Rivermen Ride into Playoffs With 4-2 Win to Close Regular Season

April 8, 2017 7:05 pm

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Photo Credit: Addison Blair/Peoria Rivermen

Rivermen Ride into Playoffs With 4-2 Win to Close Regular Season

Peoria set to face Knoxville in Best-of-3 first round

 

Peoria, IL – The Peoria Rivermen built a 3-0 lead in the first two periods and coasted to a 4-2 victory over the Mississippi RiverKings Saturday at Carver Arena, wrapping up the regular season. With the win, the Rivermen end the season in third place in the SPHL, and will face sixth-place Knoxville in a Best-of-3 first-round playoff series starting Wednesday at Carver Arena. Game time Wednesday will be 7:05, and tickets go on sale through the Rivermen Office at (309)-676-1040 beginning at 9 AM Monday morning.

 

The Rivermen got the scoring started in the first period off an offensive-zone faceoff. Rivermen defenseman Brandon Greenside collected the puck after the draw and fed a pass to fellow defenseman Don Olivieri, who rifled a slap shot from just inside the blue line, past the pad of RiverKings goaltender Brad Barone for a 1-0 lead at 12:43 of the opening stanza.

 

Peoria added to their lead early in the middle frame. Rivermen winger Jeff Jones corralled a loose puck in the right corner, slipped a pass to teammate Connor Gorman, who was stationed just above the crease. Gorman corralled the pass, and flicked the puck over Barone at 5:46 for a 2-0 Rivermen lead.

 

The Rivermen added again lead later in the second period when Michael Colantone raced down the right-wing boards and into the corner. Colantone then backhanded a pass to the top of the crease that was tipped in by line-mate Ryan Keller and past Barone at 13:12, for a 3-0 Rivermen advantage.

 

The RiverKings broke through at 19:49 of the second period. RiverKings winger Derek Sutliffe collected a bouncing puck just above the circles and sent a pass to the left circle to waiting teammate Mike Moran who fired the low angle shot just past the reach of outstretched Rivermen goaltender Storm Phaneuf to cut the Rivermen lead to 3-1.

 

The Rivermen added another goal in the early stages of the third period when Gorman collected a puck, chipped it off the right-wing boards, side stepped RiverKings defenseman Joe Sova, picked the puck up and skated into the right circle. He flicked the puck of the right shoulder of Barone at 7:32 for a 4-1 Rivermen lead.

 

Mississippi cut the Rivermen lead to two with less than five minutes to go in regulation. RiverKings defenseman Cody Castro fired a shot on goal from the blueline that Phaneuf stopped, but the rebound kicked to the top of the crease where Sutliffe collected the rebound and shoveled the puck past a sprawling Phaneuf at 14:33 to cut the Rivermen lead to 4-2.

 

Phaneuf stopped 28 of 30 shots in goal to earn his 13th win of the season, improving to 13-5-3 for the season. Phaneuf ends his rookie season winning 11 of his final 12 regular-season starts, dating back to a 6-1 win over Knoxville February 19 at Carver Arena.

 

Notes: Hoomaian collected his second multi-point game of the season with 2 assists….Gorman had his 5th multi-goal game of the season…Olivieri’s goal gives him 14 for the season, second to Pensacola’s Louis Belisle for most markers among defensemen…The Rivermen return to action Wednesday night for game one of the President’s Cup Playoffs night when they….Wednesday’s game starts at 7:05 Central Time…The broadcast of the game can be heard, starting with the pre-game show, at 6:45 p.m. at http://mixlr.com/peoria-rivermen/

 

Group, single game, and season tickets for Peoria's 35th season of professional hockey presented by Midwest Orthopaedic Center are on sale at the Toyota Box Office in the Peoria Civic Center, or by phone at the Rivermen office, located at 201 S.W. Jefferson Street, or over the phone at (309) 676-1040. For the latest Rivermen news and notes, follow online at www.rivermen.net or through Facebook (www.facebook.com/PeoriaRivermen) - Twitter(https://twitter.com/Peoria_Rivermen)