Peoria Holds the Line for 2-1 Victory Over Roanoke
November 17, 2023 - 10:09 pm
PEORIA, IL – It was the first meeting between Peoria and Roanoke since the Rail Yard Dawgs eliminated Peoria in the semi-finals of last year’s President’s Cup Playoffs. Friday night’s game was much different from the infamous Game Three of last April as the Peoria Rivermen (6-0-1-0) defeated the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs (5-2-1-1) 2-1 in front of 3386 fans at Carver Arena.
Peoria got the hot start they wanted as Hayden Hulton flipped a pass into the middle of the ice for Joseph Widmar to step in on a breakaway from the Roanoke blue line. Widmar pulled off a quick little deke before tucking the puck between the legs of Rail Yard Dawg goaltender Brody Claeys to put the Rivermen up 1-0 early in the game.
A tightly played defensive period was broken by the Rivermen as Renat Dadadzhanov sent a shot toward the net while on a rust that was deflected wide by Hayden Hulton. Tristan Trudel, forechecking hard, got to the puck first and from below the goal line was able to stuff in his fourth goal of the season to put the Rivermen up 2-0. Like the end of the first period, the Rail Yard Dawgs mounted an offensive push late, but like in the first, the Rivermen defense was able to hold firm.
The Rail Yard Dawgs pushed late in the game and netted a power-play goal in the third to pull within one, but the Rivermen defense gave up nothing more as they held the line against the Dawgs to secure their sixth victory of the year. For Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel, it was one of the best performances of his team this season.
“This was the best effort defensively and in the neutral zone, we were very tight very physical, and didn’t give much,” Trudel said. “I know for some fans it might have not been a beautiful hockey game but for me, as a coach, it was a beautiful game to only give 12 shots to a good team like Roanoke.”
Roanoke’s 12 shots on goal (they were out-shot 23-12 by Peoria) marked a new franchise low for them, defeating the previous low (14) set in March of 2018. The Rivermen are now in position for their first weekend-sweep of the season on Saturday night at Carver Arena. Face-off for Saturday’s game is set for 7:15 pm.