Rivermen and Admirals in high scoring affair

PEORIA, Ill – Thursday, most folks took a little extra turkey or stuffing as they sat down to their holiday meal. On Friday, it took a little extra in Peoria to settle the matter of a hockey game between the Peoria Rivermen and Milwaukee Admirals. The 4631 fans were treated to an extra helping of hockey and a little dessert of a shoot-out before the Rivermen defeated the visiting Admirals 5-4.
Milwaukee pressured Peoria early and often, with the Rivermen rarely getting a change to work the puck in their own offensive zone. Thing looked dour when Peoria defenseman Scott Ford committed a turnover at the blue line and then compounded the error by hooking his man. The ensuing power play was more of the same, with significant pressure brought by Milwaukee. Rivermen goaltender Mike McKenna came up with some big stops, though, and the defense rallied, too.
The penalty expired and Peoria defenseman Ian Cole snuck the puck to Jaden Schwartz. Schwartz took the puck down the right side and began to cross in front of the net before firing back into the right upper corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Twenty-nine seconds later, with the crowd still roaring, Sebastian Wannstrom chipped the puck toward Milwaukee goalie Jeremy Smith. Smith batted at the puck in mid-air and missed. Standing at the corner of the net, though, was Sergey Androvov. Waiting patiently, Adnronov let the puck hit the ice before sweeping it behind Smith for the 2-0 lead.
It took a little luck to get Milwaukee on the board in the second period. Michael Latta’s good luck was the Rivermen’s bad luck. Latta made cross-ice pass in front of the net that deflected off of a Peoria defenseman’s skate and deflected between McKenna’s pads to draw the Admirals within a goal, 2-1, at 6:25 on the period.
Mark Van Guilder and Joshua Shalla were credited with assists on the play.
Five goals in the third period, brought the game into overtime. Joonas Jarvinen had a very nice goal at 4:21 of the period when he took his rebound on the left side and beat McKenna to the corner of the net with a wrap-around to tie the game at two,
Evegny Grachev answered a couple of minutes later for the Rivermen, digging and digging and finally swatting it in past Smith as everyone scrambled for the rebound to pull the Rivermen ahead 3-2.
Then came a tough thirty seconds of hockey for the Rivermen, as they surrendered goals to Mark Van Guilder and Austin Watson at 12:28 and 12:58 of the period to give the Admirals their first lead of the game.
With less than a minute to play, McKenna skated off the ice for an extra attacker. Mark Cundari took the puck at the blue line and found Cole all alone at the top of the far circle. Cole one-timed the pass and blasted the puck past Smith for to take the game into overtime.
After a scoreless overtime, the game moved into a shootout. There, TJ Hensick and Schwarz both scored for Peoria while McKenna stopped all four Milwaukee shooters, ending game with a 5-4 victory.
McKenna stopped 26 of 30 shots for the victory. Smith took the shoot-out loss while stopping 22 of 27 shots, officially. Neither team scored on the power play, of which the Rivermen had two opportunities to the Admirals three.
Peoria next faces Grand Rapids tonight – a 7:35pm start time.
Contact the author at Shaun.Bill@ProHockeyNews.com
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