Rivermen Bury Quad City 6-0
February 3, 2023 - 10:30 pm
MOLINE, IL – In a game that wasn’t supposed to happen based on the schedule but had to happen due to facts beyond the control of any of the two teams, the Peoria Rivermen went up to Moline on Friday night and dominated the Quad City Storm 6-0 on the road.
Just like their last two outings in Moline, the Rivermen were able to strike first. While on their first power play of the game, Alec Hagaman stepped in behind the net and forced the puck out in front on a wrap-around attempt. The puck deflected to the top of the crease where JM Piotrowski backhanded it into the top shelf for his 12th goal of the season. It was the only goal in a period of bad blood as the Rivermen and Storm combined for 25 total penalty minutes in the first period.
In the mid-stages of the second period, the Rivermen were tagged with a tough goaltending interference penalty while on the power play. Quad City surely thought they were about to embark on a potentially game-changing power play after negating the Rivermen advantage. Peoria had other ideas. While skating four-one-four, Cayden Cahill skated up ice on a two-on-one rush with Joseph Drapluk. As Cahill skated in he sent a quick back-door pass to Drapluk who timed it perfectly to fire his shot into the back of the net. Drapluk’s 12th of the season put the Rivermen up 2-0, but they weren’t done yet. While short-handed the Rivermen skated up on a short-handed two-on-none rush. Piotrowski led the charge with Mitch McPherson. Using McPherson as a decoy, Piotrowski baited the Storm goaltender to cheat over to his right, thus opening up the top shelf. This mistake cost Quad City as Piotrowski made no mistake in wiring a wrist shot into the top-right corner for his second goal of the night and a 3-0 Rivermen lead.
The third period saw the Rivermen clamp down on opposing chances while uncorking three more goals to add the exclamation point on the contest. Goals by Austin Wisely, Mitch McPherson, and Jordan Ernst paved the way for a Rivermen victory while Eric Levine held firm for his league-leading fourth shutout of the season. Levine made 20 saves in the victory, his 13th of the year.
The win marks Peoria’s fourth in a row against Quad City and ninth straight overall win on the year. Peoria’s winning streak marks the longest active streak in the SPHL this year. The Rivermen will look to make it 10 wins in a row on Saturday night against the Quad City Storm in Moline. Face-off is set for 7:10 pm.