PEORIA - A team that is still somewhat a mystery ran into a goaltender who admitted he didn't have a clue, so to speak, in an ECHL game last night.
The Peoria Rivermen pummeled rookie goaltender Drew MacIntyre with 53 shots but lost 2-1 with 84 seconds left in sudden-death overtime before 7,053 at Carver Arena, the third-largest crowd to see a Peoria home opener in the franchise's 22-year history.
“I had no idea about this place or this opponent; I barely even know what states the teams in this league are in,” said MacIntyre, a fourth-round pick of Detroit in the 2001 NHL entry draft who made his pro debut at Peoria's expense. “I walked in here and saw this place and said, `Wow.' I was nervous, but it was like being back in the QMJHL in that first period. I wasn't on very good teams in junior hockey so I saw a lot of shots, but now I feel blessed to be on a great club here.”
The Rivermen, meanwhile, are still learning about themselves after going through a preseason in which they played no exhibition games.
Peoria swarmed the Toledo zone in a scoreless first period that saw the Storm out-shot 21-6. Rivermen right wing Brendan Brooks had a half-dozen quality chances in the game, but MacIntyre and the Storm escaped with the better result.
“Frustrating,” Brooks said. “We out-played that team, out-skated them, and we got robbed.”
Toledo star center Nick Parillo, passed over by AHL parent club Grand Rapids when the latter went outside its farm system to instead call up Rivermen center Tyler Rennette on Friday, scored both goals, forcing Peoria to settle for a point at 3:36 of overtime.
Toledo winger Adam Edinger skated into a play at the Peoria blueline and cut off Rivermen center Alex Kim, allowing Parillo to drive the net and beat goaltender Mike Valley over the blocker as he cut to the left post.