O'Sullivan Caps Four-Point Night With OT Winner
Opponent: Oklahoma City Barons
Date: March 7, 2012 7:00 p.m.
Score(Home/Away): 4-3* W
The Peoria Rivermen found themselves down three goals with 5:08 remaining in the second period, but battled back to beat the first-place Oklahoma City Barons 4-3 in overtime at Carver Arena on Wednesday night. Patrick O’ Sullivan, who had the game winning goal and three assists, capped the comeback and gave Alex Stalock a win his Rivermen debut.
Acquired on loan from San Jose on Sunday, Stalock entered the game in relief of Jake Allen with the Barons leading 3-0. He stopped all 12 shots he faced over the game’s final 26:19.
Danny Syvret had two power-play goals and an assist while Derek Nesbitt had three assists in the come-from-behind victory. Including the game-winner, the Rivermen finished 3-for-4 on the power play.
Chris Vandevelde gave the Barons a lead at the 6:47 mark of the first period as he tapped home his sixth of the year on a feed from Hunter Tremblay. Tremblay had the puck in the right corner and sent a pass to Vandevelde in the slot and he put a quick low shot by the right pad of Allen just inside the left post.
The Barons added two more goals at the 11:30 and 14:52 marks of the middle frame from Josh Greenand Magnus Paajarvi to take a 3-0 lead.
Immediately following the third goal, Stalock replaced Allen who stopped 23 of the 26 shots in 34:52.
The Rivermen responded late in the period on the power play when Syvret’s slapshot from the point made its way through traffic and stood as his sixth of the year. Jonathan Cheechoo and O’Sullivan assisted on the play.
Peoria pulled within one at the 5:16 mark of the third when Nesbitt, who was behind the net, threw the puck to the slot for Cracknell, and his quick shot beat David LeNeveu for his 17th of the year. His 17 goals match a career high for Cracknell that he set back in 2009-10 with Peoria.
The Rivermen tied the game at 14:06 on another Syvret slapshot. This one, from just inside right circle, went off the left post and in. It was Syvret’s second of the night and fifth power-play goal of the season. Nesbitt and O’Sullivan each picked up their third assist of the game on the play.
In overtime, and with Bryan Rodney in the box for cross-checking, Nesbitt fed O’Sullivan in the bottom of the right circle. He walked to the doorstep and fired it between the legs of LeNeveu to end the game at 1:42.
The four-point night was the fourth of O’Sulivan’s career and first since April 2, 2011 against Chicago when he also had a goal and three assists. It was the first four-point game by a Rivermen since Syvret helped Peoria to a 7-6 overtime win against Rockford on Nov. 11, 2011.
The Rivermen open a five-game road trip on Friday in Abbotsford at 9 p.m. The game can be heard locally on CD Country 107.9 FM and online through www.rivermen.net.