Rivermen Drop Third Straight in Huntsville Saturday
January 20, 2018 7:00 pm
Rivermen Drop Third Straight in Huntsville Saturday
Powers’ hat trick lifts Havoc to fourth straight
Huntsville, AL – The Peoria Rivermen gave up the opening goal for the fifth straight game and never led Saturday night as they lost their third consecutive game, 6-4 to the Huntsville Havoc. The loss drops the Rivermen to 19-9-1 on the season, tied for third place in the SPHL standings with Macon before next weekend’s three-game series against Evansville.
The Havoc opened the scoring with a power-play tally just past the midway point of the first period. With Rivermen winger Ryan Siiro in the sin bin for hooking, the Havoc worked the puck into the left-wing corner of the Rivermen zone. Huntsville winger Stephen Herehoriak fed a pass out of the corner to veteran Huntsville defenseman Stuart Stefan at the bottom of the left circle, and Stefan’s one-time snapper beat the glove of Rivermen defenseman Ryan de Melo for the 1-0 Huntsville lead at 13:56 of the period.
The Rivermen tied the game with an even-strength goal toward the latter stages of the first period. Peoria center Jacob Barber collected the puck in the high slot of the Rivermen zone, and sent a long pass to teammate Mike Gurtler, who broke unprotected into the Huntsville zone and tucked a shot over the shoulder of Havoc goaltender Mike DeLaVergne for the 1-1 tie at 15:08 of the period.
The Havoc retook the lead with another man-advantage marker late in the first period. With Peoria winger Joe McKeown in the sin bin for hooking, Havoc center Shawn Bates held the puck in the right corner of the Peoria zone, and fed a pass to the slot, where Huntsville winger Stephen Hrehoriak one-timed it past de Melo for a 2-1 lead at 16:13 of the frame.
Peoria re-tied the game with a power-play goal of their own early in the second period. With Huntsville center Scott Trask boxed for tripping, Rivermen winger Mike Gurtler’s shot was turned aside by DeLaVergne, but the ensuing rebound was stuffed home by Peoria center Will Smith for the 2-2 score 4:56 into the second stanza.
The Havoc regained the lead with a marker late in the middle frame. Havoc center Sy Nutkevitch held in a Rivermen clearing attempt at the left point of the Peoria zone, and his shot was denied by de Melo’s left pad, but Powers fired the rebound past an outstretched de Melo at 14:35 of the frame for a 3-2 Havoc lead.
The Rivermen tied the game once more with a goal early in the third period. With play ongoing behind the Havoc goal, Rivermen center Jordan Carvalho carried into, then out of the Huntsville trapezoid, came out of the left-wing corner, and sniped a short shot over DeLaVergne’s left shoulder and into the net for a 3-3 tie 1:52 into the final period.
The Havoc regained the lead for good on a pair of goals from Powers toward the middle portion of the third stanza. With Peoria on the power-play courtesy of a Skyler Smutek roughing penalty, Rivermen winger Dakota Klecha turned the puck over in the slot of the Huntsville zone, Powers collected it and raced past Rivermen defenseman Dave Pszenyczny before wrapping the puck around de Melo’s right pad at 3:48 of the period. Powers pushed the Huntsville lead to 5-3 at 9:28 of the frame when he one-timed Nutkevitch’s cross-ice pass from atop the left circle past de Melo and into the Rivermen net.
Peoria got back within a goal while on the power-play just past the third period’s midway point. With Havoc defenseman Peter Sikalis on the shelf for delay of game, Rivermen winger Ryan Siiro took a pass at the top of the left circle of the Huntsville zone, and sent it to the right-wing post, where teammate Connor Gorman redirected it up and over DeLaVergne’s outstretched pad at 11:15 of the frame.
The Havoc put the game on ice with an empty-net power-play goal in the game’s final minute. With Rivermen defenseman Ben Oskroba in the box for elbowing and de Melo on the bench for an extra attacker, Havoc winger Justin Fox took a pass from Stefan, carried to the Rivermen blueline, and fired it into the empty net for the eventual 6-4 final score with 14 seconds remaining in the game.
De Melo took the loss in goal for the Rivermen, stopping 29 of 34 shots faced between the pipes. The loss, de Melo’s first as a member of the Rivermen, drops him to 2-5-2 on the season.
Notes: Siiro’s assist on Gorman’s goal gives him five points in as many games against the Havoc this season…Gurtler posted a goal and an assist to give him his first multi-point outing since December 29, a 3-assist performance against Evansville…The Rivermen have suffered three consecutive losses for the first time since last season, when Peoria dropped six straight from February 4-18…The Rivermen return to action next Friday night when they host their annual Faith and Family Night against Evansville, with a postgame concert by Christian band “The Afters”…Tickets to the game include the concert, which will start approximately 10 minutes after the conclusion of the game…The Rivermen will then play Saturday night in Evansville before returning home for the season’s first PNC Family Fun Sunday January 28 at 3:05…Game time Friday night is set for 7:15 p.m. from Carver Arena…The broadcast of the game can be heard, starting with the pre-game show, at 6:55 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)