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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Crabb in four point effort

Joey Crabb had a four point night with a hat trick and an assist in a 5-1 Chicago Wolves win over the Peoria Rivermen at the Allstate Arena tonight. Crabb took advantage of two 5:3 power play opportunities and an even strength goal in racking up the hat trick. He assisted Spencer Machacek in his goal and was on ice, distracting the Peoria Rivermen for the final goal, an empty net run up the ice by Jordan LaVallee with a 1:07 remaining in the game.

Crabb, with seven shots on goal for the game, opened a can of whoop on the Peoria team with a series of three checks in the first period, all within a period of about fifteen seconds. They started behind the Wolves goal where the puck squirted loose, he followed the puck up the ice and flattened a Riverman into the boards at the blue line, continued up the ice and his last check was on a Peoria blue liner right in the Peoria crease.

He followed that up with a 5:3 power play goal with four seconds remaining in the first period. At 47 seconds into the second period, he assisted Machacek with his goal. At 9:49, after the Rivermen gave the Chicagoans yet another 5:3 he took another goal.

During one second period power play on Peoria, Trent Whitfield came up with the puck. His breakaway could have been stopped by Riley Holzapfel, at the near boards, but Whitfield eluded Holzapfel and found Ondrej Pavelec's five hole. It was the only score of the game for Peoria.

In the final period of play, Chicago gave the Peoria team four power play chances. Peoria also was beating on the Wolves, notching eleven shots on goal. Nevertheless, at 14:56 Crabb found the back of the net again for the hat trick. Less than four minutes later, after Peoria pulled their goalie, LaVallee, with Crabb on his flank, put the finish on the game with an empty net goal.

Pavelec received the win, stopping 30 shots on goal. He really looked good tonight as the defense was more effective in front of him except in the case of the short handed break away. Ben Bishop received the loss with 22 saves. In part due to Crabb, the power play came alive with three for eight, while the defense held the Rivermen scoreless in six penalty kills.

It was Crabb's eighth, ninth and tenth goals of the year in the American Hockey League. It was his sixth point of the season in the AHL. It is his 19th game this season in a Wolves sweater. He was sent to Chicago by the Thrashers January 30th. According to the Internet hockey database, he also played in 26 games as an Atlanta Thrasher, scoring just three goals and four points.

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