Rivermen Lose Early Lead, Fall to Ice Flyers, 4-2

January 17, 2020 - 10:55 pm

Rivermen Lose Early Lead, Fall to Ice Flyers, 4-2

Pensacola’s 4 unanswered goals too much for Rivermen comeback

Photo credits: Tim Lester Images


Peoria, IL – Alec Baer and Alec Hagaman scored for the Rivermen, but a 2-0 lead evaporated with three Pensacola goals in the second, en route to a 4-2 Ice Flyers win. The loss marks Peoria’s second home loss of the season and fourth regulation loss overall. With the loss, Peoria falls to 20-4-3 but remain atop the SPHL standings with 43 points. Pensacola improves to 18-5-4. The Rivermen take their first loss of 2020, thus ending a four game winning streak.


The Rivermen jumped out to a quick lead in the first period with a pair of goals, both at even strength. The first goal coming prior to the eight minute mark of the opening frame when defenseman Nick Neville put a shot on goal that was turned aside by Pensacola goaltender Stephen Klein. The rebound popped out to Alec Baer who slipped the puck back towards the net under a sprawling Klein and into the back of the net for the 1-0 edge at 7:46 of the opening period.


The second goal coming just past the midway point of the period when winger Alec Hagaman sprung from the penalty box and collected the puck in the Ice Flyers zone. Hagaman then sped up ice, crossed behind the net and stuffed a wraparound attempt past the left post and into the back of the net for the 2-0 Rivermen advantage at 11:29 of the first period. 


The Ice Flyers cut into the Rivermen lead, tied the game, and eventually took the lead in the middle frame. The first of the trio of goals came in the opening minutes of the second period when winger Michael Ederer cashed in on a rebound that bounced over Rivermen goaltender Eric Levine and into the back of the net to cut the Rivermen lead to 2-1 at 2:13 of the second period. 


Pensacola tied the game and took the lead in the closing minutes of the middle stanza; the tying goal came while the Ice Flyers were on the power play. With Rivermen winger Cody Dion serving a high sticking penalty, Garrett Milan put a shot on goal that Levine turned aside, but the rebound slid out to Brett D’Andrea who snapped the puck into the net to tie the game 2-2 at 14:33 of the second period.


The Ice Flyers took the lead in the closing seconds of the middle frame when Tyler Andrews found D’Andrea on a long stretch pass. D’Andrea skated into the offensive zone on a breakaway and flicked a shot off the cross bar and past Levine for the 3-2 Ice Flyers lead at 19:56 of the middle stanza.


Pensacola added to their one goal lead in the closing seconds of the game when the puck fluttered into the neutral zone onto the stick of winger Tanner Froese, who skated through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone, slipped a pass to Milan who tossed the puck into the empty net for the eventual 4-2 final score at 19:38 of regulation.


Levine suffered the loss between the pipes, his first regulation loss of the season, stopping 22 of 25 shots face, and falls to 14-1-3 on the campaign. Stephen Klein takes the win for Pensacola, improving to 2-5-1 on the year.


Notes: With his first period goal, Hagaman has extended his point streak to 10 consecutive games dating back to December 20th at Quad City….Eric Levine suffered his first regulation loss since December 21, 2018 with Quad City; a game in which he played the Rivermen….The Rivermen return to action Sunday afternoon as they conclude the weekend with the Ice Flyers….Sunday afternoon is Sunday Family Fun Day presented by the Peoria Journal Star….Puck drop for Sunday’s game is scheduled for  3:05 p.m. CST….The broadcast of the game can be heard, at http://mixlr.com/peoria-rivermen/ starting with the pre-game show, at 2:50 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)