Rivermen end 2012 with 2-1 win over Heat

Photo By Chris Loudermilk

Photo By Chris Loudermilk

PEORIA, Ill – Two veteran goalies faced off across the ice on New Year’s Eve in Peoria as Barry Brust of the Abbotsford Heat and Mike McKenna of the Peoria Rivermen backstopped their respective teams as 5,925 fans helped bid adieu to 2012. Neither goalie disappointed as both faced 36-plus shots each, and allowed only a single goal in 65 minutes of play. It took a shootout tie-breaker to decide a winner, and Peoria pocketed that extra point as they bested Abbotsford 2-1 in the shootout and won the game by the same score.
Both teams killed a penalty in the first period, but beyond that there wasn’t much for the score sheet.
Photo By Chris Loudermilk

Photo By Chris Loudermilk


Kris Kolanos went over Rivermen goaltender Mike McKenna’s stick with a soft shot from below the circle at 2:34 of the second period to break the scoreless tie. The power play goal was assisted by Ben Street and T.J. Brodie.
Still, that was just one of 17 shots that McKenna faced in the second period. A big swooping catch stopped one rally while he stoned Max Reinhart on a one-on-none breakaway to keep his team in the game. It was Taylor Chorney who forced overtime when he battled for the puck along the board and skated into the circle before sliding a shot under Brust’s pads at 7:35 of the third period. Derek Nesbitt and Ian Cole added assists on the tying goal.
The Rivermen pressed hard against Brust the rest of the way and especially during the overtime period. Brust faced 18 shots in those closing 25 minutes and pulled down some big saves of his own.
Photo By Chris Loudermilk

Photo By Chris Loudermilk

It was the Rivermen who prevailed in the tiebreaker, though. Phil McRae and Jaden Schwartz both tallied markers while only Paul Byron was able to solve McKenna.
Brust was wonderful in goal for the Heat, stopping 36 of 37 shots while McKenna matched that total almost exactly, stopping 35 of 36. Abbotsford’s lone goal was during a power play, and they were officially one for three with the man-advantage. Peoria was scoreless in four attempts at the power play.
Contact the author at Shaun.Bill@ProHockeyNews.com
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