Berry, Rivermen Upset Huntsville 1-0
November 20, 2021 - 10:55 pm
PEORIA, IL – It was a battle between the goaltenders on Saturday night, a staring contest between two netminders from Michigan. One was considered still a rookie in just his second start of the season, the other was the winningest goaltender so far this year. The rookie didn’t flinch.
Jack Berry made 27 saves to record his first shutout of the season as the Rivermen upset the Huntsville Havoc 1-0 at Carver Arena, ending Huntsville’s historic season-opening run at 12 wins.
In a pattern that is starting to become familiar to the Rivermen, Peoria was able to get the first goal in the first period, though it came in the late stages.
A long outlet pass found J.M. Piotrowski near the Huntsville line hounded by two defensemen. A fortunate bounce enabled Piotrowski to split the defense and come in on a break-away from the blue line. Instead of a deke, Piotrowski elected to shoot and beat Huntsville goaltender Max Milosek between his legs to put Peoria up 1-0. It marked the third straight game that the Rivermen had picked up the first goal in the first period.
The second period saw back and forth action as both sides traded chances but the netminders stood tall and yielded nothing. Peoria had great chances on several breakaways and odd-man rushes, Huntsville had a couple of goal-mouth scrambles that they could not convert.
In the third, the Rivermen rallied to their goaltender, blocking shots and opening up shooting lanes so Berry could make a clean save unmolested. Huntsville was forced to pull their goaltender for the extra attacker but it didn’t make a difference as the Rivermen were able to hold on for an important upset victory. A victory that earned them three out of a possible four points on the weekend and a 3-0 record at home on Saturdays.
With the win, the Rivermen improve to 4-3-0-1 on the season and 4-1-0-1 at Carver Arena. Berry also improves to a perfect 2-0 on the year. Peoria will have little time to celebrate the victory however as they travel to Danville, Illinois next week for a Wednesday tilt with the Bobcats of Vermilion County before Thanksgiving. Face-off for the first-ever meeting between the Rivermen and the Bobcats is set for 6:00 pm.
Photo: Steve Daggs - Sports Photo News