RIVERMEN FALL TO THUNDER 2-1 ON TUESDAY
Mary Heern, He Clicks She Clicks Photography
Dean Yakura scored his first goal of the season on Tuesday but the Bloomington Thunder responded with two unanswered goals to defeat the Peoria Rivermen 2-1 at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Reid MacLeod notched the game-winner more than 12 minutes into the third, while the Rivermen went 0-for-4 on the power play.
With the loss, Peoria falls to 20-14-4 on the season (44 points) and remains fifth in the SPHL standings. In addition, Peoria’s six-game point streak comes to an end, while the Rivermen have now dropped each of their last three games in the season-series to Bloomington.
For the full box score, click here.
Peoria opened the scoring with just 16.3 seconds to play in the first period when Adam Hartley found Parker Stanfield on a backdoor pass from the left circle. After Stanfield jammed at it several times from the back post, Yakura knocked the loose puck home past Thunder netminder B.J. O’Brien at 19:44.
Seconds later, Jarrett Rush and Dennis Sicard dropped the gloves for the night’s first bout just as the first period expired. Each earned a five-minute fighting major as well as a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct minor.
The Thunder answered at 14:05 of the middle frame to even the game on the power play. Following a holding minor to Stanfield at 13:17, Curtis Megginson fired a slap shot from the top of the right circle that was redirected from the doorstep by Bobby Watson past Rivermen goaltender Eric Levine. The tally was Watson’s first goal of the season in just his second game, while Megginson and Paul DAgostino recorded the helpers.
MacLoad collected the go-ahead goal at 12:38 of the third when he led a 3-on-2 charge down the right side and ripped a shot on target that Levine knocked down, but watched trickle into the back of the net. Travis Granbois and Sicard earned the assists.
At 15:35, Aaron McGill and Craig Cole got tied up in front of the Peoria bench and dropped the gloves for the game’s second fight. Following the duel, McGill flung his helmet as he headed to the tunnel and was assessed a game misconduct for removing equipment.
With one minute to play, Levine was pulled for an extra attacker, but it was to no avail. In addition, Levine (10-8-4) suffered the defeat after he made 27 saves. The loss also snapped his four-game undefeated in regulation streak. O’Brien (5-9-1) earned the win after he made 29 saves.
Peoria outshot Bloomington 30-29, but finished the game 1-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Rivermen begin a three-game weekend series this Friday with a 7:15 p.m. puck drop against the Fayetteville FireAntz at Carver Arena. Friday is “Valentine’s Date Night” where fans can get two upper bowl tickets for just $20! Plus, the “Loaded Ticket” option returns and fans can purchase a lower bowl seat, plus a hot dog, popcorn and soda for just $15. The game can be heard locally on CD Country 107.9 FM or online here. Fans can also follow along via the live video and audio stream at www.americaonesports.com.