Peoria, IL – The Peoria Mustangs welcomed the Rochester Grizzlies to the Owens Center for the 7th and 8th meetings of the regular season among the two squads, splitting the weekend series with both games needing more than 60 minutes to find a winner. The Mustangs took game one on Friday in a shootout and the Grizzlies nabbed game two on Friday during a competitive overtime frame.
After the weekend split, the Mustangs remained in second place at 29-9-4.
Friday: PEO 4 – ROC 3 / SO
Rochester opened the scoring just prior to the midway point of the opening frame when Logan Kroyman connected with Matthew Shaw while the Grizzlies were on the power play; it was Shaw’s 7th tally of the season. Peoria evened things up in the late stages of the first when SP Merck wound up hammering a shot from just inside the blue line that snuck through traffic and past Grizzlies netminder Zach Wiese at 16:41 of the first period.
Peoria gained their first lead of the night at the halfway point of the middle period when Jake Ratner was skating towards the net and pounced on a rebound, lighting the lamp at 10:03 of the second period. The Mustangs increased their lead just two minutes later when Thomas Kayner took a Jackson Gram pass and deflected the puck off the crossbar and into the back of the net at 12:01 of the second period for the 3-1 Mustangs lead.
Rochester drew within one, and eventually tied the contest in the final period of regulation. Justin Wright got the visitors within one at 8:46 of the third period with his 17th goal of the season and Adam Johnson tied the contest at three with his 16th goal of the season at 19:23 of the third period.
The teams skated to a scoreless 3-on-3 overtime session before advancing into the shootout. Rochester scored in the second round when Per Waage slipped the puck past Andrew Doran. Tristan Trudel tied the sudden death shootout at 1 each with his goal in the second round. The decisive goal came in the 5th round when Doran made a save on Max Breon’s attempt, Perry Lagatuz took the shot for Peoria in the 5th round lifting the puck over the shoulder of Wisely and into the back of the net for the 4-3 shootout victory.
Andrew Doran earned the victory between the pipes, stopping 31 of 34 shots in regulation and 4/5 in the shootout. The victory, Doran’s 7th straight, improves Doran to 9-1-0 on the season
Saturday: PEO 2 – ROC 3 / OT
The teams skated to a scoreless opening before the Mustangs kicked off the scoring late in the second period. Jared Wisely picked off a clearing attempt by Jameson Folden at the hashmarks in the Rochester zone. Wisely slipped the puck under netminder Nikola Goich’s leg at 15:30 of the middle frame for the 1-0 Mustangs’ edge.
The Grizzlies evened the score just prior to the midway point of the third period when Luke Morrisette tallied his 12th goal of the season, unassisted at 8:55 of third period, knotting the game at one a side.
The Mustangs regained their lead in the late stages of the final frame when Jackson Gram took a feed from Tristan Trudel, raced into the attacking zone and snapped a shot from the hash marks over Goich and into the back of the net at 14:19 of the 3rd period for the 2-1 Mustangs advantage.
Rochester tied the game late in the third period when Lyncoln Bielenbeg-Howarth pounced on a rebound atop the crease and slipped the puck past Nahuel Veyan at 19:43 of the third period, tying the game at 2 a side. Rochester got the game-winner while skating in the 3-on-3 overtime session. While skating in their attacking zone Bielenberg-Howarth found Ben Oakland to the right of the crease and slipped a pass across the low slot, Oakland received the feed and tipped the puck into the empty net for the 3-2 overtime winner.
Nahuel Veyan suffered a tough luck loss between the pipes, stopping 20 of 23 shots faced in the outing. The overtime loss, Veyan’s second of the season, drops the goaltender to 10-1-2 on the season.
By The Numbers:
-Jared Wisely has at least a point in 7 straight outings dating back to 1/30 at St. Louis.
-Andrew Doran has won 7 straight games between the pipes.
-Nahuel Veyan’s streak of 10 straight wins was broken in the OT loss Saturday night.
-Jackson Gram has at least a point in 3 straight games.
The Mustangs hit the road to Oregon, WI for a pair of games next weekend at the Oregon Ice Arena. Both Friday and Saturday night’s games get under way at 7:30 p.m. CST and can be viewed on HockeyTV.