NEW FACES PROPEL RIVERMEN TO 4-1 WIN
Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
The Peoria Rivermen received big contributions from several new faces on Saturday en route to a 4-1 win over the Mississippi Surge in front of 4,427 fans at Carver Arena. Rookie goaltender Kevin Carr made 26 saves and earned the win in his professional debut, while center Chris Greene notched two assists in his Rivermen debut. Additionally, rookie Ben Oskroba collected a goal and an assist in just his fifth pro game.
With the win, Peoria improves to 26-17-6 (58 points) and remains in a two-way tie for fourth in the SPHL standings with the Mississippi RiverKings. The Rivermen also extended their point streak at home to 11 straight games.
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS – BOX SCORE
Adam Hartley opened the scoring at 5:37 of the first period when Greene found Steve Morra on the left wing, who played a cross-ice pass to Hartley for a one-time tally from the right circle. Morra and Greene notched the assists on the even-strength goal.
Less than three minutes later, the Surge evened the game when Bill Baker scored on the power play. Following an interference minor to Morra, Baker redirected an Evan Zych shot from the doorstep for a 1-1 tie at the 8:25 mark. Zych and Ian Boots were each credited with an assist.
Morra helped the Rivermen reclaim the lead at 17:44 of the first when he capitalized on a rebound chance from the doorstep. Joe Schiller ripped a shot on target from the right side that was initially stopped Mathieu Dugas, but the Surge goaltender coughed up the second chance to Morra who converted for his 10th of the year. Schiller and Oskroba registered the assists, which gave the latter of the two his first pro point.
At the end of the opening frame, Peoria led the shot count 22-9. It was the most shots the Rivermen have produced in any period this season.
Oskroba extended Peoria’s lead to 3-1 at 17:08 of the second when he ripped a slap shot from the blueline through traffic and into the back of the net for his first pro goal. Stanfield and Carkin recorded the assists.
Matt Viola added the final goal of the game at 14:51 of the third when he received a pass from Greene in the left circle and went forehand-to-backhand for his 11th goal of the year. Greene and Morra notched the assists, which gave Greene a multi-assist game and Morra his second-career three-point night.
Peoria finished the game 0-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill. In addition, Peoria outshot Mississippi 39-27.
Carr (1-0-0) earned the win, while Dugas (13-12-2) suffered the loss after he made 35 saves. Meanwhile, Dugas is now just 1-3-0 against the Rivermen this season and Peoria controls the season-series overall 4-0-1.
The Rivermen conclude a three-game weekend series against the Mississippi Surge on Sunday with a 3:15 p.m. puck drop at Carver Arena. Sunday is “Family Fun on the Run Day” featuring $1 upper bowl tickets for kids 12 and under, $3 kid’s meals (hot dog, chips, and a drink), plus a special appearance by Bob the Builder. In addition, giant inflatables, face painting by Wild Style Design Co., and balloons by The Unique Twist begin at 1:30 p.m. Finally, all fans are invited to a post-game skate with the entire team on the Carver Arena ice. For tickets or more information, please call the Rivermen office at 309-676-1040. 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.