RIVERMEN WRAP UP REGULAR SEASON WITH 2-1 OVERTIME LOSS
The Peoria Rivermen concluded their regular season on Saturday with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Fayetteville FireAntz at the Crown Coliseum. Fayetteville’s Corey Tamblyn evened the game with just 22.9 seconds left and John Clewlow netted the game-winner, while Nick Prockow scored Peoria’s only tally.
With the loss, Peoria finished the regular season 30-18-8 (68 points) and in third place in the Southern Professional Hockey League standings. In addition, the Rivermen ended the regular season with a .607 points-making percentage, the best in franchise history since 2005-06 (.625). Peoria will match up against the sixth-seeded Columbus Cottonmouths in the first round of the 2014 President’s Cup playoffs.
After more than 43 minutes of scoreless hockey, the Rivermen struck first at 3:39 of the third when Nick Prockow cleaned up a rebound created by Ben Oskroba’s shot from the blue line. Along with Oskroba, Garrett Vermeersch notched an assist, which placed him in a tie for the rookie scoring title with Pensacola’s Joe Caveney (57 points).
11 seconds later, the physical play escalated for the first time when Alex Mentink and Tommy Lange dropped the gloves on a faceoff and traded blows for nearly a minute.
Peoria held its 1-0 advantage into the final minute of regulation until Fayetteville pulled netminder Peter Skoggard for the extra attacker. At 19:37, the FireAntz evened the game when Yuri Cheremetiev backhanded a shot in front that was redirected by Tamblyn and past Rivermen goaltender Kevin Carr.
In overtime, Clewlow grabbed the puck on the right side and rang a shot off the post that deflected off Carr and trickled in at the 3:46 mark.
Peoria finished the game 0-for-2 on the power play, but a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. The Rivermen also outshot Fayetteville 34-31.
Carr (2-1-1) made 29 saves and suffered the loss, while Skoggard made 33 saves to earn the win.
Peoria concluded the season-series with Fayetteville 4-1-1.
The Rivermen begin their quest for the President’s Cup on Wednesday with a 7:15 p.m. puck drop against the Columbus Cottonmouths at Carver Arena. For tickets and more information, please visit the Rivermen office located inside the Peoria Civic Center, or call 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.