CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Peoria Rivermen ended a lengthy power-play drought with a two-goal performance in a 3-2 win over the Lake Erie Monsters on Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena. Rookie Trevor Lewis scored his first AHL goal midway through the third period to give Peoria the lead for good.
Both Mike McKenna and Calvin Pickard finished with 26 saves as the Rivermen outshot the Monsters 29-28. The two teams split the two game series after Lake Erie bested Peoria 2-0 on Tuesday.
An eventful opening minute saw a fight and a goal as the Monsters took an early 1-0 lead. Stefan Della Rovere and Daniel Maggio dropped the gloves off the opening faceoff in the game’s only fight. Just 18 seconds later Lake Erie’s Mike Connolly snapped a puck between McKenna’s legs from Geoff Walker and Andrew Agozzino.
Mark Cundari tied the game up at 15:07 as he sent the puck into the net off of Agozzino’s stick for a power-play goal with the Rivermen up five-on-three. Taylor Chorney and T.J Hensick both earned their first of two assists in the game on the play.
The Rivermen started the second period with a power and again capitalized to take their first lead. Just 28 seconds into the second frame, Derek Nesbitt scored off a one-timer, from the top of the right circle after Hensick slid pass across the slot.
Lake Erie got their chance on a two-man advantage still early in the second. Agozzino tapped in the power-play goal to tie the game at 8:15. Mike Sgarbossa and Markus Lauridsen were each awarded an assist in the goal.
At 7:37 in the third period, Lewis, playing in just his third-career AHL, game scored his first goal as Evgeny Grachev’s shot redirected off his leg and into the net. The goal stood as the game winner and David Shields earned the secondary assist.