Rockford, Ill. – The Peoria Rivermen handled the Rockford IceHogs with ease shutting them out 5-0 on Saturday at the Rockford MetroCentre in front of 5,233 fans.
Photo by Greg Hamil
A struggling IceHogs offense seemed to have had the cards stacked against them facing the American Hockey League's top goaltender in Jake Allen.
Peoria got the scoring started at 7:20 in the first when Tyler Shattock dropped the puck off to Anthony Nigro. Nigro picked it up and fired in his second goal of the season, top shelf over the shoulder of Alec Richards, to make it 1-0. Stefan Della Rovere was also credited with an assist on the play.
Peoria would have another opportunity to add to their lead when they found themselves with the man advantage. Former IceHogs winger Derek Nesbitt was sitting up above the faceoff circle when he was set up for a one timer pass from Graham Mink at 8:06, Nesbitt's blast past Richards increased the Rivermen lead to 2-0. Phil McRae received an assist on the play.
Then the Rivermen made it 3-0 when Nicholas Drazenovic chipped in his team-leading seventh goal of season at 13:00 in the first. Peoria had the puck in deep behind Richards when Mink moved it out front. Richards and the Hogs didn't clear it and left it on the door step for Drazenovic to tap in. Cracknell also registered a helper.
The Rivermen would continue to pour on the goals but it wouldn't happen until the third period. Nathan Oystrick sent a low wrist shot towards the front of the net, looking for a tip was Mink, who directed the puck towards the bottom corner of the net past Toivonen at 1:17 to put Peoria out in front 4-0. Mark Cundari factored in with an assist on the play.
Just over a minute later the Rivermen offense continued to ease past the IceHogs, a goal by Mark Cundari at 2:43, all but ended any hope for the IceHogs to get back into the contest. Cundari's goal was set up by passes from Ryan Reaves and Derek Peltier, giving Peoria the 5-0 lead.
Notes: Peoria goaltender Jake Allen breaks a Rivermen (AHL) record for most shutouts in a season with four, accomplishing the mark in just 8 starts. Rockford's Rob Klinkhammer missed his third game in a row with an injury. The IceHogs power play went 0-6.
Next Home Game: Wednesday, Dec. 8 vs. Texas Stars. Game time is 6:35 p.m. The IceHogs kick off a season-high seven-game homestand when the Stars return to the MetroCentre. Wednesday is another Taco Bell Dollar Day presented by WXRX as fans can purchase beer, Vienna Beef hot dogs, soft drinks and companion tickets for just $1.