Rivermen Outduel Ice Flyers For 5-4 Victory

January 16, 2020 - 10:10 pm

Rivermen Outduel Ice Flyers for 5-4 Victory

Pashovitz comes in relief for first win with Rivermen

Photo credits: Tim Lester Images


Peoria, IL – The Peoria Rivermen and Pensacola Ice Flyers met for the first time in the 2019-20 campaign, earning a shootout win in front of 2,589 fans in attendance. The game featured four ties and four lead changes before Jordan Ernst capped the Rivermen victory with a shootout goal in the sixth round of the sudden death tiebreaker. 


With the win, the Rivermen improve to 20-3-3, gathering a total of 43 points and remain atop the SPHL standings. Pensacola picks up a point in the loss, now standing at 17-5-4. 


Pensacola broke the scoreless tie just prior to the halfway point of the opening frame when defenseman Jesse Kessler sent the puck net ward, the puck fluttered around and was found by Patrick Megannety, who slipped the puck past Eric Levine for the 1-0 Ice Flyers edge at 8:20 of the first period.


The Rivermen evened things up just 1:58 later. Defenseman Skyler Smutek skated through the neutral zone and parked in the left circle. Winger Jordan Ernst streaked down the slot and Smutek slipped a past to Ernst who stuffed the puck past Pensacola netminder Chase Perry to knot the score, 1-1 at 10:15 of the first stanza.


Peoria grabbed their first lead of the evening while on the power play. With Ice Flyers defenseman Craig Cescon sitting for tripping Rivermen captain Alec Hagaman found Ernst between the circles. Ernst received the puck and fired a shot from the high slot that zinged by Perry for the 2-1 edge at 1:52 of the middle period.


Pensacola tied the game then eventually grabbed the lead less than two minutes later. The tying goal was a shot from veteran Craig Cescon that snuck into the back of the net to tie the game 2-2 at 3:20. Pensacola grabbed the lead just 20 seconds later when Megannety fired a shot from the right circle that sailed over Levine’s shoulder and into the back of the net for the 3-2 advantage at 3:40 of the second period. The goal prompted coach Trudel to call for goaltender Ryland Pashovitz in relief of Eric Levine, who was pulled for the first time this season after making 12 saves on 15 shots.


The Rivermen tied the game once again just past the midway point of the period when Robin Hoglund corralled the puck in the neutral zone and bounced a pass of the left wing boards, raced into the zone and sent a pass across the slot to Zach Nieminen, who tipped the puck past Perry to once again tie the game 3-3 at 13:24 of the second period.


The Ice Flyers grabbed the lead with nearly four minutes left. Meirs Moore fed winger Ryan Marcuz who sent the puck on goal from the right side, beating Pashovitz for the 4-3 lead at 15:56 of the middle stanza.


Peoria tied the game, yet one more time in the early stages of the third period when Nieminen was parked below the goal line and found Robin Hoglund zooming down the slot. Hoglund snapped the puck past Perry and into the back of the net to tie the score, 4-4, at 6:16 of the third period. 


The tie score held for the remainder of regulation and through a scoreless overtime session before a shootout decided the winner. Five shooters for each team made an attempt to put their team on top, but the goaltenders stood strong. Then in the sixth round, Ernst sped into the zone, slowed through the slot and fished a shot by Perry for the 5-4 game-winning-goal.


Pashovitz earned the win between the pipes, stopping 18 of 19 shots faced and turning aside all six shooters in the sudden death shootout. The win, Pashovitz’s first with the Rivermen, improves him to 2-0-1 on the season. 


Notes: Rivermen goaltender Eric Levine was pulled 3:40 into the second period giving Pashovitz his Rivermen debut….Hagaman’s eight game goal streak was snapped, however, with an assist he now has a 9 game point streak….The Rivermen return to action Friday night as they rematch the Ice Flyers….Friday night is Rivermen stocking cap night with the first 1,000 fans receive a Rivermen stocking hat sponsored by Klein Design….Puck drop for Friday’s game is scheduled for  7:15 p.m. CST….The broadcast of the game can be heard, at http://mixlr.com/peoria-rivermen/ starting with the pre-game show, at 7:00 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)