Rivermen Score Early, Often, Hold on Late in Mississippi Friday

January 5, 2018 7:00 pm

Away | Regular

Mississippi RiverKings

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Photo Credit: Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen

Rivermen Score Early, Often, Hold on Late in Mississippi Friday

5-1 lead all but evaporates as Rivermen hang on for 5-4 win

 

Southaven, MS – The Peoria Rivermen jumped out to a 5-1 lead during the second period of Friday’s game before holding off a late Mississippi surge for an eventual 5-4 victory at the Landers Center Friday. The win, Peoria’s fifth in a row, moves the Rivermen to within two points of first-place before tomorrow’s home game against the Knoxville Ice Bears.

 

The Rivermen started the scoring with a trio of goals early in the first period. With the puck high in the RiverKings zone, Rivermen winger Alec Hagaman sent a pass to teammate Kevin Patterson at the right point. Patterson carried down the right wing, and sent a pass across the goalmouth where Mike Gurtler popped it past Mississippi goaltender Tyler Green for a 1-0 lead at 3:53 of the period. Peoria doubled their lead at the 5:08 mark of the period when Rivermen center Brandon Millin sent a pass from the left corner of the RverKings zone to the netfront, where Peoria defenseman Ben Oskroba lofted a backhand over Green’s shoulder and into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead. The Peoria lead grew to 3-0 at 7:42 of the period when Peoria winger Connor Gorman converted a power-play rush, firing a shot from the slot past Green for a 3-0 lead and chasing the Mississippi netminder from the contest.

 

The RiverKings got on the board at 8:28 of the first period. With the puck behind the Rivermen net, the RiverKings worked it out front and Mississippi veteran Matt Harrington stuffed it past Peoria goaltender Tyler Parks for a 3-1 score.

 

The Rivermen extended their lead with a pair of goals in the second period. While on the power-play, the Rivermen worked the puck to the left point of the Mississippi zone, where Will Smith’s drive beat new Mississippi goaltender Jared Rutledge for a 4-1 Rivermen lead at 5:12 of the middle frame. The Rivermen lead grew to 5-1 at 13:58 of the second when Patterson’s long drive from the high slot found its way off the stick of Rivermen center Jacob Barber and past Rutledge.

 

The RiverKings got the score back to within three goals with a tally late in the second period. With a faceoff in the right-wing circle of the Rivermen zone, RiverKings center Ryan Marcuz won the draw back to the point, and RiverKings defenseman Cody Walsh’s shot toward the net wound through traffic and past Parks for a 5-2 score at 19:05 of the period.

 

The RiverKings made it a one-goal game with a pair of goals early in the third period. 13 seconds into the period, Harrington drove the puck to the Rivermen net and popped it past Parks for a 5-3 Rivermen lead. The score went to 5-4 at 3:28 of the period when RiverKings center Dillan Fox carried it out of the left corner of the Rivermen zone and fired a shot past Parks and into the back of the net for the eventual final score.

 

Parks stopped 37 of 41 shots faced in net to earn his fifth win of the season, and his fourth in as many outings since returning from a call-up to ECHL Reading. The win is also Park’s third straight 37-save performance, tying his single-game career high.

 

Notes: Patterson recorded his first career three-point night with a trio of assists…Oskroba has scored four goals this season, two have come against Mississippi…Peoria winger Alec Hagaman failed to record a point, snapping his 13-game point scoring streak…The Rivermen return to action tomorrow night when they host the Knoxville Ice Bears at Carver Arena with puck drop scheduled for 7:15 PM…Saturday is Peoria’s Chicago Cubs Night, with Cubs mascot “Clark” on the concourse throughout the evening…Saturday is also Peoria’s Pekin Insurance Youth Jersey giveaway night, with youth replica Rivermen jerseys being given out to the first 750 kids 12 & under…The night is also Peoria’s Farmers Insurance First Responders Night, with a free ticket available to all First Responders and $10 tickets available to their friends and family by calling the Rivermen office… 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 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)