THUNDER TOP RIVERMEN 2-1 ON FRIDAY
Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
Kyle Watson scored the game-winning goal during a 5-on-3 power play in the third period on Friday, which lifted the Bloomington Thunder past the Peoria Rivermen 2-1 at Carver Arena. Nick Prockow netted Peoria’s only goal, also on a 5-on-3 advantage, while Rivermen goaltender Kyle Rank suffered the loss after stopping 26 of 28 shots.
Overall, Peoria falls to 15-12-3 on the season (33 points) and remains fifth in the SPHL standings. In addition, the loss drops the Rivermen to 9-4-0 against Bloomington this year.
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS – BOX SCORE
Bloomington stormed out of the gate and opened the scoring just 1:32 into the game courtesy of Tyler Noseworthy’s eighth tally of the year. From the neutral zone, captain Travis Granbois gained the puck and brought it ahead for a 2-on-1 fast break into the Peoria zone. Granbois’ initial shot from the left circle was stopped by Rank, but the rebound fell to the stick of Noseworthy at the back post, who tapped it in for a 1-0 Thunder lead. Granbois and Jason Pietrasiak earned assists.
Peoria evened the game during a 5-on-3 power play in the second when Nick Prockow earned his 13th goal of the season at 4:24. Following an interference call to Alex Milley and a four-minute double minor to Eddie Olczyk for high sticking, Prockow grabbed the puck in the right circle before ripping a wrister past goaltender BJ O’Brien’s blocker. Schiller earned his team-leading 17th assist on the play, while Tyler Amburgey earned the second helper.
In the third, Bloomington regained the lead when Kyle Watson scored his team-leading 10th of the year during a 5-on-3 power play at 5:25. Following a high sticking minor to Schiller and an elbowing minor to Cole Ruwe, Curtis Megginson gained possession at the top of the slot and dished it to Noseworthy in space at the left circle. Noseworthy played a quick pass across the crease, where Watson was unmarked at the back post and able to place the puck into the open net on the forehand. Megginson and Noseworthy earned assists on play.
With 1:14 remaining in regulation, the Rivermen pulled Rank from goal to get a 6-on-5 advantage, however, Peoria failed to register a single shot on goal during the final stages of the game.
O’Brien (4-7-1) made 23 saves to earn the win for Bloomington.
The Rivermen were outshot 28-24 on the night, matching the team’s third lowest shot total on the season. Peoria also finished the game 1-for-8 on the power play, and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. Furthermore, the loss is just Peoria’s third when allowing two goals or fewer during a contest.
Peoria finalizes its weekend series with Bloomington on Sunday with a 3:15 p.m. puck drop at Carver Arena. Sunday is Fun on the Run Family Day, as kids 12 and under receive a $1 upper bowl ticket with a paid adult ticket. Entertainment includes giant inflatables, free face painting, balloons from The Unique Twist and an appearance by Dora the Explorer. There will also be a post-game skate with the entire team. Plus, “Loaded Tickets” are still on sale, which include a lower bowl seat, plus a hot dog, popcorn and soda for just $15. Loaded tickets can be purchased at 676-1040 or through the Civic Center box office.
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.