Rivermen Secure Playoff Spot on Late Goal From Haas

February 22, 2020 - 11:40 pm

Rivermen Secure Playoff Spot on Late Goal From Haas

Peoria becomes first team to clinch a 2020 SPHL Playoff Berth

Photo credits: Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs


Roanoke, VA – Konnor Haas broke a 1-1 tie with less than five minutes to play in the third period, giving the Rivermen a 2-1 victory Saturday night against the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs.


The win, Peoria’s 30th of the season, earns them a spot in the 2020 President’s Cup Playoffs, which begins on the second week of April. The Rivermen are the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season. Shortly after the game, the Fayetteville Marksmen also secured a spot. Jean-Guy Trudel’s team is 30-7-4, while Roanoke drops to 14-21-7.


Ryland Pashovitz earned his fifth win in a Rivermen jersey, stopping 23 shots. Henry Dill took the net for Roanoke, but fell short with 32 saves.


Drake Hunter got the scoring started in the game just ahead of the midway point in period one. A Nick Neville shot was fought off by Dill, but went soaring vertically in the air, before dropping behind Dill in his crease. Hunter crashed the net and guided the puck down and into the cage for his third goal of the season.


No scoring occurred in the second period, though Peoria had its chances by outshooting the Dawgs’, 13-2, along with three power plays in the frame. Overall, the Rivermen went 0-for-5 on the man advantage. The Rail Yard Dawgs converted on just one of their four opportunities. That conversion came seconds into a third period power play, as Matt O’Dea forced a puck to the lower right side of the Rivermen net. Jeff Jones was there to collect and beat Pashovitz, knotting the game at one with 12:59 to play.


The teams tied in shots on goal during the third, with each club registering 11. Both Roanoke and Peoria traded chances in the final frame, but Konnor Haas would go on to be the hero. After carrying the puck into the zone, Haas lost it, but it would quickly be grabbed by Hunter. The Rivermen winger dealt the puck back to Haas on the right wing, where the rookie could cut in and wrist one high to the netting behind Dill, giving Haas his first SPHL goal, and the Rivermen a 2-1 lead with 4:47 left to play. Roanoke pulled Dill and has 90 seconds of six-on-five, but the Rivermen buckled down to earn the win and take four of six points from Roanoke on the three game weekend.


NOTES: 5,561 fans were on hand in Berglund Center for Miracle on Ice Night…The Rivermen wore Soviet Union-inspired jerseys, while Roanoke skated in American colors…With an assist, Nick Neville has 14 points across the last 15 games…Drake Hunter notched his second multi-pointgvme of the season with a goal and an assist…Next up for the Rivermen is a five game homestand, beginning Friday, February 28th against Pensacola. The broadcast of the game can be heard, at http://mixlr.com/peoria-rivermen/ starting with the pre-game show at 7 p.m. CST. Puck drop is slated for 7:15 p.m.


Group and single game 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)