Derek Nesbitt scored with just 53 seconds remaining in regulation, and the Rivermen net empty, to tie the game and force overtime. Mike McKenna stopped 34 shots in regulation, two more in overtime, and four out of five in the shootout to give the Rivermen their fifth win in the last six games.
The win moved Peoria within two points of a four-way tie for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The first period was fast-paced and ended with 13 shots from both teams. The period was scoreless until Kenny Ryan scored a late, at 19:47, on a breakaway. Kevin Marshall assisted in the Marlies' shorthanded goal as Ryan tracked down his clearing attempt and beat McKenna as Taylor Chorney attempted to haul him down.
Despite four power plays, the Rivermen failed tie it up until 6:38 in the third period. T.J. Hensick raced after a puck and left a drop-pass for Adam Cracknell in the right circle. Cracknell quickly ripped it between the legs of Drew MacIntyre to tie the score at 1-1. Jeff Woywitka earned the secondary assist.
The Marlies took a 2-1 lead again late in the third period, at 18:38, when Jerry D'Amigo converted off a Rivermen turnover in their own zone. Mike Zigomanis assisted in the near game-winning goal.
But the Marlies' lead was short-lived when just 19 seconds later, the Rivermen answered back with goal from Nesbitt at 19:07. Chorney's shot from the line was deflected in from the left circle by Nesbitt for his team-leading 24th of the season.
The Rivermen outshot the Marlies 5-2 in overtime, but neither team scored which sent the game into a shootout. After five rounds, Nesbitt and Hensick scored in the shootout for the Rivermen while Ryan Lasch scored the lone goal for the Marlies, to give the Rivermen a 3-2 win.
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