Rivermen Sink Mayhem 7-1
February 17, 2023 - 10:15 pm
PEORIA, IL – The Rivermen special teams were special and Joseph Widmar dominated for two goals and a four-point evening as the Rivermen sunk the Macon Mayhem 7-1 at Carver Arena on Friday night.
Peoria wasted no time in striking first as Jordan Ernst was able to bury a rebound from a point shot just 32 seconds into the contest. Just 58 seconds later Joseph Drapluk rifled home a shot from the low slot after a perfect pass by Alec Hagaman from below the goal line. The offensive blitz by Peoria put them up 2-0 over the Mayhem, a lead they held for the remainder of the first period.
Peoria went back on the attack in the second period as the Rivermen capitalized on their first power play of the game. After Hagaman held in the zone on the right side, he skated to the face-off dot and rifled a shot into the top shelf to extend the Rivermen lead to 3-0. Alec Baer, who recently returned from the ECHL made an impact offensively as he assisted on a Nick Neville goal after a wrap-around attempt defected out in front where Neville was pinching in. Neville buried a quick shot low blocker side to put the Rivermen up 4-0. Then, on their second power play of the game, Peoria found the back of the net again. A hard wrist shot by Widmar from the high slot sailed in past Macon goaltender Cody Karpinski with under 10 seconds to go in the period. Widmar’s second of the night marked Peoria’s second straight power-play goal, on a night where they had the special teams humming.
You could forgive the Rivermen for playing safe in the third period up 5-0, taking their foot off of the gas pedal. But that is not what happened. Just over a minute into the frame, Dale Deon skated around from behind the Macon net and drew four Mayhem players to one side. Showing great patience with the puck, Deon held on as he skated to a vacant side and fires a quick shot into the back of the net to extend the lead to 6-0. Though the Mayhem broke through on a power-play goal, it was soon answered by Alec Baer in his first goal since returning from the ECHL.
In the end, the Rivermen concluded their first game against the Mayhem with a 7-1 victory to open the three-game weekend. Peoria will be back in action on Saturday night at Carver Arena against the Mayhem for DC Heroes night, presented by the Gift of Hope. Face-off is set for 7:15 pm.
-Photo: Harold Hopkins/Peoria Rivermen