Rivermen Rally, Come From Behind to Down Havoc 5-4
November 24, 2023 - 11:35 pm
HUNTSVILLE, AL – On the tail-end of a three-in-three, when the Rivermen faced adversity, they stepped to the fore and were able to earn a come-from-behind victory, 5-4, over the Huntsville Havoc on Friday night at Roto-Rooter Ice at Propst Arena.
“A lot of guys stepped up; we had a ton of adversity at different points in that game. But we showed that we have a lot of heart and a lot of character,” said Rivermen Assistant Coach Eric Levine.
The Havoc came out flying in the first period as they took advantage of a swarming offense to take a 1-0 lead through the first period. Peoria’s defense came through on the penalty kill, killing off two Rivermen penalties and allowing the Rivermen to set up on their own power play chances in the first and second periods.
The Rivermen power play came through as Alec Hagaman received a nifty pass, low to high, from JM Piotrowski. Hagaman rifled a shot in past goaltender Matt Petizian to tie the game up 1-1. Peoria then took the lead thanks to a quick shot by Ryan Nolan from the top of the right-wing circle that came on so quickly it froze Petizian. Up 2-1, the Rivermen faced a large offensive push by the Havoc. That push resulted in two goals by Huntsville to regain the lead midway through the second period. Peoria lost several key players due to either injury or penalty trouble but still, they soldiered on and held the Havoc to just a one-goal lead through 40 minutes.
“That period was mostly survival, and we know that all we had to do was hang on and keep it close,” Levine said. “Once we got through that period It was our time to put together the accumulation of two and a half games of hard work and that’s exactly what we did.”
Peoria survived to the third period and, needing a surge came out and delivered. A pass by Joseph Widmar in the right corner found Ryan Nolan with room in the slot. Nolan ripped a one-timer into the net to tie the game 3-3. Then, when Peoria received a power-play, the Rivermen capitalized again thanks to a quick shot from Hagaman who gave Peoria their second lead of the game. The Rivermen added a key insurance goal from Alec Baer who cleaned up a JM Piotrowski shot on an odd-man rush to put the Rivermen up 5-3. That ended up being the difference maker as Peoria held on for an emotional 5-4 come-from-behind victory.
The victory put the Rivermen back in the win column after dropping two games in the previous two nights. Peoria will take on the Pensacola Ice Flyers next weekend in their first trip to Florida this season.