The Peoria Rivermen bounced back from a two-goal deficit to earn a point on Friday, but Ryan Salvis scored the lone goal in a shootout to lead the Pensacola Ice Flyers to a 3-2 win. Steve Morra and Garrett Vermeersch netted the goals for the Rivermen, while Ice Flyers netminder Peter Di Salvo made 35 saves for his league-leading sixth win of the year.
With the loss, Peoria falls to 3-6-2 on the season and 1-3-1 at home. In addition, rookie netminder Eric Levine falls to 1-4-2 on the year after stopping 28 of 30 shots.
For the full box score, click here.
Despite being outshot 19-9 in the first period, Pensacola struck first at 9:31 of the opening frame on the power play. From the left corner, Paul Rodrigues played a puck in front intended for Mitchell Good, which was deflected by Cole Ruwe’s stick in the crease and into the back of the net. Rodrigues was credited with the goal, his second of the year.
The Ice Flyers extended their lead at 2:47 of the second period courtesy of a great individual effort from John Dunbar. With speed down the right side, Dunbar gained the Peoria zone and took a shot towards the net that was initially blocked by defenseman Jarrett Rush. Dunbar grabbed the deflection however, and cleaned up the play for his third goal in the last two nights.
Peoria responded for the first time at 6:41 of the second courtesy of Vermeersch’s team-leading sixth goal of the year. During 4-on-4 play, Vermeersch grabbed the puck and cut towards the net before faking left, then going right to beat Di Salvo. It was the rookie’s first goal since Nov. 1.
At 12:04 of the third, Vermeersch’s college teammate Morra evened the game at 2-2 with his first professional goal. After a turnover in the neutral zone, Nick Prockow gained the blue line and fed the puck across to Steve Morra on a 2-on-1. Morra then pulled up from the top of the left circle and snapped a shot through Di Salvo’s five-hole for the only goal of the frame.
Peoria began overtime with a two-minute power play but was unable to capitalize with the man advantage. In the shootout, Salvis was the only one of nine skaters to find the back of the net, which occurred in the fifth round. Salvis weaved wide right, then wide left before going backhand to beat Levine five-hole.
Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
It was Peoria’s first shootout of the season and the team’s second game past regulation (0-2).
The Rivermen finished the game 0-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill. In addition, Peoria outshot the Ice Flyers 37-31.
Peoria concludes a three-game series against the Pensacola Ice Flyers on Saturday with a 7:15 p.m. puck drop at Carver Arena. 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