Three straight wins over the Peoria Rivermen weren’t in the cards for the Rockford IceHogs on Wednesday as the Hogs were shutout 4-0 at Carver Arena before 2,476 fans. The first period went scoreless on Wednesday as Peoria rattled off the first seven shots on goal in the opening frame while Rockford fired the final 12 shots of the period. In the second period, Peoria snagged the first goal of the game 4:18 into the frame. Andrew Murray fired a shot though traffic past a screened Henrik Karlsson for his 13th goal of the season. The Peoria lead was extended later in the stanza. Newly acquired winger Nathan Longpre picked up a Tyler Shattock pass and snuck his fifth goal of the season under the arm of Karlsson in transition at 17:12. A penalty shot goal moved the Rivermen’s lead to 3-0 in the third frame. After getting tripped by Ryan Stanton on a breakaway, Murray buried his second goal of the game with a penalty shot marker 3:25 into the third period. Rockford pulled Karlsson with just over three-minutes to play in regulation in a desperate attempt to get back into the game but Jeff Woywitka fired a shot into the Hogs empty net to seal it at 17:41. The iceHogs outshot the Rivermen 36-20 in the contest, but it wasn’t enough as their four-game winning streak was snapped.
Adam Cracknell had a goal and two assists and Ben Bishop made 47 saves to lead the Peoria Rivermen to a 5-2 win against the division-rival Rockford IceHogs before 3,572 fans. The two teams combined for 90 total shots on goal and 68 penalty minutes as the Rivermen killed off all but one of nine IceHog power plays. The Rivermen opened up the scoring at the 5:00 mark right after failing to convert on a 2-minute 5-on-3 powerplay. With the puck still in the offensive zone Brett Sterling threw the puck on goal from a bad angle. The puck rolled off Anthony Nigro’s stick and right to T.J. Hensick who buried it for his eighth goal of the year. The Rivermen set a season-high in shots in a single period (20), shots allowed in a period (21), shots (41), and shots allowed (49). The finished 8-for-9 on the penalty kill, matching their season-high in power-plays against.
Brendan is in his third season as the radio voice of the Rivermen as well as the team’s director of communications. He arrived in Peoria after being named 2007-08 ECHL Broadcaster of the Year while calling games for the Wheeling Nailers. He spent two years with the Pittsburgh Penguins affiliate and was selected to call the 2008 ECHL All-Star Game in Stockton, CA.
The 26-year-old native of Fair Lawn, NJ, Burke has spent three summers broadcasting baseball for Philadelphia Phillies minor league affiliates with the Batavia Muckdogs (2006) and the Lakewood BlueClaws (2007-08). Burke graduated from Ithaca College in 2006 where he served as the sports director for the school’s two radio stations. He performed play-by-play for IC football, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse while broadcasting women’s hockey across town at Cornell University.
After losing the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 200 yards from the finish line at Gateway International Raceway in July, it was fitting that Brad Keselowski drove his No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge to Victory Lane on Saturday in the 5-Hour ENERGY 250. He swapped the race lead with teammate and event polesitter Justin Allgaier late in the race, but was able to pull ahead in the final six-lap stretch after a late-race caution. Allgaier, a native of Riverton, IL and a area fan favorite, finished third, while former Camping World Truck Series champion Mike Bliss took runner-up honors. Jason Leffler and three-time GIR NASCAR Nationwide Series winner Carl Edwards rounded out the top five. Despite the final straightaway bump from Edwards during the race here in July, Keselowski said in Victory Lane that he had moved on. “I try not to hold grudges. I try not to think of that and just focus on our next race. That was key about winning today. You can’t panic about what happened in the last race. You have to move forward and move on with your life. Our team did that today.”
Allgaier won the pole with a speed of 135.131 mph, circling the 1.25-mile in 33.301 seconds earlier in the day and appeared to be the class of the field during the 200-lap race. A call on pit road for four tires after the sixth and final caution, however, doomed the No. 12 Dodge team’s chances for a victory in the final NASCAR event at Gateway.