By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
ROAD WARRIOR RIVS MOVE UP IN STANDINGS DESPITE END TO WIN STREAK:
Four-game run comes to an end in Cleveland.
The Peoria Rivermen are currently in the midst of a season-long nine-game road trip, and their solid play away from Carver Arena has earned them a share of the AHL Midwest Division lead.
Coach Jared Bednar's charges last played at home on Veterans Day, a wild 7-6 OT win over Rockford. Since that game, the Rivs had won three straight on the road (in Rockford, Hamilton and Cleveland) before falling in regulation last night to the Lake Erie Monsters.
Ben Bishop (pictured at left) has started the last four games in a row for peoria, winning three straight before dropping a 3-2 decision last night. In three games this week, Bishop surrendered eight goals in 188 minutes of play, turning aside 86 of 94 shots for a 2.55 GAA and 91.5% saves rate for the week. The big Chaminade alumnus is putting together a career season thus far, with an 8-4-1 record and two shutouts in 13 games to go along with a solid 2.14 GAA (currently sixth in the AHL) and 93.2% saves rate (fourth in the AHL).
Veteran forward Brett Sterling has led the way offensively for the Rivs in the last week, scoring three times in three games and earning a callup to St. Louis today.
The Rivermen won two of three games this week by getting the job done in the shootout. After finishing regulation and OT tied at two-all with Hamilton on Tuesday, Derek Nesbitt and T.J. Hensick tallied in the shootout to propel the Rivs to a 3-2 win. Then, on Thursday, Sterling and Anthony Nigro tallied in the second period to erase a two-goal Lake Erie lead, and after trading goals in the thiord, the teams went to another shootout. This time, Nesbitt was the only player to solve either Bishop or Monsters' rookie Cedrick Desjardins in the skills competition.
The hot streak ended for the Rivs last night, however, as Desjardins stood tall in turning aside 38 of 40 Peoria shots, allowing only a pair of scores by Sterling in the Monsters' 3-2 win.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW:
Peoria 3 at Hamilton 2 (SO), Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011.
Peoria 4 at Lake Erie 3 (SO), Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011.
Peoria 2 at Lake Erie 3, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011.
THE WEEK AHEAD:
Sunday, November 20, 2011 ... Game Time 4:00 PM CST at Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto, ON. NHL Affiliate: Toronto Maple Leafs.
Friday, November 25, 2011 ... Game Time 7:05 PM CST at BMO Harris Bank Arena, Rockford, IL. NHL Affiliate: Chicago Blackhawks.
Saturday, November 26, 2011 ... Game Time 7:00 PM CST at Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL. NHL Affiliate: Winnipeg Jets.
RIVERMEN NEWS LINKS:
11/15/11 -- Rivermen lean on Bishop, Hensick to collar Dogs, 3-2 in SO (Peoria Journal Star).
11/17/11 -- Rivermen surge into 1st with 4-3 shootout win over Monsters (Peoria Journal Star).
11/19/11 -- Rivermen fall short against Monsters, 3-2 (Peoria Journal Star).