Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
In a game filled with seven fights and 180 total penalty minutes, center Nick Prockow scored his second hat trick of the season to lead the Peoria Rivermen to a 5-1 victory over the Bloomington Thunder at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum on Saturday. Four of Peoria’s five goals were scored on special teams as the Rivermen notched three power play goals and their second shorthanded goal of the season.
With the win, the Rivermen improved to 5-6-3 (13pts) on the year and hold station in eighth place in the Southern Professional Hockey League standings. In addition, goaltender Eric Levine (3-4-3) earned his second win in as many nights after stopping 36 of 41 shots.
For the full box score, click here.
Peoria got on the board for the first time with just under two minutes left in the opening frame. While shorthanded, Joe Schiller brought the puck into the Bloomington zone and found Parker Stanfield in front, who backhanded a shot on goal. Initially, the shot was saved by Thunder netminder Max Strang, but the rebound came right to Prockow who buried it at 18:08.
At 6:27 of the middle frame, Prockow made it 2-0 with his second goal of the game on the power play. With just four seconds left on a Paul DAgostino slashing minor, Prockow received a pass from Schiller in the right circle and found the back of the net on a one-time shot.
Prockow completed his hat trick at 12:20 of the second with his team-leading fifth power play goal of the year. From the left side, Stanfield sent a pass across the goal line to a wide open Prockow at the far post, who one-timed it home before Strang could slide across. Stanfield and Garrett Vermeersch were credited with the helpers.
Peoria made it 4-0 for the first time this season on the power play with less than four seconds to go in the middle frame. From the left corner, Vermeersch sent a crisp pass between the circles where Alex Mentink took control and buried his first of the year and first SPHL goal at 19:56. Vermeersch and Nick Wheeler registered the assists.
The Thunder notched their only tally of the game at 3:05 of the third courtesy of Travis Granbois’ second goal of the year. During 5-on-5 hockey, Granbois grabbed a pass from Sy Nutkevitch in front and beat Levine glove side to make it 4-1.
As the physical play continued to escalate midway through the third period, Peoria’s Charlie Carkin made it 5-1 with his first professional goal at the 12:51 mark. From the left point, Carkin fired a wrist shot through traffic that missed everyone and sailed into the back of the net for final tally of the night. Taylor Larsen and Prockow got the assists.
The game included six game misconducts, one misconduct, one match penalty and six ejections overall – most of which occurred in the final minute of regulation. At 19:25 of the third, Bloomington’s Kory Helowka intentionally fired a puck into the Peoria bench and received the match penalty for “attempting to injure.” For the Rivermen, five separate players dropped the gloves at least once on the night, including Stanfield and Carkin who each fought twice.
Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
In addition, both head coaches expressed their displeasure with each other late in the third period through a heated argument that led to banging on the glass between the benches.
Prockow (3g, 1a), Schiller (2a), Stanfield (2a) and Vermeersch (2a) each notched a multi-point game for the Rivermen. For Prockow, his four points marked a career-high.
Peoria finished the game 3-for-11 on the power play and is now 9-for-30 against Bloomington on the man advantage this season. The Rivermen also went a perfect 7-for-7 on the penalty kill and outshot the Thunder 41-28.
The Rivermen return home next weekend for a Friday-Saturday series against the Huntsville Havoc at Carver Arena. The puck drops on Friday at 7:15 p.m. and 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.