Rivemen Winning Streak Ends in 7-3 Loss

January 1, 2022 - 10:20 pm

PEORIA, IL – It was bound to happen eventually, no winning streak can be sustained forever. But for the Rivermen and their fans, they certainly wished the end was a bit less painful. The Rivermen, playing as the Prancers in honor of Turnback the Clock Night, fell to the Evansville Thunderbolts by a score of 7-3 in their first Saturday night home loss of the season.


It was not the start the Rivermen wanted as they were blitzed in the first period by a relentless Evansville attack. The attack, though it managed only a goal for the Thunderbolts, saw them out-shoot Peoria 13-3 in the first 20 minutes of play.


Trailing 1-0 at the start of the second period, the Rivermen surrendered another goal on the power play but got one back soon after on Alec Hagaman’s 11th goal of the season to make it a 2-1 game. That would be as close as the Rivermen came to tying the contest as Evansville uncorked three straight goals to take a commanding 5-1 lead. Peoria got another back late in the second period on Mike Laidley’s fifth goal of the season off of a quick shot from the high slot. The goal gave the Rivermen life and hope that they just might be able to pull off a three-goal comeback in the third period.


Two more Evansville goals in the first six minutes of the third put paid to those thoughts, however. Though the Rivermen responded with a goal on a five-on-three power-play tally by Mitch McPherson, it was too little too late and the Rivermen fell in regulation, by a score of 7-3, for just the fourth time all season.


Though the loss stings and the end of both a winning streak and an impressive point streak hurts, the season is far from over and there is plenty of hockey to be played. Looking at the positives the Rivermen power play went 2/4 on the evening and some depth players earned some valuable experience playing in the third period.


In the short term, the Rivermen will have a chance at payback as they host the Thunderbolts for the third game of the three-in-three series at Carver Arena. Face-off is set for 3:15 pm between the two rivals.