Admirals Stun Rivermen in Regular Season Finale
Opponent: Milwaukee Admirals
Date: April 9, 2011 7:05
Score(Home/Away): 3-4 L
The Peoria Rivermen dropped the last game of the regular season to the Milwaukee Admirals 4-3 on Saturday night at Carver Arena. Ryan Thang’s goal with 6.5 seconds left in the third was the only goal of the frame and broke a 3-3 tie. The Rivermen finished the season with a record of 42-29-3-5 and 92 points.
Coupled with a loss by the Texas Stars (92 points), the Rivermen remain in a tie for third place and can still finish anywhere from third to fifth depending on the outcomes of Sunday’s games. The Stars visit San Antonio at 4:30 p.m. while the Oklahoma City (91 points) visit Houston at 4:05 p.m.
The Milwaukee Admirals clinched the Western Conference – and the West Division – title with the win and set an AHL record by finishing their road schedule on a 16-game points streak (10-0-4-2).
Chris Mueller opened the scoring for Milwaukee on the power play with his team leading 24th of the year. Jake Allen made the initial save on Brett Palin’s shot from the point, but Mueller found the rebound in the slot and slapped it through Allen’s legs. Cory Conacher added the second assist on the goal.
The Rivermen were able to convert on their first power play of the game at the 14:50 mark when Nick Drazenovic blasted a one-timer top shelf following a great backhand cross-ice from T.J. Hensick. Hensick’s assist was his 48th of the year and tied Mike Mottau’s team record for the most assists in a single season which was set back in 05-06.
It took only 16 seconds for the Admirals to respond on Ryan Flynn’s sixth of the year from Jeff Foss and Ben Ryan. Milwaukee’s Cory Conacher closed out the scoring in the first period on the power play at the 17:02 mark when he tapped in Chris Mueller’s pass to the left of Allen giving the Admirals a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.
T.J. Hensick lit the lamp with three minutes remaining in the middle frame on the man advantage. Drazenovic, who was in the right circle, found Hensick near the bottom of the left circle and Hensick roofed a quick snap shot over Jeremy Smith for his career-high 21st of the year.
Just 41 seconds later Daryl Boyle tied the game at 3-3 with his first goal of the year following a faceoff win by Brett Sonne. Boyle’s slapshot from the right point found its way through traffic and in the back of the net. It was Boyle’s first goal since the final game of the regular season last year in Manitoba (April 10, 2010).
Thang’s goal came on a 2-on-1 break in the game’s final seconds. He let a wrist shot go that found its way through the legs of Allen with 6.5 seconds left for his 13th of the year.
The Rivermen finished 2-for-5 on the power play while Milwaukee was 2-for-3. The Rivermen outshot the Admirals 31-18 in the game.
The Rivermen will begin the Calder Cup Playoffs next week against either Milwaukee, Houston or Hamilton. The opponent and dates will be determined following Sunday’s games. Check www.rivermen.net for a complete playoff schedule and ticketing information.