Game Recaps



Corey Tamblyn scored the game-winner with just 2:16 to play in regulation as the Peoria Rivermen defeated the Huntsville Havoc, 4-3 on Saturday night at Carver Arena. The victory extends Peoria’s win streak to a season-best four games, while goaltender Paul Karpowich (1-0-0) earned his first Rivermen win, in his SPHL debut, after stopping 24 of 27 shots.


Peoria improves to 7-6-1 on the season and moves into a tie for fifth place in the league standings. In addition, the win extends Peoria’s points streak to a season-high six games.


For the full box score, click here.


Huntsville opened the scoring at 16:07 of the first courtesy of defenseman Stuart Stefan’s fifth of the year. After receiving a pass from Justin Cseter, Stefan wound up and fired a one-timer near the blue line, which clipped the inside of the right post and found the back of the net. Cseter and Brian Elser earned helpers on the goal.


Moments into the second period, Stefan scored his second goal of the game at the 1:12 mark. Josh Harris and Sam Cannata, each of whom earned an assist, moved the puck to an unmarked Stefan near the top of the left circle, who ripped a slap shot past Karpowich for the 2-0 advantage.


Less than five minutes later, the Rivermen responded for the first time with Charlie Carkin’s second goal of the season, which cut the deficit to one.  At 5:32, defenseman Joe Schiller collected the puck at the right point and took the puck to the right circle, where he sent a cross-ice pass to Carkin at the back post. Carkin then one-timed a forehanded shot into the back of the net past Huntsville netminder Jesse Kallechy. Schiller and Steve Morra picked up assists on the goal.


The third period started off with a bang, as both teams scored within the opening two minutes of the frame. Peoria tied the contest at 2-2 when Morra converted a one-on-one opportunity at 1:24. Carkin, who earned an assist on the play, dished the puck to Morra who advanced towards goal with speed and successfully deked Kallechy for his third goal of the season.


However, just 14 seconds later, Huntsville bounced back to take a 3-2 advantage when left winger Matt Singleton scored his first professional goal. At the 1:38 mark, Singleton grabbed the puck shortly after the faceoff at center ice and skated through Peoria’s defense for a one-on-one opportunity himself. From the right, Singleton converted on the breakaway for Huntsville’s final goal of the night.


Garrett Vermeersch evened the score yet again at 7:17 when he followed up an initial shot by Schiller and notched his team-leading ninth of the year. From the right side, Schiller took a shot that was knocked down by Kallechy, but the rebound bounced right to Vermeersch who fired a slap shot past the Havoc netminder’s right pad at the right post. Schiller and Jarrett Rush each tallied an assist for their set up on the goal.


At 17:44, the Rivermen took the lead for the first time when Tamblyn and Parker Stanfield linked up during a two-on-one rush down the ice during four-on-four action. Stanfield collected the puck in the neutral zone and advanced into Huntsville’s end before he played a puck towards the back post, where Tamblyn snuck behind his defenseman and calmly placed a wrist shot into the back of the net for his first Rivermen goal.


Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen


Carkin (1g, 1a) and Morra (1g, 1a) each registered a multi-point night.


The Rivermen finished the game 0-for-6 on the power play and a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. Peoria also outshot the Havoc 33-27. In addition, the victory marked Peoria’s first win this season when trailing after the first two periods.


The game included five 10-minute misconducts, four of which were called for equipment violations. Huntsville forward Justin Fox also received a 10-minute misconduct for abuse of officials.


Following a weekend off, the Rivermen will return to action on Friday, December 20 with a 7:15 p.m. puck drop against the Bloomington Thunder at Carver Arena. Peoria will wear custom “Central Illinois STRONG” jerseys to support tornado relief efforts in central Illinois, which will be auctioned off live after the game. All proceeds will benefit the local American Red Cross. The game can be heard locally on CD Country 107.9 FM or online at Fans can also follow along via the live video and audio stream at