Rivermen Perform Heroic Comeback in 5-2 Win

January 25, 2020 - 11:15 pm

Rivermen Perform Heroic Comeback in 5-2 Win

Peoria score five unanswered in weekend sweep of Macon

Photo credits: Tim Lester Images


Peoria, IL – The Peoria Rivermen erased a 2-0 deficit to the Macon Mayhem with five unanswered and four in the third period for a 5-2 win in front of 4,669 fans inside Carver Arena Saturday night. The win, Peoria’s third in a row, moves them to 23-4-3 to maintain the top spot in the SPHL standings. The Rivermen concluded their five game homestand with a 4-1-0. The loss drops Macon to 9-19-5, as they continue to occupy the last place position in the Southern Professional Hockey League.


For the second straight night, the Mayhem jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the opening period of play. Mayhem center Josh Cousineau raced into the Rivermen zone and slipped a shot on goal that was turned aside by Rivermen goaltender Ryland Pahsovitz, but the rebound popped off Pashovitz’s pad for Josh Koepplinger to jam it past Pashovitz for the 1-0 edge at 8:40 of the opening frame. 


Macon doubled their lead in the opening minutes of the second stanza off an offensive zone faceoff. Caleb Cameron won the draw and shifted the puck to teammate Colton Wolter, who snapped a quick shot that zipped over the left shoulder of Pashovitz for the 2-0 lead at 2:07 of the second stanza.


The Rivermen cut the lead in half in the closing seconds of the middle period when defenseman Nick Neville dished a pass from the right-wing boards to captain, Alec Hagaman, who was stationed just atop the crease. Hagaman shifted the puck to his back hand and cut across the top of the crease to the left side and flicked a backhander behind Macon keeper Kevin Entmaa to make the score 2-1 at 19:47 of the second period.


On Marvel Night, Hagaman’s dying seconds goal in the middle frame would prove to be the energizer for the Rivermen to act like superheroes in the third period with a quartet of goals. The first coming at the conclusion of a Macon power play, as Mitch McPherson took a feed from Jacob Hamilton and sped down the ice and entered the zone, cut across the right circle and flicked a shot on the move across the top of the crease that slid past Entmaa to tie the game, 2-2 at 5:33 of the third period.


Peoria got the eventual game winner just past the midway point of the third when Jordan Ernst skated to the right side of the net, chipping a backhand that snuck between Entmaa’s shoulder and the goal post at 11:24 for the 3-2 Rivermen advantage.


Peoria added a pair of insurance tallies late in the third period, the first from Robin Hoglund who snapped a shot off a rebound over the right shoulder of Entmaa for the 4-2 Rivermen lead at 16:44 of the final stanza. The final goal came while shorthanded and the Macon net vacant. With Drake Hunter serving a slashing call, the Rivermen won the defensive zone draw, the puck kicked back to Nick Neville, who fired a 175-foot shot that effortlessly went into the empty cage for the eventual 5-2 final at 17:06 of the third period.


Ryland Pashovitz picked up the win between the pipes, his third consecutive victory with Peoria, stopping 18 of 20 shots faced. With the win, Pashovitz improves to 4-0-1 on the season, and 3-0 as a Rivermen. Entmaa took the loss in goal for Macon. He is 8-12-2 on the season.


Notes: With an assist, Jacob Hamilton collected his first point since returning from his ECHL call-up….Skyler Smutek skated in his 100th professional game, which includes four in the FPHL…The Rivermen return to action next Friday and Saturday night when they travel to Moline, IL for a pair of games against the Quad City Storm at the Tax Slayer Center….Puck drop for Friday’s game is scheduled for  7:00 p.m. CST….The broadcast of the game can be heard, 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)