Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Late Storm rally falls short

PEORIA, Ill. - The Peoria Rivermen and Toledo Storm both were damaged goods yesterday in an ECHL game at Carver Arena.

But the short-handed clubs really only needed six players to sort out Peoria s 3-2 victory in front of 3,501.

The Rivermen line of Adam Edinger, Marty Johnston and Scott Turner continued to break out of its slump by scoring the game s first two goals.

And Toledo s line of Chris Gignac with wingers Marco Charpentier and Jim Abbott was on for all the goals that put the Storm in a 3-0 hole, then pitched in for both goals in a rally.

“Our Edinger-Johnston-Turner line had a strong game [Saturday] and again today, and they ve really come on,” Rivermen head coach Jason Christie said. “Sometimes scoring lines just go through a little down time, but eventually they get it sorted out.”

The Storm, meanwhile, is still trying to sort out its place in the Northern Division, which now is eighth. Toledo has used as many players (40) as it has earned points (40).

“We had those defensive breakdowns and they went right into our net,” said Toledo coach Nick Vitucci, whose short-handed blueline included forwards Rick Judson and Peter Flache.

“Gignac made some nice plays there to get us back in it, and I like that we didn t quit. But we just started from too far back.”

In fact, the Rivermen led 19 seconds after the opening faceoff when Edinger set up Johnston for a shot from the right circle past goaltender Jimi St. John s stick.

Turner and Edinger powered 2-on-1 against Gignac at 13:38, and Turner stuffed a return feed past the left post for a 2-0 lead.

“Edinger puts the puck right on your stick and makes it easy for you,” said Turner of his linemate, acquired from Toledo earlier this season. “With all three guys on the line skating well, there s going to be some goals. [All-Star] Randy Rowe is up in the AHL now, and we have to step up and provide some offense.”

Said Johnston, whose line scored three of Peoria s last four goals over two nights: “I think we got away from doing the things that were working for us, but this weekend we re-focused and got back to it.”

The Rivermen pushed to a 3-0 lead at 13:21 of the second period when center Greg Black skated down the right side of the slot and chipped the puck up and over St. John s glove shoulder as he moved past the post.

But Toledo got one back at 18:36 on a coverage breakdown when right wing Kris Waltze skated into the mid-slot and put a low shot past goaltender Mike Valley.

Gignac set up Charpentier on a 2-on-1 break against defenseman Malcolm Hutt at 15:32 for the final goal.

The Edinger-Johnston-Turner line controlled play at the end.

“We were in control of that game,” Turner said. “But I think we relaxed just a little too much and let them get close at the end.”

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