordon, just 16 seconds from the opening faceoff. He stood his ground while the West built a 4-1 lead before the East responded with three goals in a span of 1:48 to tie the game before the end of the period.
Hensick made a splash on his very first shift picking up two points in 48 seconds. He lifted a perfect saucer pass over the stick of Brian Fahey (Hershey) for Michal Repik (Rochester) to push past Martin Jones (Manchester) at 1:59 to tie the game 1-1. At 2:47, Hensick was on the receiving end of feed from a Brian Connelly (Rockford) to tap in.
Over three AHL all-star appearances (2008, 2010, 2011), Hensick now has eight points (four goals, four assists).
Oystrick earned the primary assist on Sergei Shirokov’s goal at 12:05 of the second period to bring the West within one, at 6-5 but they never tied the game. Oystrick finished the game with a plus-3 rating, tied for the best mark on the Western squad with his defensive partner Mathieu Carle (Hamilton).
The East scored five unanswered goals between 13:47 of the first and 11:21 of the second to take 6-4 lead that they did not relinquish. Bobby Butler (Binghamton) and Rhett Rakshani (Bridgeport) each had a goal and three assists for the Eastern Conference and Butler was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Former Rivermen goaltender Curtis Sanford (Hamilton) relieved Allen for the second period of play and made nine saves on 13 shots. Mark Dekanich (Milwaukee) played the third and sopped seven of 10. Martin Jones (Manchester) allowed four goals on 19 shots while John Curry (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) played the second half of the game for the East and allowed four goals on a barrage of 31 shots.
The Rivermen open their post all-star schedule on Thursday and begin a four-game roadtrip in Oklahoma City at 7:05 p.m. After a rematch on Friday, the Rivermen make their first trip of the season to Chicago on Saturday night. All the games will be broadcast live on 96.5 ESPN Radio in Peoria.