The Peoria Rivermen jumped out to an early two-goal lead on Friday but couldn’t make it stick as the Fayetteville FireAntz scored three times in the third period for a 5-4 win at the Crown Coliseum. Fayetteville captain Bobby Reid scored twice while defenseman Zach Carriveau added four assists to help hand Peoria its sixth loss in as many games.
The Rivermen (2-5-1-0) remain in eighth place in the SPHL standings and fall to 0-5-1-0 in the month of November. Goaltender Eric Levine suffered his fourth loss in as many games and falls to 0-3-1-0 in his professional career.
For tonight's full box score, click here.
The night started out promising for the Rivermen who opened the game with a 2-0 lead. At 9:03 of the first period, Taylor Larsen netted his second goal of the season after grabbing a Nick Prockow pass at the top of the goal mouth and slipping it past FireAntz netminder Kyle Rank. It was the first time Peoria had scored the first goal in a game this season. Prockow and Steve Morra recorded the helpers.
The Rivermen helped their cause at 5:39 of the second with a one-timer by Dustin Parks from the top of the crease. With elusive moves, Parks found Stanfield down low, who then found Prockow who immediately fed Parks and rewarded him with an open look at the net. It was Park's first SPHL goal.
Fayetteville would not be denied though as they cut the deficit to one while on the power play at 8:57 of the second. Following a high sticking penalty to Parks, Brandon Richardson found a wide-open Reid for his second goal of the season during a 4-on-3 advantage.
Less than two minutes later, the FireAntz evened the game courtesy of Chris Greene. At the 10:23 mark, Greene ripped a low shot past Levine’s glove side for his second of the year and a 2-2 tie.
The Rivermen answered shortly into the third period as Tyler Fernandez scored at the 2:13 mark to give Peoria a 3-2 lead. From the right point, Nick Wheeler sent a shot towards the net that was initially saved by Rank, but the rebound came right to Fernandez who found the back of the net.
Just 51 seconds later, Brett Liscomb evened the score with a goal off a faceoff in Peoria's zone. It was Liscomb's second of the year, which came at the 3:04 mark.
The flood gates opened for the Rivermen at 7:56 in the third period when the FireAntz capitalized for the second time on the power play. Following an interference call to Nick Metcalfe, Reid found the back of the net for his second goal of the game to give Fayetteville its first lead.
At the 12:30 mark, the FireAntz grew their advantage to 5-3 as a defensive mistake in Peoria’s own zone turned into a wide-open look for John Clewlow in front who capitalized for his first goal of the season.
Peoria fought back late as Wheeler made it 5-4 with less than a minute to go in regulation. At 19:12, Peoria pulled Levine for the extra attacker and Joe Schiller sent a pass across the blue line to Wheeler who fired a shot from the top of the right circle. The wrister found its way through traffic and into the net for his second of the year. Schiller was credited with an assist, his team-leading sixth helper of the year.
Peoria finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-4 on the penalty kill. Rank (2-0-0) recorded his second win of the year with 24 saves on 27 shots.
The Rivermen outshot Fayetteville 27-24 on the night.
Peoria concludes a 5-game road trip on Saturday with a 6:05 p.m. puck drop against the Fayetteville FireAntz at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina. 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.