Admirals top Rivermen in OT, 3-2

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PEORIA, Ill. (WITI) — Chris Mueller scored the game-winner just 60 seconds into overtime to lead the Milwaukee Admirals over the Peoria Rivermen 3-2 on Saturday night in Peoria.

Defenseman Mike Moore stole a clearing attempt and skated from the right wing to the Peoria goal. His initial shot was stopped but Mueller pushed the rebound into the net for his 14th of the season. Moore and Brad Winchester recorded the assists.

Goalie Jeremy Smith followed up on his 44 save performance the night before with 38 saves to earn his 15th win of the season.

The Admirals led 2-1 late in the game, but got into penalty trouble. Taylor Beck went to the box for hooking at 15:31 and Victor Bartley joined him at 17:03 for delay of game. Milwaukee killed the 28 seconds of 5-on-3 time, but Peoria tied the game with a power play goal with just 1:29 to play in regulation. Derek Nesbitt one-timed a slapshot from the right faceoff dot past Smith for the equalizer.

The Admirals held a 1-0 lead after the first period thanks to Jack MacLellan’s first professional goal at 7:01. AHL All-Star Bartley passed the puck out of the Milwaukee defensive zone to Jani Lajunen. Lajunen carried the puck to the left corner of Peoria’s zone and put a shot on goal. Rivermen netminder Jake Allen couldn’t handle it and MacLellan was there to slam the puck into the net. Lajunen and Bartley recorded the assists.

Milwaukee snagged a 2-0 lead at 9:37 of the second period. Taylor Beck fed a pass from behind the Peoria goal into the slot. The puck hopped several sticks to defenseman Anthony Bitetto at the left point. Bitetto fired a shot off the right post. It stayed in the crease behing the goalie and Beck tapped it in for his seventh goal of the season. Bitetto and Austin Watson were awarded the assists.

The Rivermen got on the board with 4:40 remaining in the second period as Chris Bruton put in his third goal of the season on a rebound of an Anthony Nigro shot.

Every team in the AHL is off for the All-Star break. Defenseman Victor Bartley will represent the Admirals at the 2013 Dunkin’ Donuts AHL All-Star Classic in Providence, RI. The 2013 Pepsi AHL All-Star Skills Competition is at 7 pm Sunday and the 2013 AHL All-Star Game is at 7 pm Monday.

Milwaukee returns to action Friday, Feb. 1 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center to host the Chicago Wolves at 7 pm.