RIVERMEN THUNDERSTRUCK ON FRIDAY
Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
Curtis Megginson scored a pair of goals on Friday as the Bloomington Thunder topped the Peoria Rivermen 5-1 in front of 3,253 fans at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Gritty forward Aaron McGill scored Peoria’s lone goal on the power play, while Kyle Rank made 21 saves on 25 shots in the loss.
The Rivermen fall to 13-11-3 on the season, but remain in fifth place in the league standings with 29 points. In addition, Peoria is now 7-3-0 against the Thunder this year.
For the full box score, click here.
Bloomington captain Travis Granbois kicked off the scoring just over four minutes into the game with a shorthanded tally and his fifth of the year. Following an interference minor to Ron Cramer at 3:11, Rank came out of his net to play the puck from behind, but mishandled it and allowed Granbois to steal it away and score on an uncovered goal at 4:03.
Less than three minutes later, the Thunder extended their lead when Burke Gallimore sent a pass across to Megginson at the back door, who one-timed it home at 6:48. Gallimore and Branden Parkhouse each earned an assist.
Peoria responded at 8:13 of the first period and cut its deficit in half when Aaron McGill netted his first goal with the Rivermen on the power play. Following a tripping minor to Paul DAgostino, McGill gained possession through the slot and made a nifty backhand to forehand move to beat Bloomington goaltender BJ O’Brien five-hole. It was McGill’s second of the season, which made it 2-1. Justin Gvora and Nick Prockow notched the helpers.
Bloomington regained its two-goal lead at 17:55 of the middle frame courtesy of Kyle Watson’s team-leading ninth of the year. After collecting a pass from Patrick Shafer on the right side, Watson turned and beat Rank with a wrister to make it 3-1.
Megginson added his second tally of the night on the power play at 9:57 of the third following a crisp shot from Parkhouse from the right circle. The initial shot, which deflected off of Rank’s glove and straight into the air, fell directly in Peoria’s goal mouth before Megginson tapped it home for a 4-1 score.
Gallimore added the final tally with an empty netter at 19:14, less than 10 seconds after Rank was pulled for the extra attacker.
Peoria finished the game 1-for-5 on the power, which was the fourth straight game the Rivermen have recorded a power-play goal. In addition, Peoria’s penalty kill went 3-for-4 on the night.
The Rivermen outshot Bloomington 34-26 in the game. Additionally, Prockow extended his point-streak to four games, while Garrett Vermeersch’s season-high 10-game point streak came to an end.
Peoria returns home Saturday for a 7:15 p.m. rematch against the Thunder at Carver Arena. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a free set of Rivermen thunder sticks courtesy of Accelerated Rehab. Plus, “loaded tickets” are still available, which include a lower bowl seat, hot dog, popcorn and soda for just $15! 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.