Milwaukee foils Rivermen comeback

PEORIA, Ill – The Milwaukee Admirals defeated the Peoria Rivermen 3-2 in sudden death overtime Saturday night in front of 5856 fans at Carver Arena. Milwaukee jumped to a 2-0 lead, but Peoria made a comeback, tying the game with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
That took the game to overtime and a dramatic finish.
Scoring began seven minutes into the first period when Jani Lajunen’s shot from the bottom of the far circle climbed Rivermen goaltender Jake Allen’s stick and fell behind him in the crease. Jack MacLellan was there on the near side to poke it in for the 1-0 lead.
Milwaukee padded their lead in the second period when Taylor Beck klanked one in. The play brought about a video review but the goal stood. Anthony Bitetto and Austin Watson were credited with assists on the goal that put the Admirals up 2-0.
It was checking-line winger Chris Bruton who started the Rivermen back at 15:20 of the second period. Brett Sonne’s initial shot was blocked, but Bruton was there to hammer in the rebound past Milwaukee goalie Jeremy Smith to bring Peoria halfway back, 2-1
Peoria wasn’t able to complete the comeback until 18:31 of the third period. With the home team on a power play, the Rivermen were able to sustain pressure in the offensive zone.
Finally, TJ Hensick found Derek Nesbitt open in the slot. Nesbitt’s one-timer flew past Smith for the tie at 2-all and that was how the third period ended.
The game ended quickly when a defensive breakdown allowed Chris Mueller to corral a Mike Moore rebound and flip it over Allen to end the game 3-2 exactly one minute into the sudden death tie-breaker period.
Each goalie played the entire 61 minutes. Jake Allen stopped 22 of 25 shots while Smith stopped 38 of 40.
Milwaukee’s woeful power play unit continued a season-long slump, going scoreless on four chances while Peoria was able to score once in six opportunities with the man advantage.
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