ICE FLYERS EDGE RIVERMEN 2-1 ON SATURDAY
The Peoria Rivermen held the Pensacola Ice Flyers in check for the second straight night, but Adam Pawlick netted the game-winner at 11:54 of the third period as the Rivermen fell 2-1 on Saturday at the Pensacola Civic Center.
With the loss, the Rivermen fell to 27-18-7 (61 points) on the season and to fifth place in the league standings – one point shy of Huntsville and the Mississippi RiverKings who are tied for third. In addition, Pensacola extended its winning streak to eight games and its point streak to a record-setting 20 games. On the other hand, Peoria’s four-game point streak was snapped, while Peoria finished the season-series 0-2-3 against the Ice Flyers.
Pensacola, which clinched home-ice advantage throughout the 2014 President’s Cup playoffs, opened the scoring at 4:02 of the second period courtesy of Ryan Salvis. From the right side, Steve Whitely fired a shot on target that was knocked aside by Carr, but the rebound bounced to Salvis who capitalized on the second chance. Whitely and Jeremy Gates notched the helpers.
The physical play escalated early in the third when Mitchell Good forced Chris Greene awkwardly into the right half-wall at 2:57. In response, Oskroba came over and dropped the gloves with Good, who was given a two-minute minor for boarding as well as a game misconduct for inciting an opponent. Oskroba was also given a two-minute minor for instigating, while each received a five-minute fighting major as well.
The Rivermen evened the game at 4:50 of the third when Greene scored his first goal with Peoria. During 4-on-4 play, Charlie Carkin sent a wrister in from the left side that was redirected from the doorstep by Greene and past Pensacola netminder Ross MacKinnon. Carkin and Alex Mentink each earned an assist, the latter of whom was in his first game back since being placed on the injured reserve Dec. 21.
Pawlick registered the game’s final goal at 11:54 of the third during a 3-on-2 rush. From the left circle, Salvis fed the puck to Pawlick in the slot, who slid to the right and found the back of the net on a wrister.
Pensacola outshot Peoria 41-36 on the night, while the Rivermen went 0-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.
Despite the loss, rookie netminder Kevin Carr (1-1-0) made 39 saves in just his second professional start. On the other hand, MacKinnon earned the win with 35 saves. He is now 19-0-3 in his last 22 appearances.
The Rivermen conclude their three-game road trip and three-game weekend series on Sunday with a 3:05 p.m. CST puck drop against the Mississippi Surge in Biloxi, Mississippi. 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.