PEORIA, Ill – Mike McKenna got more than enough support as the Peoria Rivermen scored five times in the first 40 minutes and beat the San Antonio Rampage 5-0 on Saturday night at Carver Arena. McKenna posted 34 saves in his first shutout of the season while TJ Hensick scored twice and Jeff Woywitka added three assists in the victory.
Peoria improved to 23-21-1-4 overall and 3-1-0-1 on their current homestand that wraps up tomorrow against the Chicago Wolves.
McKenna, who started his eighth consecutive game, had his first save turn into Peoria’s first goal. Just seconds after robbing John McFarland with a stacked-pad save, Evgeny Grachev ripped home his ninth of the season over the glove of Dov Grumet-Morris at 3:58 of the first. Less than 2 minutes later, Anthony Nigro gave the Rivermen a 2-0 lead. Chris Bruton forced a turnover deep in the Rampage zone before Nigro snapped home his third goal of the season. McKenna made a total of 14 saves in the first period as Peoria held a 2-0 lead after the first.
Just 4:26 into the second period, Hensick netted his first of the net. Sent in on a clean breakaway off a pass from Adam Cracknell, Hensick fired one under Grumet-Morris’s blocker after a head-fake from between the circle.
Andrew Murray added to the Rivermen lead at 15:43. Woywitka fed Murray in the right circle and his shot was blocked in the slot. From his knees he pushed his own rebound into the net to give Peoria a 4-0 lead. The game’s final goal came with 47 seconds remaining in the second on Hensick’s 14th of the year. He stepped out of the corner and put it into the top of the net with assists from Cracknell an Woywitka.
Grumet-Morris came out of the game after the second period and finished with 17 saves on 22 shots. Brian Foster stopped all seven shots in the third period of play. In total, San Antonio outshot Peoria 34-29 and went 0-for-5 on the power play. Peoria was 0-for-3 on the man advantage.