RIVERMEN OUTDUEL FIREANTZ FOR 5-3 WIN
Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
The Peoria Rivermen collected goals from five different skaters on Saturday and defeated the Fayetteville FireAntz, 5-3, in front of 5,710 fans at Carver Arena. The victory marked Peoria’s third straight against the FireAntz this season and extended its winning streak at home to six games.
Overall, Peoria improves to 22-14-4 this season (48 points) and remains fifth in the SPHL standings. In addition, the Rivermen now have points in eight of their last nine games and are 7-1-1 during that span.
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS – BOX SCORE
Former Fayetteville winger Aaron McGill opened the scoring at 10:18 of the first period when Dean Yakura grabbed the puck to the side of the FireAntz’ net and played it in front. The puck slide across the blue paint to the far side where McGill sent a one-timer past Peter Skoggard for his third of the year.
The FireAntz responded at 6:09 of the middle frame when John Clewlow walked in from the blue line on an uncontested break and beat Eric Levine glove side on the backhand. Nick Craven and Matt Ridley were credited with the assists.
Adam Hartley put Peoria back on top at 11:52 of the second when he played a shot to the doorstep that rattled off traffic and found the back of the net for his fourth of the year. Kory Helowka recorded the only assist on the goal.
Less than three minutes later, Parker Stanfield made it 3-1 on the power play with his seventh goal of the year. Following a holding minor to Craven, Tyler Amburgey gained possession and pulled up at the blue line before sending a pass ahead to Stanfield who beat Skoggard glove side at the 14:03 mark. Amburgey and Cole Ruwe each notched an assist. In addition, Stanfield now has at least one point in each of his last five games.
Fayetteville answered again at 15:54 of the second and cut the deficit to one on the power play. Following a holding minor to Ruwe, Derek Elliott circled to the top of the point and ripped a shot that Tommy Lange redirected from the doorstep. Elliott was credited with the only assist.
Taylor Larsen made it 4-2 at 9:27 of the third when he grabbed a Garrett Vermeersch pass at the blue line, walked in on a breakaway and went five-hole for his 13th of the year. Larsen also now has a goal in five straight games at home.
The FireAntz bounced back at 16:48 of the third and made it 4-3 during a 5-on-3 power play. Following a tripping minor to Ruwe and a slashing minor to Hartley 40 seconds later, Bobby Reed sent a pass across to Zach Carriveau, who scored on a slap shot from the top of the slot for his fourth of the year. Reed and Brandon Richardson collected the assists.
The Rivermen sealed the game at 18:15 of the third when Fayetteville pulled Skoggard and Matt Viola notched an empty netter for the 5-3 final.
Levine (11-8-4) earned the win between the pipes after he stopped 26 shots. Skoggard (9-12-3) suffered the loss after he denied 23 shots.
Peoria finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-6 on the penalty kill. It was the first time the Rivermen have allowed at least two power play goals against since Dec. 28 at Huntsville – a span of 19 games.
The Rivermen conclude a three-game weekend series on Sunday with a 3:15 p.m. puck drop against the Mississippi RiverKings at Carver Arena. Sunday is “Fun on the Run Family Day” featuring $1 upper bowl tickets for kids 12 and under, as well as $3 kid’s meals, which include a hot dog, chips and a drink. Plus, there will be giant inflatables, face painting and balloons by The Unique Twist beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the Great Hall. Finally, all fans are invited to join a post-game skate with the entire team on the Carver Arena ice. 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.