Oskroba, Levine Lead Rivermen To First Win In 2020

January 3, 2020 - 11:20 pm

Oskroba, Levine Lead Rivermen To First Win In 2020

Defenseman’s first career two goal game helps Rivermen tame Bulls

Photo credits: Dennis Sievers


Birmingham, AL – Ben Oskroba notched his first career two goal game and Eric Levine made 28 saves for his fourth shutout of the season in a 4-0 Rivermen win over the Birmingham Bulls Friday night.


The win pushes Peoria to 17-3-3 on the season, while Birmingham dropped its eighth game in the last nine, falling to 7-12-3. With the win, Levine now stands 12-0-3. Former Rivermen goaltender, Stephen Klein, took the loss with a 25 save performance.


After a disappointing loss on the road Tuesday, the Rivermen were sure to not let lightning strike twice. The team controlled the vast majority of Friday’s game in the Pelham Civic Complex, starting with a pair of goals in the first 10 minutes. Ben Oskroba scored his second goal of the season thanks to a stretch pass coming across the goal line from Alec Hagaman. Oskroba was there to knock the puck off of Klein’s blocker and into the goal for the 1-0 advantage just over four minutes in.


At the 8:58 mark, while on the power play, Robin Hoglund fed Oskroba atop the blue line for a booming shot that found its way through traffic and to the top shelf of the goal, giving Oskroba his third of the season and first multi-goal game of the seven year pro’s career.


Mitch McPherson would add to the scoring in the second period by tipping a point shot from Paul Fregeau that changed direction and got past Klein. The second period featured perhaps the scoring chance of the game for Birmingham, when Cole Golka planted himself in front of the crease with room. As he made a move to his right to try and roof his shot, Rivermen goaltender Eric Levine extended his glove in the air to rob the Bulls forward.


In the latter stages of period three, Zach Nieminen was high-sticked by Kasey Kulczycki, which drew blood and sent the Rivermen to a four minute power play. There, Brandon McMartin would take a point shot that would get blocked, only for the puck to land right on Hagaman’s tape for the captain to bury his team-leading 12th goal of the season. The goal also extends a personal-best six game goal scoring streak for Hagaman.


The Rivermen engage in a rematch with Birmingham Saturday night with a 7:00 p.m. puck drop. Fans can catch the audio broadcast of the game live at  http://mixlr.com/peoria-rivermen/ , starting with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. CST.


Group, single game, and season tickets for Peoria's 38th season of professional hockey presented by Midwest Orthopaedic Center are on sale at the Toyota Box Office in the Peoria Civic Center, 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)