Ernst’s Buzzer Beater Lifts Rivermen Over Thunderbolts 2-1
February 24, 2023 - 10:20 pm
PEORIA, IL – Buzzers beaters aren’t just for basketball. With less than a second remaining in regulation, Jordan Ernst’s 16th goal of the season lifted the Rivermen 2-1 over the Thunderbolts of Evansville. It gave Evansville their first loss in the month of February on Friday night at Carver Arena.
Things started off in anger as Alex Carrier dropped the gloves with Matthew Hobbs just five seconds in. Despite the intensity and some good chances for both sides, no side could find the back of the net in the first period. Peoria, while short-handed, drew a penalty late in the first period that would see them on the man advantage in the early part of the second period.
It didn’t take long for the Rivermen to find the back of the net in the second period. Just as their power play expired, Zach Wilkie, on his 26th birthday, fired a wrist shot from the left point that sunk in just inside the left-wing post to put the Rivermen up 1-0. Though the Thunderbolts pressured for the remainder of the period and had several good chances, including a break-away, Rivermen goaltender Jack Berry was able to come up large with several critical saves to keep Peoria up 1-0 through two periods.
In the first half of the third period, Evansville was able to tie the game off of a deflection. The Rivermen buckled down and went on the attack, but were forced to kill a double-minor penalty. But kill it they did and had multiple great chances down the stretch run. Trevor Gorsuch made multiple great saves for Evansville and soon had a face-off to his right side, with 1.9 seconds before overtime. Both teams stacked the slot area as Alec Baer won the draw cleanly back to Jordan Ernst. Ernst unleashed a hard slapshot that shot into the back of the net with less than a second remaining.
Ernst’s goal gave Peoria the 2-1 victory and ended Evansville’s five-game winning streak in an exciting fashion. The Rivermen also halted a two-game losing streak against the Thunderbolts thanks to Ernst’s heroics. Peoria will be on the road again tomorrow night as they travel to Evansville for their final game of the weekend. Face-off at the Ford Center will commence at 7:00 pm.
Photo: Tim Lester / Field Pass Hockey