Rivermen Snap Skid, Outgun Thunderbolts Friday
January 26, 2018 7:15 pm
Photo Credit: Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
Rivermen Snap Skid, Outgun Thunderbolts Friday
Economos’ pair lifts Rivermen to victory over Evansville
Peoria, IL – The Peoria Rivermen used a pair of goals, including the eventual game-winner, from Michael Economos as they never trailed and cruised to a 6-3 victory over the Evansville Thunderbolts Friday. The win snaps a season-long three-game losing streak for the Rivermen, and lifts them to 41 points on the season, good for a third-place tie with two games remaining in the weekend series between the Rivermen and Thunderbolts.
The Rivermen got on the board early in the first period when winger Michael Economos collected a loose puck behind the Evansville net, circled around from right wing to left and came out to the bottom of the left circle, snapping a shot past the trapper of Thunderbolts goaltender Jonah Imoo for the 1-0 edge at 2:12 of the first period.
Peoria added to their lead a little over two minutes later while shorthanded, with Rivermen winger Cody Dion serving a hooking penalty. Rivermen winger Alec Hagaman took a two-line pass from teammate Dave Pszenyczny, entered the left wing of the Evansville zone, and sent a pass that found a streaking Justin Greenberg flying through the slot. Greenberg collected the pass and flicked a shot over Imoo’s shoulder for the 2-0 Rivermen advantage at 4:25 of the opening stanza.
The Rivermen built their lead to a three-goal edge with a tally early in the game’s middle period. The Evansville defense attempted to clear the puck from their own zone, but the puck found Rivermen center Joseph Widmar, who shoveled the puck from the high slot, off the skates of Evansville center Nick D’Avolio. The loose puck caromed to winger Connor Gorman, who corralled the bouncing puck in the slot and fired a wrister past Imoo for the 3-0 Rivermen advantage at 2:14 of the second period.
Evansville got on the board with a pair of goals in the latter half of the second period. With Evansville on the power-play courtesy of a Rivermen bench minor for Too Many Men, Thunderbolts center Jackson Leef held the puck on the right wing of the Rivermen zone, and sent a backhanded pass netward, where Evansville winger Dave Williams deflected it over the shoulder of Rivermen goaltender Tyler Parks for a 3-1 score at 11:14 of the frame. Evansville pulled to within a goal in the late stages of the period on a 3-on-1 break, when Thunderbolts center Dylan Clarke slipped a pass across the goalmouth to teammate John Scorcia, who fired the puck past Parks’ outstretched pad to make the score 3-2 at 15:34 of the middle frame.
The Rivermen pushed their lead back to two goals with less than five minutes to play in the second period. Rivermen defenseman/center Justin Carvalho put a shot toward the net that squirted away from Imoo and fluttered to the top of the crease, where Economos popped it top shelf into the back of the net to make it a 4-2 Rivermen edge at 16:05 of the second period.
Evansville cut into the Rivermen lead back down to one in the opening minutes of the third period. While the teams were playing 4-on-4, Thunderbolts defenseman Brendan Mitchell raced through the neutral zone and slipped a pass to teammate Chase Nieuwendyk. Niuewendyk skated into the Rivermen end and fired a shot from the high slot that beat Parks over the shoulder, clanked off the crossbar and into the net to cut into the Rivermen lead 4-3 at 1:21 of the frame.
Peoria regained their two-goal lead once more in the early stages of the third period. With play raging in the Evansville zone, Hagaman fought along the end boards for a loose puck. Hagaman carried the puck away from the scrum and out of the left-wing corner, spinning and firing a shot past Imoo and into the back of the net to make the score 5-3 at 6:01 of the third period. The score remained 5-3 until the game’s final minute, when Rivermen winger Ryan Siiro notched an empty-net tally for the eventual 6-3 final.
Parks stopped 30 of 33 shots faced in net to earn his ninth win of the season in goal for the Rivermen. The victory lifts Parks to 9-3-0 on the season and snaps a personal two-game skid.
Notes: Economos’s two goals earned him his first career multi-goal and multi-point game….In his return to the Peoria lineup, Greenberg collected his first point since November 11 vs Knoxville…Rivermen defenseman Jordan Carvalho recorded a pair of assists for his first career multi-point effort…Widmar also posted a pair of helpers for his first multi-point outing since November 17 at Evansville…The Rivermen return to action Saturday night when they travel to Evansville, IN to play the second of a three-game weekend series against the Thunderbolts, this time at the Ford Center, with game time set for 7:15 p.m.…The broadcast of the game can be heard, starting with the pre-game show, at 6:55 p.m. at http://mixlr.com/peoria-rivermen/
Group, single game, and season tickets for Peoria's 36th 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)