Peoria Cruises to Fifth Straight Victory

December 26, 2021 - 07:10 pm

PEORIA, IL – It was a little bit of déjà vu for the Rivermen as they cruised to another 6-1 victory over the Vermilion County Bobcats on Sunday night at Carver Arena to earn their fifth straight win.


The scoring was started early as Mike Laidley was able to send a one-timed shot on net from the slot area. Laidley’s shot was able to find the back of the net to record his fourth goal of the season. The Rivermen extend their lead to 2-0 in the late stages of the first period as J.M. Piotrowski skated on a two-on-one with Francesco Corona. The pass to Corona was on time but his shot was saved by a diving Corbin Kaczperski. With Kaczperski down and out, Piotrowski skated across the top of the crease and shot the rebound into the back of the net for his 8th goal of the season.


In the second period, the Rivermen continued their offensive flair as Mitch McPherson added two goals to the Rivermen lead. The first came on the power play as he was able to bury a rebound in tight. A few minutes later his second goal came off a centering feed from Alec Hagaman that was deflected in between Kaczperski’s legs to make it 4-0 Peoria.


Up 4-0 going into the third period, the Rivermen refused to yield. Never was there a moment like the early second period in last Saturday’s contest that might have turned the game against Peoria if a bounce or deflection had gone the other way. Never was there a moment that Vermilion County was in control of the game. Instead, the Rivermen continued to play their style of hockey. They stood their ground physically and gave just as much punishment as they received.


Peoria’s lead was extended to 5-0 off of Mathieu Cloutier’s turn-around shot from the base of the right circle. The goal marked his second goal in as many games. Though the Bobcats were able to get a goal back on the power play, thus robbing Rivermen netminder Eric Levine of the shutout, the Rivermen responded with their first short-handed goal of the year.


Getting the puck in his own zone, defenseman Dale Deon sent a long saucer-pass into center ice, right onto the stick of a streaking Piotrowski. Piotrowski, on a short-handed breakaway, pulled off a nifty deke, from his forehand to his backhand, drawing the netminder Kaczperski into an attempted poke-check. Now out of position, Kaczperski was powerless to stop Piotrowski lofting the puck into the top shelf for his second goal of the game and sixth in four nights.


Piotrowski’s second goal proved to be the last as the Rivermen finished the night with six goals and 11 different players earning at least a point on the scoresheet. Cruising to their 5th straight victory and 11th straight game with at least a point, the Rivermen have all of their goals ahead of them and all of the momentum in the world as they look to close out 2021 on a high note next week in Evansville against the Thunderbolts.