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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Shoot-out loss to Peoria

The Peoria Rivermen handed the Chicago Wolves a surprise 4-3 shoot-out loss Saturday night in Peoria. Chicago has owned the Downstate team this season, and the one point night was especially hard on the Wolves as it allows the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights to creep up on the Wolves in the standings.

The Rivermen scored off of the second period face-off. Cory Larose scored a late second frame short handed goal to allow Chicago to tie the game. Wolves goalie Fred Brathwaite stopped 39 shots on goal. Chris Beckfored-Tseu earned the win, no loss is awarded in shoot-outs, stopping 28 shots. It was another crowded night for the Chicago sin bin, as 12 infractions occurred penalizing nine Wolves, compared to just 9 minors against the Rivermen.

Brett Sterling scored the first goal of the game, his 51st of the season. Scrambling behind the Peoria net, Sterling poked the puck over to Darren Haydar who put it to Brian Fahey in the slot. Meantime, Sterling had worked his way over to the top of the crease where he redirected Fahey’s shot past Chris Beckford-Tseu. It was one of just five shots on goal in the first frame by Chicago. Peoria replied with less than four minutes to go in the first period. Michal Birner came up on Fred Brathwaite’s right and was screened as he flew behind the net. Turning just short of the circle he put it through Brathwaite’s pads to even the score.

In the second frame, Peoria scored off of the face-off. The puck went all the way down behind the Peoria goal, however, Patrick Wellar fired the puck into center ice where it deflected off of Mike Glumac and Charles Linglet to the uncovered Birner who quickly fired it from outside the hash marks for a score and a goal advantage.

The Rivermen made the game 3-1 13 minutes later when Ryan Ramsay picked up the puck behind the Chicago goal. He dished it out to Steve Wagner. Meantime, Jon DiSalvatore blew a tire just outside the crease and when he got up the puck was right there. He simply spun around and maneuvered it past the stunned Brathwaite. Chicago’s first line got into the action next, Jason Krog brought the puck across the Peoria blue line and passed it to Sterling, who was near the hash marks, he one-timed it over to Darren Haydar for a quick wrist shot that caught the Peoria defenders napping.

The final goal in regulation was a short-handed goal that started when Kevin Doell knocked the puck loose from DiSalvatore. The puck went slithering into neutral ice where Larose brought it across the blue line. He passed it cross ice to Andy Delmore who immediately one-timed it back to Larose. Larose had an open net from inside the hash marks and flipped it in to even the score 3-3.

Take a team sport, play for 65 minutes and then, if the game is tied, add a skills competition. To further the anxiety, note that the Wolves have had very poor results in the shoot out this season. The Saturday competition was no different as the Wolves lost the shoot-out two goals to three goals. Haydar and Larose scored on the shoot-out, as well as Rivermen Birner, Glumac and Linglet. Krog, Doell and Niko Dimitrakos missed on the shutout, as well as Rivermen Jamie Rivers and Ramsay.

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