WALROD SCORES TWO AS RIVERMEN STREAK ENDS
Dennis Sievers/ Peoria Rivermen
Kevin Walrod scored two goals for the third consecutive game on Sunday to lead the Bloomington Thunder to their first-ever win against the Peoria Rivermen, 4-1 at Carver Arena. The loss snapped Peoria’s six-game win streak, dating back to Nov. 29, as well as goaltender Eric Levine’s season-best five-game win streak.
In addition, the loss drops Peoria to 9-7-3 on the season and keeps the team in seventh place in the league standings. The Rivermen are now 6-1-0 against the Thunder.
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS – BOX SCORE
For the first time this weekend, Bloomington scored first at 15:24 of the opening frame when Kevin Walrod converted on a wraparound just inside the left post. Less than a minute later, the Rivermen responded on a 5-on-3 power play with Garrett Vermeersch’s team-leading 13th of the year to even the game at 1-1. Following minors to both Walrod and Eddie Olczyk, Vermeersch grabbed the puck and set up in the slot, where he blasted a one-timer past Bloomington netminder B.J. O’Brien at 16:24. Nick Prockow and Nick Wheeler earned the assists. It was Vermeersch’s eighth point (4g, 4a) of the weekend.
The Thunder regained the lead at 4:43 of the second courtesy of Tyler Noseworthy. Alone at the blue line, Noseworthy collected a pass from Curtis Megginson in the Bloomington zone and skated in behind the Rivermen defense, before beating Levine with a backhander on the breakaway.
Walrod made it 3-1 with his second goal of the afternoon at 18:14 on the power play. Following a roughing minor to Cole Ruwe, Sy Nutkevitch played a cross-ice pass to Walrod in the right circle, who immediately turned and slapped a one-timer backdoor. Nutkevitch, whose five points have all come against Peoria, earned an assist as well as Megginson.
The Thunder netted the final goal of the game at 11:30 of the third when Burke Gallimore ripped a snap shot from the left circle past Levine’s blocker side.
Peoria finished the game 1-for-7 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill. Levine (6-5-3) suffered the loss with 29 saves, while Max Strang earned his first win since Nov. 16 and made 30 saves.
Bloomington outshot Peoria 33-31.
The Rivermen will escape the winter weather and open a four-game road trip on Thursday with a 6:30 CST puck drop against the Columbus Cottonmouths in Columbus, Georgia. The game can be heard locally on CD Country 107.9 FM or online at www.cd1079.net. Fans can also follow along via the live video and audio stream at www.americaonesports.com.