The Peoria Rivermen allowed seven goals from seven different skaters on Friday en route to a 7-2 loss to the Huntsville Havoc at Propst Arena. Starting goaltender Russ Stein allowed two goals in the first 10 minutes and was pulled for rookie netminder Eric Levine, while Peoria's offense went scoreless on the power play and finished the game 0-for-8.
After starting the season with back-to-back wins, Peoria suffered its third straight defeat and falls to 2-3-0-0 this season. The Rivermen have also not scored more than two goals in a game since Oct. 26.
Huntsville opened the scoring at 7:16 of the opening frame courtesy of Dominic Osman. While skating 5-on-5, Osman received a pass from Justin Fox, then turned and found the back of the net for his fourth goal of the year. Fox and Rob Florentino were credited with the assists.
Less than two minutes later, Justin Cseter made it 2-0 with 10:46 left in the first period. The Havoc forward capitalized on a rebound left by Stein and netted the game’s second goal from the doorstep.
At the 17:54 mark of the first, the Rivermen answered and cut their deficit to one as Parker Stanfield netted his first goal with Peoria. With speed, Stanfield brought the puck into the Havoc zone before cutting to the net and pounding one past Havoc goaltender Jesse Kallechy.
Huntsville closed out the first period with a pair of late goals to make it 4-1. At 18:32, Josh Harris scored his first power play goal of the season just 38 seconds after Stanfield’s answer. Then, with time expiring, the flood gates opened as Ray Ortiz knocked in a lucky bounce from behind the net as the buzzer sounded.
The Havoc made it 5-1 in the middle frame with Fox’s first goal and second point of the night on the power play. Following a slashing minor against Ryan Raven, the puck cycled around to Fox on the near side in Peoria’s zone and the potent forward found the back of the net past Levine at 17:15.
The Rivermen fell further behind at the 8:31 mark in the third period. Levine saved a barrage of shots, but eventually Stuart Stefan ripped a slap shot glove side that slipped under the cross bar for a 6-1 game.
Quick and efficient passing helped the Havoc to their final goal at 13:56, which made it 7-1. Following a slashing minor against center Taylor Larsen, Florentino shoved home a loose puck in the crease for Huntsville’s third power play goal of the game. It was also Florentino’s fourth point of the night.
Just 12 seconds later at the 14:08 mark, the Rivermen added the final goal of the game with Raven’s first of the year and first goal with Peoria. After the puck found its way behind the Huntsville net, Kallechy came out to play it but threw it directly to Raven at the near half wall, who flipped it into a wide open net for the 7-2 final score.
Levine suffered the loss in his pro debut after making 14 saves on 19 shots in relief. Kallechy (2-1-0-0) earned the win for the Havoc with 29 saves on 31 shots.
The game also featured a pair of second period fights, including Cole Ruwe and Osman as well as Jarrett Rush and Corey Bellamy. It was Peoria's first two fights of the season.
Despite the loss, Peoria outshot Huntsville 31-25.
The Rivermen continue their 5-game road trip on Saturday with 7:15 p.m. puck drop against the Mississippi RiverKings in Southaven, Mississippi. The game can be heard locally on CD Country 107.9 FM or online at www.cd1079.net.