O'Sullivan Too Hot for Heat in 4-1 Win
Opponent: @Abbotsford Heat
Date: March 9, 2012 9:00 p.m.
Score(Home/Away): 1-4 W
Coming off a thrilling 4-3 overtime win versus Western Conference leading Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, the Rivermen picked up where they left off with a 4-1 win against the Abbotsford Heat on Friday evening at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Complex.
Patrick O’Sullivan scored twice and now has three goals and four assists in three games since joining the Rivermen. Jake Allen turned in a 39-save performance while the Rivermen power play netted two more goals.
Peoria improved to 33-26-2-1 and remain in third place in the Midwest Division and improved to sixth in the Western Conference with the win.
A spirited first period began with two fights in the first 3:45 of the contest. Rivermen forward Chris Bruton and Abbotsford’s J.P. Testwuide dropped the gloves 3:04 into the game with Bruton dropping Testwuide with a knee-buckling punch. Just 41 seconds after the first fight, Abbotsford’s Nick Tuzzolino engaged Peoria forward Stefan Della Rovere for the second fight of the game.
Less than two minutes later, the Rivermen opened the scoring on Patrick O’Sullivan’s 12th goal of the season. Anthony Nigro and Derek Nesbitt assisted on O’Sullivan’s second goal since joining the Rivermen.
Peoria doubled their lead at 16:44 of the first period on the power play from Nigro. His 11th goal of the season came from the right circle as his screened-shot sailed over the shoulder of goaltender Leland Irving Evgeny Grachev and Phil McRae assisted on Peoria first power-play goal of the night.
Allen carried the Rivermen in the second period with a strong performance stopping 16 Abbotsford shots. Testwuide took an elbowing penalty with 57 seconds left the red-hot O’Sullivan made Abbotsford pay with his second goal of the game to extend the Rivermen lead to 3-0. Cade Fairchild and Adam Cracknell assisted on the goal which was Peoria fifth consecutive successful conversion on the power play.
The Heat snapped Allen’s shutout attempt 2:02 into the third period as Abbotsford’s Joe Piskula scored on a bouncing shot from the blueline that jumped off Allen’s glove and into the net.
Cracknell put the finishing touches on the game with an empty-net goal to give Peoria a 4-1 win. Peoria held Abbotsford scoreless on three power plays while the Rivermen went 2-for-4. The Heat outshot the Rivermen 40-28 in the contest.
The Rivermen continue their five game road trip on Sunday afternoon against the Abbotsford Heat at 3:00 pm. The game can be heard in Peoria on CD Country 107.9 or online through www.rivermen.net.