By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
ROAD-WEARY RIVERMEN STREAKING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION:
Three games, three losses this week; losing streak now at four.
The Peoria Rivermen will be glad to see their season-long nine-game road trip finally come to an end this week, if their play in the last four games is any indication.
Coach Jared Bednar's charges last played at home on Veterans Day, a wild 7-6 OT win over Rockford. Following that home win, the Rivs won three straight on the road (in Rockford, Hamilton and Cleveland) before falling in regulation last Saturday to the Lake Erie Monsters. Since last Saturday's road loss, the Rivs have dropped three more games in Toronto, Rockford and Chicago to plummet into fourth place in the AHL Midwest Division, currently out of the playoff picture on percentage points.
The rare spot of good news for the Rivermen this week was that rookie blueliner Cade Fairchild (pictured at left), who continues to lead the AHL in plus/minus at a plus-14, got his first callup to the NHL. Fairchild did not see action for the Blues during his recall, but did get a taste of the NHL experience, a taste that will serve him well as the season progresses.
We'll let the Peoria website give you the sordid details of the losses this week, starting with Sunday's loss to Toronto.
Faced with two different two-goal deficits, the Peoria Rivermen rallied back but fell short as the Toronto Marlies held on for a 4-3 win on Sunday evening at Ricoh Coliseum. Peoria has now lost back-to-back road games for the first time this year and are 3-2-0-0 on their current nine-game trip.
Here's how the Rivs' website described Friday's third-period collapse and loss to the Rockford IceHogs:
After capturing two separate leads, the Peoria Rivermen allowed four third period goals by the Rockford IceHogs in a 7-3 loss in front of 3,222 at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Friday night. The loss was the most lopsided of the season as Peoria has now dropped three straight in regulation for the first time this year.
And finally, last night's loss in Chicago vs. the arch-rival Wolves:
For the second straight game, the Peoria Rivermen scored on their first shift of the game but it proved to be their only lead of the night as the Chicago Wolves held off the Rivermen 5-3 at Allstate Arena on Saturday night. The loss extended Peoria’s season-long losing streak to four games.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW:
Peoria 3 at Toronto 4, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011.
Peoria 3 at Rockford 7, Friday, Nov. 25, 2011.
Peoria 3 at Chicago 5, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011.
THE WEEK AHEAD:
Sunday, November 27, 2011 ... Game Time 3:00 PM CST at Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL. NHL Affiliate: Winnipeg Jets.
Friday, Decdember 2, 2011 ... Game Time 7:00 PM CST at Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI. NHL Affiliate: Nashville Predators.
Saturday, Decdember 3, 2011 ... Game Time 7:00 PM CST at Carver Arena, Peoria, IL. NHL Affiliate: Nashville Predators.
RIVERMEN NEWS LINKS:
11/20/11 -- Second-period lapse dooms Rivermen (Peoria Journal Star).
11/25/11 -- Rivermen collapse in 3rd, absorb 7-3 loss to Hogs (Peoria Journal Star).
11/26/11 -- Rivermen get 2 goals from Barriball, but lose 5-3 to Wolves (Peoria Journal Star).