Rivermen Headlines

Published: March 20th 2014 @ 7:15 PM by: Alan Fuehring








Fri, Mar. 21

6:05 pm CST

@ Fayetteville

CD Country 107.9 FM / Live Video

Sat, Mar. 22

6:05 pm CST

@ Fayetteville

CD Country 107.9 FM / Live Video



The Rivermen enter their final two games of the regular season this weekend on a two-game winning streak and with points in six of their last seven games overall. Last Tuesday, Peoria completed the home portion of its schedule with a convincing 4-1 win over Bloomington, in which Joe Schiller notched a career-high three points (3a). In addition, rookie netminder Kevin Carr stopped 20 of 21 shots en route to his second pro win in just his third start. Overall, the Rivermen sit third in the standings entering Friday’s contest - three points ahead of the Huntsville Havoc and Mississippi RiverKings.



As the league’s final weekend of the regular season arrives, each of the eight spots in the 2014 President’s Cup playoffs have been filled. Only Fayetteville and Bloomington will be left out of the postseason. For Peoria, through safely in the playoff, there is still much to play for. Only two points on the RiverKings will clinch home-ice advantage in the first round, while four points on Huntsville will lock the Rivermen into the third seed in the playoffs. The postseason is set to begin Tuesday, March 25. However, the Rivermen will not know the specific dates for their first round until the matchups are set following this weekend.



Friday will mark the fifth of six meetings this season between the Rivermen and FireAntz. Through four games, Peoria leads the series 3-1-0, which includes a two-game sweep of Fayetteville at Carver Arena Feb 14-15. In the first of those games, Kyle Rank notched a 33-save shutout against his former team in a 3-0 win, before Peoria won 5-3 the next night. The two teams also met Nov. 15-16 in Fayetteville, where Rank started both games for the FireAntz before he was traded to Peoria. The Rivermen fell 5-4 in round one, but answered with a 2-1 victory the next evening.



Mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the FireAntz will be looking to build for next year in a pair of games this weekend against Peoria. Overall, Fayetteville is just two points ahead of Bloomington at the bottom of the league standings and is 3-6-1 over its last 10 games. Offensively, the FireAntz are led by their captain Bobby Reid (35 points), while Kyle McNeil leads the team in goal scoring. In net, Peter Skoggard is 14-17-4 with a team-high four shutouts.   



Rivermen goaltender Kyle Rank and center Chris Greene are returning to a familiar sight this weekend as both players spent a large chunk of the season with Fayetteville, early on. In eight appearances with the FireAntz, Rank went 5-0-1 with one shutout before he was traded for future considerations on Dec. 18. Since then, Rank has gone 13-7-3 with a league-best 1.78 GAA, .943 saves rate and a record-setting seven shutouts with Peoria. As for Greene, he was traded to Peoria on Feb. 18 for defenseman Kory Helowka. Prior to the deal, Greene produced 20 points (7g, 13a) in 35 games with the FireAntz this season.



Rookie winger Matt Viola has earned at least one point in eight of his last nine games dating back to March 1 vs. Louisiana (6g, 5a). In addition, Viola has jumped to sixth in team scoring with 27 points overall.



Despite a come-from-behind win against the Mississippi Surge in Biloxi last Sunday, the Rivermen have struggled away from Carver Arena as of late. In fact, Peoria has dropped eight of its last nine games on the road and has been outscored 23-13 during that span. In addition, the Rivermen are just 3-for-41 (7%) on the power play in those games.



Almost half of Peoria’s outcomes this season (46%) have been decided by just one goal including all three games on the road last weekend. Overall, the Rivermen are 12-6-7 in one-goal games this year (.620) and 1-1-0 in those contests against Fayetteville.


Playoff ticket packages are on sale now by calling the Rivermen office at 309-676-1040 or by stopping in during regular business hours (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Plus, the final two games of the regular season 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.