The road streak is now 22 straight regular season road games with at least a point in the standings, as the Admirals broke a 1-1 tie early in the 3rd period, and held on to defeat the Rivermen 2-1 Saturday night in Peoria. (Check out the Rivermen Blog recap here)
TJ Hensick served just 7 seconds of his elbowing penalty, as Kyle Wilson fired a shot past Ben Bishop after a great pass through the slot from Juuso Puustinen just 1:07 into the 3rd period.
The Admirals seem to have had a knack early in the season for striking in the first 10 minutes of the third period to either take the lead or increase a lead.
Ryan Ellis opened the scoring with his third goal in his last four games. Ben Ryan did the work in the corner, and then Michael Latta found Ellis at the far point. His shot through traffic beat Ben Bishop.
The Admirals outshot the Rivermen 16-7 in the first period…another strong start out of the gate.
In the second, the Rivermen tied the game with a power play goal by Jonathan Cheechoo. The veteran fed a bad pass into the slot that was blocked by Victor Bartley, but Jani Lajunen tried to stick-handle instead of get the puck out of trouble right away. As Lajunen was fumbling with the puck, Cheechoo slapped it past Jeremy Smith to even the score.
The Admirals took the lead back on Wilson’s goal, and then proceeded to kill off a couple of penalties, including a Ryan Thang penalty with 44 seconds remaining, giving the Rivermen a 6-on-4 advantage with Bishop on the bench. Smith stopped all 16 shots he faced in the third period, and held on to get his sixth win of the season.
Oh yeah, there were 30 minutes of penalties assessed before the game was 10 seconds old. Zack Stortini and Anthony Peluso lined up against each other for the opening draw, cross-checked each other a couple times, and were sent to the box for 10-minute misconduct penalties before referee Shaun Davis even dropped the puck. So those two penalties came at the 0:00 mark of the first period. Then 10 seconds in, Scott Ford and Kyle Hagel dropped the gloves. Hagel did not return to the game, presumably injured in some capacity.
While Smitty was great at stopping shots, so was the iron behind him. The Rivermen hit at least two posts, and missed open nets on multiple occasions too. A bit snake-bitten, they were.
The college schedule continues…as the Admirals have the week to practice before a pair of home games next weekend against Chicago and Oklahoma City (and the return of Triston Grant!)