01/12/2013 8:11 PM
Peoria Rivermen 3 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 OT
Jan. 12, 2013
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Sergey Andronov’s overtime winner capped off a three-goal rally by the Peoria Rivermen, as the Grand Rapids Griffins dropped a 3-2 overtime decision on Saturday night at Van Andel Arena.
The red hot penalty kill of the Rivermen (16-17-2-2) proved to be a deciding factor, as they killed off seven of eight penalties on the night, most in the first half of the game.
Five first period power plays, including a 5-on-3 advantage for 89 seconds, provided the Griffins’ top lines several good scoring chances, but it was the work of the fourth line that got Grand Rapids on the board at 5:39 of the first period. Mitch Callahan collected a pass from Andrej Nestrasil and found Luke Glendening crashing towards the net. Glendening’s attempt was blocked, but Callahan found the rebound and tapped in his second goal of the season.
The man advantage finally clicked for the Griffins (21-11-2-2) on their seventh opportunity of the night. Landon Ferraro gathered a pass from Gleason Fournier and snapped the puck towards Peoria’s Jake Allen. Allen looked to have initially gotten a piece of the shot, but the puck found its way over the line during a frantic goalmouth scramble. Referee Keith Kaval waved off the goal but changed his decision following a brief video review, giving Ferraro his 14th of the season 1:50 into the second period.
The Rivermen were not about to go quietly, though, as it took just 28 seconds for Peoria to cut the Griffins’ lead in half. Derek Nesbitt gathered the puck in the corner and connected with Adam Cracknell in front, who rifled a shot between Tom McCollum’s legs.
Brett Sonne tied the game at two at 8:26 of the second period. Sonne broke in on a clean 2-on-0 with Tyler Shattock and surprised McCollum with a low shot for his first goal of the campaign.
After a scoreless third period, the teams headed to an overtime that looked like it might go the Griffins’ way. The duo of Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar helped to keep the puck in the Peoria zone for over 60 seconds to start overtime, but the Rivermen took advantage when they got their chance. Andronov knocked the rebound of a David Shields shot past McCollum 2:30 into the extra frame, sending the visitors home with their fifth straight win at Van Andel Arena.
McCollum made 23 saves in the losing effort, while Allen earned the win with 31 stops.
The Griffins are in action next week with back-to-back games against the Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m.
Three Stars: 1. PEO Andronov (OT goal); 2. GR Ferraro (goal); 3. GR Callahan (goal)