PEORIA, ILL – Nine goals.
It was rarely pretty, mostly sloppy, often violent game that Rockford won 5-4 in Peoria Saturday. With a large contingent of Rockford fans among the 6039 fans in attendance, the Rivermen started quickly, but the Ice Hogs finished best.
That included Rostislav Olesz with the game winner with just 2:31 left on the clock. Peoria goaltender Mike McKenna was screened when Olesz uloaded from just inside the blueline to give the Ice Hogs their only lead.
Before that, though, it got a little crazy. A three-goal first period put Peoria in the drivers seat against Rockford goalie Hanrik Karlsson. Derek Nesbitt, Brett Sonne and Yannick
Veilleux – in his pro debut, no less – scored for the home team. But Brandon Pirri and Olesz added goals, as well to leave the score 3-2 at the first intermission.Each team would add a tally in the second period – Anthony Nigro for the Rivermen and Martin St. Pierre for the Ice Hogs.
Only Rockford would notch goals in the final frame, as Adam Clendening scored a power play goal before Olesz finished it off.
There were no penalties in the first period but the teams made up for it the rest of the game.
Peoria’s David Sheilds and Rockford’s Kenndal McArdle dropped the gloves. Each earned stick-taps from teammates as they are not normally involved in fisticuffs. On their heels, Ice Hog Steve Montador and Riverman Stfan Della Roevere squared off.
Controversy? Why not. Veilleux had a goal waved off and Chris Bruton was boxed for Boarding that replays clearly showed was a clean hit.
For the goalies, Karlsson stopped 23 of 27 shots for his 10th win of the season. McKenna suffered the loss, stopping 32 of 37 shots. He was unable to get off the ice for an extra attacker at the end of the game.
Rockford scored once on two power plays while the Rivermen were unable to score on three man-advantages.
Peoria’s TJ Hensick stayed atop the AHL scoring race with an assist in the first period.
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