Less than 24 hours after their abysmal 8-4 loss to the Texas Stars, the Rivermen bounced back to win 6-2 against the Houston Aeros. While the AHL’s three-in-three scheduling is set at a brutal pace, one positive to come of it is that it allows a struggling team the opportunity to regroup and reboud quickly. And the Rivermen did just that.
I cannot say that the first period went all that well for the Rivs as they gave up not one, but two short-handed goals. However, Derek Nesbitt and Adam Cracknell did team up to score a pretty nifty goal in the first twenty minutes of play. Nesbitt set Cracknell up with an impressive backhanded pass around a Houston player and as we say, the Cracknell was released.
From the second on, the Rivermen really began to shine, most notably when they recovered the ability to score on their own powerplay. Chris Porter scored the first, making that his second goal in just two games since being reassigned to Peoria. Later in the third period he added an assist as well. Derek Nesbitt scored not long after Porter, also on the PP which gave the Rivs their first lead of the game and would prove to be the game-winner.
TJ Hensick opened scoring in the third for the Rivs with a rebound goal. Just a bit later the Rivermen scored a SHG of their own. Brett Sonne took the put at center ice and raced toward Aeros goalie Matt Hackett. Sonne was pushed and/or tripped from behind onto his back where he was still able to get the puck in the net to give the Rivs a 5-2 lead before colliding with Hackett. Highlight reel goal for certain. Earlier in the game Sonne had been awarded a penalty shot after being tripped up on a breakaway but he did not score. Captain Scott Ford finished the night off with an empty net goal.
Disregarding the two SHG’s against, it was a good night to be in Peoria watching the Rivermen. They were five for five on the penalty kill while Jake Allen made 24 saves and earned the win.
The next time the Rivermen take the ice at Carver Arena will be this Wednesday at 11:00 AM for the annual school day game. They will be taking on the Chicago Wolves and look to improve back to .500 on the season.