Rivermen Battle Past RiverKings Friday
March 9, 2018 7:00 pm
Rivermen Battle Past RiverKings Friday
Pulde earns second straight win in relief while Gorman nets pair in return
Southaven, MS – The Peoria Rivermen got a pair of goals from Connor Gorman, and 23 saves in relief from goaltender Mason Pulde, as they topped the Mississippi RiverKings 4-2 Friday night at the Landers Center. The win, Peoria’s third in a row, improves the Rivermen to 32-11-3 on the season before tomorrow night’s rematch with the RiverKings.
The Rivermen opened the scoring with a power-play tally just past the midway point of the game’s opening period. With RiverKings winger Bryan Arneson in the box for tripping, the Rivermen worked the puck around the RiverKings zone to defenseman Brandon Rumble atop the left point. Rumble skated toward the high slot and fired a slap shot that was redirected by Peoria winger Cody Dion, past RiverKings netminder Tyler Green for a 1-0 Peoria lead at 10:51 of the first.
The Rivermen doubled their lead with an even-strength goal later in the first frame. With the puck on the left wing of the Mississippi zone, Peoria’s drive to the net bounced through the slot to the right-wing side of the RiverKings net. Peoria winger Connor Gorman collected the puck, took it out front, and snuck a shot past Green for a 2-0 lead at 12:07 of the period.
The RiverKings cut into the Rivermen lead and tied the game with a pair of goals just 15 seconds apart in the back half of the first period. With play in the neutral zone, RiverKings winger Shane Bennett skated through center ice and into the Rivermen zone. Bennett crossed to the high slot and let fly with a wrister over the shoulder of Peoria goaltender Peter Di Salvo and into the net for a 2-1 score at 12:29 of the period. Just 15 seconds later, RiverKings captain Devin Mantha carried into the right-wing circle of the Peoria zone on an odd-man rush, cut to the middle of the zone, and jammed a puck through Di Salvo’s legs for the 2-2 tie at 12:44 of the period, chasing Di Salvo from the contest in favor of Mason Pulde.
The score remained tied at two goals apiece until the Rivermen took the lead for good in the final minute of the game’s second period. Rivermen defenseman Jordan Carvalho carried the puck up the right-wing wall of the RiverKings zone and down the goal line to the netfront. Carvalho’s initial shot was turned aside by Green, but Peoria center Joseph Widmar fired the rebound into the back of the net for the 3-2 Rivermen lead at 19:36 of the frame.
The Rivermen held their 3-2 lead until putting the game out of reach with an empty-net tally in the final minute of regulation. With Green on the bench for an extra RiverKings attacker, the Rivermen defense worked the puck out of their own zone and into neutral ice, where Gorman skated it to the red line and fired into the unprotected goal for the 4-2 final score at 19:01 of the third period.
Di Salvo stopped 6 of 8 shots faced in the first 12:44 of the game before leaving and taking no decision. Pulde earned his second straight win between the pipes, stopping all 23 shots faced in 47:16 of net time.
Notes: Gorman netted a pair of goals in his first game since being activated from Injured Reserve, marking his first multi-goal night since a hat-trick December 2 at Fayetteville…The goals also give Gorman a point or more in each of his last five games…Pulde has stopped the last 61 shots faced over 96 minutes of net time in two relief appearances…Rivermen winger Will Smith was held without a point to snap a 10-game point streak…The Rivermen return to action tomorrow night when they rematch the RiverKings at the Landers Center…Saturday evening’s game is scheduled for 7 o’clock…The broadcast of the game can be heard, starting with the pre-game show, at 6:40 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)