Jordan Ernst Leads Rivermen to 5-4 Victory in Quad City

December 26, 2023 - 09:30 pm

MOLINE, IL – Jordan Ernst’s hat trick was the difference on Tuesday night as the Rivermen defeated the Quad City 5-4 at Vibrant Arena at the Mark in Moline.

“We know what he brings and it’s nice, not just his goals but also his energy,” said Rivermen Head Coach Jean-Guy Trudel on Ernst. “He played extremely well today and without him, we don’t win that game.”

Peoria was able to get out to a hot start as Jordan Ernst escaped from a double-team along the right half-boards. With room to skate, to took the puck to the slot and sent out a hard wrist shot that deflected off of the cross-bar and into the back of the net. Ernst’s second straight point in as many games lifted the Rivermen to an early 1-0 lead. A lead that expanded on the next shift. Just about 20 seconds later, Ernst sent a pass across the neutral zone from the left-wing side. He found Alec Baer in stride as he had clear ice in front of him. With time and space, Baer stepped into the offensive zone and perfectly placed a shot just over the pad of Storm netminder Baily Brkin to put the Rivermen up 2-0.

A few minutes later, the Rivermen went on their first power play of the game, and once again, much like last weekend, the Peoria Power play made an impact. Baer skated the puck up on a rush along the left-wing side, dipping his shoulder he drove around the defender and towards the net. Then at the last second, he sent a quick pass across the top of the crease to JM Piotrowski who simply tapped the puck into a wide-open net for Peoria’s fifth power-play goal in three games and a 3-0 lead over the Storm.

Quad City was able to get on the board off of a deflected point shot just over five minutes into the second period to trim the Rivermen lead to 3-1. They then embarked on back-to-back power plays looking to tie the game. But the Rivermen penalty killers were stout as they held off the Storm attack. Late in the second period, Ernst struck again for his second of the night as he skated up on a three-on-two. Durham dropped a pass to Ernst as he crossed in front of his skating lane. Ernst picked up the puck as he skated left, and right to the face-off dot, and rifled a shot over the shoulder of Brkin to secure his second goal of the night and a 4-1 Rivermen lead.

Once again, the Storm were able to pull to within two goals early on in a period as they found the back of the net early on in the third, but again the Rivermen responded in kind. Jordan Ernst received a tipped pass from Cale List and Alec Baer as he streaked into the Quad City zone. Ernst dipped his shoulder and took the puck to the net. As he stepped in he directed the puck just inside the far post to secure his third goal of the game and a 5-2 Rivermen lead. It marked just the second hat trick for the Rivermen this season.

Though Quad City netted two goals, including one in the last minute, it was too little too late as the Rivermen secured a road win 5-4 over the Storm.

The Rivermen will have a short turn-around as they are in the midst of a four-game span in six days. They will next host the Macon Mayhem at Carver Arena on Friday and Saturday night before welcoming back the Storm on Sunday afternoon to close out 2023.


Photo: Tim Lester - Field Pass Hockey