Rivermen Suffer First Loss to Storm in 2023, 4-3 in Shootout
February 23, 2023 - 09:25 pm
MOLINE, IL – They say streaks, both good and bad, are destined to end. While Peoria’s 2023 winning streak over the Quad City Storm was destined to end at some point, it couldn’t have ended in a more heart-breaking fashion. Peoria lost a two-goal third-period lead to fall 4-3 in the shootout to Quad City at Vibrant Arena at the MARK on Thursday night.
Peoria got the scoring started less than five minutes into the game as Alec Hagaman touched a back-handed pass to Alex Carrier streaking up the left-wing side. Carrier unleashed a hard, low wrist shot that found the back of the net to put the Rivermen up 1-0. Though the Storm was able to answer back with an awkwardly deflected goal, Peoria struck again just a few minutes later. Just as the Rivermen’s first power play was expiring, JM Piotrowski sent a cross-ice pass, dot-to-dot, to Cayden Cahill. The red-hot rookie, with points in his last nine games, sent in a quick shot into the top shelf to regain the lead for the Rivermen and extend his point streak to ten games. Cahill came into Thursday ranking 4th in SPHL rookie scoring.
The second period was a back-and-forth affair, with both sides getting quality chances on the net and both teams making stout defensive plays. The only goal came midway through the period as Alec Baer took a short-angle shot that was followed up by a Mitch McPherson rebound. Quad City goaltender Kevin Resop went to cover the puck but inadvertently knocked it into the back of his net. McPherson’s goal put the Rivermen up 3-1, and while Peoria took a holding penalty late in the period, they had both a two-goal lead and confidence going into the third.
That confidence was not enough though as the Storm scored two unanswered goals in the first two minutes, including a power-play goal 19 seconds into the frame, to tie the game up 3-3. The rest of the third period saw numerous chances for the Storm to take the lead but goaltender Eric Levine and the Rivermen stood firm to force the game to overtime.
Peoria had the better of the chances in the extra session, including two breakaways, but was unable to find the game-winner. In the end, the Storm was able to force the game into a shootout where they won 2-1 through four and a half rounds. The loss marks the first by Peoria to the Storm since November of 2022. The loss also marks Peoria’s first in the shootout this season.
Despite the loss, the Rivermen remain in first place in the SPHL standings by 10 points and have the lead (18 points to 10 points) in the season series with Quad City. The Rivermen will regroup and head back to Peoria for the start of a home-and-home series with the Evansville Thunderbolts at Carver Arena on Friday night. Face-off is set for 7:15 pm.