Record Crowd of 8701 Watch Latinovich Blank Storm 2-0

December 14, 2023 - 02:07 pm

PEORIA, IL –  Over 8700 fans and students crammed into Carver Arena on Thursday morning in the largest Rivermen crowd in the SPHL era to witness Peoria goaltender Nick Latinovich and the Rivermen blank the Quad City Storm 2-0 during Peoria’s annual Education Day at the Peoria Civic Center.

It was a back-and-forth start to the first period with the Rivermen and Storm trading solid shifts offensively. The energy of the record crowd, mostly filled with kids, continued to build in anticipation of the first goal and it came in the form of captain Alec Hagaman. Hagaman helped start the breakout along the right-wing side and Hayden Hulton had the puck. Hulton fed Hagaman who was skating into the slot and Hagaman held his shot which froze the goaltender before rifling the puck into the back of the net to put the Rivermen up 1-0. Peoria continued to pile on the pressure and was rewarded as a shot from Hagaman on the right-wing side deflected off the end boards and right in front. In the chaos of bodies and sticks in front, JM Piotrowski was able to locate and direct the puck into the back of the net to secure his first goal in 10 games and a 2-0 Rivermen lead.

The second period was another back-and-forth affair as the Rivermen and the Storm exchanged power-play chances but neither could find the back of the net despite some quality chances. The large crowd continued to be laud to help the Rivermen who had to rally and kill nearly eight minutes of penalty time in the second period. But kill it they did, and it set the stage for a strong finish in the third.

Peoria completely shut down the Storm in the third period, allowing only one shot on goal and ensuring Nick Latinovich’s first shutout in a Rivermen uniform. Peoria also gave Quad City their first loss on the road this season and improved to 3-0-1 against the Storm this year.

The Rivermen will have little time to celebrate as they get set to travel to Moline, Illinois tomorrow night for a re-match with the Storm. Face-off for that game is set for 7:10 pm.