RANK STOPS CAREER-HIGH 47 SHOTS IN 2-1 SHOOTOUT LOSS
Kyle Rank and Ross MacKinnon went back-and-forth between the pipes on Friday before the Pensacola Ice Flyers topped the Peoria Rivermen 2-1 in a shootout at the Pensacola Civic Center. The league’s top netminder, Rank made a career-high 47 saves, while the league’s number two goaltender, MacKinnon, made 17.
In the six-round shootout, Joe Caveney and John Dunbar scored for Pensacola, while Chris Greene had the only tally for Peoria.
With the loss, Peoria fell to 27-17-7 (61 points) on the season, but earned a point and controls sole possession of third place in the Southern Professional Hockey League standings. In addition, the Rivermen extended their point streak to four games, while the Ice Flyers earned points for the 19th consecutive game – a league record.
The Rivermen opened the scoring at 10:36 of the first when Matt Viola notched his 12th goal of the season and extended his point streak to six games. With the puck behind Pensacola’s net, MacKinnon came out to force the puck around the boards, but Taylor Larsen stripped the Ice Flyers’ goaltender and fed it to Viola on the right side. From the extended goal line, Viola sent a quick shot into an open net for a 1-0 advantage. Larsen was credited with the only helper.
Less than three minutes later, Jeremy Gates evened the game when he received a pass at the doorstep from Dunbar. There, Gates’ initial shot was denied by Rank, but the second-chance bounced right back to him, which he converted on at 13:26. Dunbar and Steve Whitely notched the assists.
Both teams went scoreless for the remainder of regulation and through the five-minute overtime session. In the shootout, Caveney notched the final goal in the sixth round.
Peoria finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. In net, Rank fell to 17-8-3, while MacKinnon improved to 20-1-3.
The Rivermen return to action on Saturday for a 7:05 pm CST rematch against the Pensacola Ice Flyers at the Pensacola Civic Center. 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.