Rivermen Cruise to Weekend Sweep of Marksmen Sunday
February 18, 2018 3:05 pm
Photo Credit: Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
Rivermen Cruise to Weekend Sweep of Marksmen Sunday
Economos’ first career hat trick propels Rivermen to 8-1 victory in weekend finale
Peoria, IL – The Peoria Rivermen scored early and often against the visiting Fayetteville Marksmen Sunday afternoon, blasting Fayetteville 8-1 on the scoreboard to secure a weekend sweep. The win, Peoria’s fourth straight, improves them to 27-10-3 on the season, good for first place in the SPHL standings before a pair of games next weekend.
The Rivermen kicked the scoring off with a pair of goals early in the opening period. Rivermen defenseman Cody Smith put the puck on net from the Marksmen blueline that was initially stopped by Marksmen netminder Patrick Spano before the rebound trickled to the right of the net, where Rivermen winger Joe Kalisz deposited it into the back of the net for the 1-0 Rivermen edge at 5:57 of the first period. Peoria doubled their lead on the power play 41 seconds later, when Marksmen winger Kyle McNeil was in the box for high sticking, Rivermen winger Michael Economos came out of the left-wing corner of the Marksmen zone, spun in the low circle, and fired past Spano’s blocker for a 2-0 lead at 6:38 of the frame.
The Rivermen added another man-advantage marker late in the first period. The tally came with Marksmen winger Dakota Klecha in the box for holding, when Will Smith fed a pass from the Fayetteville goal line across the top of the crease to teammate Mike Gurtler, who whacked the puck past Spano from the right-wing post for the 3-0 lead at 17:00 of the first period.
Peoria added to their lead with another goal in the early stages of the middle frame. With a delayed penalty call coming against the Marksmen, Economos skated behind the Fayetteville net and floated a pass out to defenseman Ben Oskroba in the right circle. Oskroba gathered the puck and rifled a shot over the Spano’s glove for the 4-0 Rivermen lead at 1:13 of the second period.
The Rivermen tacked another goal onto their lead late in the second period at even strength. Rivermen winger Justin Greenberg found a streaking Economos racing up the middle of the ice and into the Fayetteville slot. Economos took the pass and sent a laser beam over the glove of Spano for the 5-0 lead at 13:46 of the second period.
Fayetteville got on the board in the late stages of the second period. Marksmen defenseman Ludlow Harris Jr. directed a shot towards the Rivermen goal that caromed off a skate in the low slot and out to the left circle of the Rivermen zone, where Klecha corralled the puck and fired a shot past the lunging blocker of Rivermen goaltender Peter Di Salvo to cut the Rivermen lead to 5-1 at 14:15 of the second period.
The Rivermen added to their lead with two power play goals late in the second period. With Marksmen center Ryan Badger serving a bench minor for too many men on the ice, Gurtler sent a pass from the corner to Will Smith, who was stationed at the net front and stuffed the puck past Spano for the 6-1 Rivermen lead at 15:58 of the middle frame. The second power-play goal came when Stephen Gallo fired a shot on goal from atop the right cirlce that was stopped by new Marksmen goaltender Denis Tsaruk before the rebound came to Economos, who sent the puck into the back of the net for the 7-1 Rivermen lead at 19:57 of the second period.
The Rivermen piled onto their lead in the third period while on a 5-on-3 power play. With Fayetteville winger Bryan Dallaire in the sin bin for slashing and Ryan Patsch serving a major for spearing, Rivermen defenseman Dave Pszenyczny sent a pass from the high slot to Peoria center Joseph Widmar, who one-timed a shot from the left circle over the shoulder of Tsaruk for the 8-1 lead at 5:23 of the final frame.
Di Salvo picked up the victory between the pipes for Peoria, stopping 21 of 22 shots faced. With the win, he improves to 11-8-4 on the season, and 6-1-1 since joining Peoria.
Notes: Economos earned his first career hat trick in the contest as well as his second consecutive multi-goal game…With two assists in the game, Cody Smith had his first career multi-assist game….For the second consecutive night, Will Smith notched a three point game…With the win, the Rivermen mathematically lock Fayetteville behind them for the season in the SPHL Standings…The Rivermen return to action next Friday, February 23rd as they welcome the Huntsville Havoc to Carver Arena, with faceoff set for 7:15 p.m…Friday night’s game will feature a Youth Mini Stick giveaway to the first 1,000 kids aged 12 and under courtesy of PNC Bank….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)