Second Period Paves Way to Rivermen 4-2 Win
Opponent: Grand Rapids Griffins
Date: January 27, 2012 7:00 p.m.
Score(Home/Away): 4-2 W
The Peoria Rivermen scored four times during the second period and pounded out a season-high 44 shots on their way to a 4-2 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday night at Carver Arena. Adam Cracknell registered a three-assist night and now has five points (two goals, three assists) in his last two games.
The Rivermen and Griffins will play again on Saturday night in Peoria.
With the win, the Rivermen improved to 22-19-2-1 and moved into third place in the Midwest Division and eighth in the Western Conference.
Despite the fact that the Rivermen outshot the Griffins 19-10 during the first period, Grand Rapids’ shorthanded goal was the frame’s only score. Brendan Smith’s seventh of the season was ripped past the blocker of Ben Bishop after taking a feed from Mitch Callahan.
At 1:49 of the second period Peoria tied the game courtesy of Jonathan Cheechoo’s 13th goal of the season. After stopping Joey MacDonald stopped his initial shot, Cracknell forced a rebound behind into the crease where Cheechoo tapped the puck into an open net.
Ian Cole gave the Rivermen their first lead of the game with his first goal of the season at 7:04. Cole received a pass from Evgeny Grachev and fired a slapshot from the blueline through traffic and in.
Just over a minute and a half later the Cade Fairchild gave the Rivermen a 3-1 lead. His wrist shot, setup by Shaun Heshka and Cracknell, beat MacDonald’s glove for his fifth of the season.
With 1:58 remaining in the period, Peoria extended their lead to three with a power-play goal from Grachev. Only four seconds after the initial faceoff, Grachev found himself alone in front of MacDonald before he buried his second of the year.
The four-goal frame was just the second time this season that the Rivermen have scored four goals in the same period. The only other time was Oct. 22 in Texas when both Peoria and the Stars scored four times in the first period.
Joakim Andersson added his 11th goal of the year at the 1:48 mark of the third period. Andersson was able to deflect a shot by Francis Pare past the glove of Bishop to cut Peoria’s lead to 4-2.
Bishop finished with 32 saves to claim his 18th win of the season and tie him for the league lead with Milwaukee’s Jeremy Smith.
The first 2,500 fans in attendance for Saturday night’s rematch will receive a t-shirt, courtesy of CEFCU. The game starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are available at the Peoria Civic Center box office. by calling 309-676-1040 or by visiting www.rivermen.net.