Rivermen Cap Comeback to Down Havoc Friday
January 4, 2019 7:15 pm
Photo Credit: Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
Rivermen Cap Comeback to Down Havoc Friday
Two goals in final 5:35 of regulation catapult Peoria into sole possession of first
Peoria, IL – The Peoria Rivermen and Huntsville Havoc traded the lead three times before Peoria netted two goals in the final 5:35 of regulation to earn a 4-3 victory at Carver Arena Friday night. The win improves the Rivermen to 18-3-3, and lifts them to sole possession of first place in the SPHL standings before tomorrow night’s game against Evansville.
The Havoc opened the scoring with a tally early in the first period. Havoc winger Rob Darrar snatched the puck out of a scrum along the high right wall in the Rivermen zone, crossed to the middle of the zone, and snapped a wrister past Rivermen netminder Stephen Klein for a 1-0 lead at 2:14 of the second period.
The Rivermen pulled ahead with a pair of goals just 1:18 apart in the middle frame. Rivermen defenseman Brandon Parrone cruised into the right wing of the Havoc zone and rifled a shot on the fly past Havoc goalie Mike DeLaVergne for a 1-1 score at 5:34 of the period. At 7:52 of the frame, Rivermen winger Mike Gurtler redirected a Beau Walker pass from atop the crease over DeLaVergne’s shoulder for a 2-1 lead.
Huntsville battled back to tie the game and re-take a one-goal lead just past the midpoint of the second period. Havoc winger Stephen Hrehoriak collected a pass in the low left circle of the Rivermen zone and sent a shot past a sprawling Klein for a 2-2 score at the 8:36 mark of the frame. Huntsville took a 3-2 lead on the power-play at the 10:31 mark when Trevor Gerling filled an open net from the left-wing circle after a cross-ice feed from teammate Ryan Salkeld.
The Havoc held a 3-2 lead until Peoria re-tied the game with 5:35 remaining in regulation. Rivermen defenseman Nick Neville held the puck on the right point of the Huntsville zone, and fired it to the high slot, where teammate Austin Vieth redirected it from between the circles past DeLaVergne for the equalizer at 14:25 of the third period.
Peoria took the lead for good with just 3:15 remaining in the third period. Rivermen captain Alec Hagaman muscled his way across the low slot of the Havoc zone, held the puck below the left circle, and slipped a pass to teammate Justin Greenberg on the back door, where Greenberg snapped it past DeLaVergne for the 4-3 final.
Klein stopped 23 of 26 shots faced to earn his 10th win of the season between the pipes for the Rivermen. The win makes Klein the first rookie goaltender and second overall netminder to double-digit wins in the SPHL this season.
Notes: The Rivermen have not been out-shot at home this season, and are 17-2-3 when recording more shots on goal than their opponents…Greenberg recorded his first game-winning goal since November 10 of last season at Knoxville…Gurtler tallied a goal and an assist for his third multi-point game in his last five outings…Gurtler has six points in his last five games, dating back to Peoria’s December 22 win at Quad City…With the win Peoria moves into sole possession of first place for the first time this season…The Rivermen return to action tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon when they host the Evansville Thunderbolts and Huntsville Havoc at 7:15 and 3:05, respectively…Saturday is Peoria’s Miracle On Ice Night presented by the Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network, with the Rivermen wearing special jerseys paying tribute to the 1980 Gold Medal-winning USA Olympic Men’s hockey team, with a postgame auction to follow…Sunday is another RLI and Peoria Park District Family Fun Sunday, with pregame inflatables, face painting, and balloon art presented by Fun on the Fun, Wild Style Design, and Unique Twist, respectively, beginning at 2:05 PM…Sunday will also feature a free postgame skate with the Rivermen team on the Carver Arena ice…The broadcast of all three games can be heard, starting with the pregame show 20 minutes prior to puck drop, at http://mixlr.com/peoria-rivermen/
Group, single game, and season tickets for Peoria's 37th 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)