Rivermen Defeat Dawgs to Force Decisive Game Three
April 21, 2023 - 10:13 pm
PEORIA, IL – In a game that had everything, power-play goals, short-handed goals, and goals that defy belief, the Rivermen emerged victorious on home ice 5-3 over the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs on Friday night at Carver Arena.
For the fourth playoff game in a row, the Rivermen struck first. It came on the power play as Mitch McPherson was the recipient of a perfect tic-tac-toe play as Joseph Widmar sent a pass diagonally to the base of the left-circle to Alec Hagaman who then sent a back-door pass to McPherson who tapped the puck into a wide-open net. The Rivermen extended their lead to 2-0 on a wrap-around by Mike Gelatt in his first professional post-season goal. Roanoke netted their first goal on a short-handed two-on-one rush to trim the Rivermen lead to 2-1. But with just over a minute to play in the period, Marcel Godbout was receiving a perfect pass from Braydon Barker on the right side. Godbout rifled the puck into the top shelf from a quick release to put Peoria up 3-1 after 20 minutes.
The second period was back and forth as Peoria looked to extend their lead and Roanoke would not go away. Alec Baer got time and space in the slot on the power play which enabled him to rifle a wrist shot into the top-shelf in his second goal of the playoffs to put Peoria up 4-1. Roanoke answered less than a minute later on a broken play to pull the Dawgs back to two goals down and made it 4-2. Then fate turned in Peoria’s favor. While on a delayed penalty call against the Rivermen Matt O’Dea was pressured by Rivermen forward Jordan Ernst on natural ice. O’Dea hurriedly tried a back-pass to his defenseman and fanned on the back-handed pass attempt. The puck slid into the empty net as the Dawgs had pulled the goaltender in favor of the extra attacker. The goal was credited to Ernst and the Rivermen took a 5-2 lead into the third period.
Roanoke got one more goal early in the third period, but that was all they could muster as Peoria’s defense held firm to their two-goal lead to complete the 5-3 victory. With the win, the Rivermen force a decisive Game Three in the President’s cup Semi-finals. Face-off at Carver Arena is set for 4:15 pm.