Rivermen Emerge Victorious from Raucous 6-4 Victory over Quad City

December 15, 2023 - 11:40 pm

MOLINE, IL –  The Rivermen emerged victorious, 6-4, after a vicious and hard-fought game rivalry game that featured 10 goals and over 160 combined penalty minutes on Friday night at Vibrant Arena at the Mark in Moline. It marked the first back-to-back Rivermen victory since early November against Roanoke.

“This team is starting to show some capability of winning games in different ways,” said Rivermen Assistant Coach Eric Levine. “Props to our guys man, we easily could’ve folded multiple times that game. We had so much adversity, had to kill two five-on-threes, we were down but we talked about coming back, regrouping, and understanding that we were getting exceptional goaltending, and guys on this team care about each other.”

Quad City pressed hard in the first eight minutes of the first period, generating several quality chances but the Rivermen and goaltender Brendahn Brawley were able to hold firm. A neutral-ice pass from Dale Deon found Cayden Cahill who split the Storm defense and walked into a low slot. Cahill unleashed a wicked back-hand shot that beat Quad City netminder Brent Moran to give Peoria a 1-0 lead. The Storm were able to tie the game later in the first but nine seconds later, Cahill picked off a pass in the Quad City zone and stepped into the slot again. Again Cahill sent a back-handed shot to the net and again it found its way in as Peoria was back on top with a 2-1 lead.

The second period saw the Storm out-shoot the Rivermen 13-5 in the middle period. Brawley was able to make some key saves, including on a two-on-one rush, and the Rivermen were able to kill off a five-on-three penalty kill but the Storm would not be denied. and capitalized on a second two-on-one rush while skating four-on-four to tie the game 2-2.

Both the scoring and intensity exploded in the third period as Quad City was able to capitalize on the power play to take their first lead of the game 3-2. But then the Rivermen capitalized on a power play of their own. A hard wrist shot by Alec Baer at the top of the left-wing circle found the back of the net to tie the game 3-3. Tristan Trudel added on another one after a nifty pass from behind the net by Joseph Widmar found Trudel in the slot. Trudel’s wrist shot that made no mistake put Peoria up 4-3 but soon afterward the Storm tied the game up on a back-door pass 4-4. Fights continued to take place throughout the third, including one involving Tristan Trudel and Darren McCormack which ended swiftly in Trudel’s favor.

The Rivermen went back on the power play following more fisticuffs and made the most of their opportunity, with two power-play goals by JM Piotrowski and Baer respectively to put the Rivermen up 6-4. A big fight near the end of regulation finished the game with a bang but with a Rivermen victory nonetheless.

“You add in the fact that we had a couple of fights there, and the best part about those was that it was guys standing up for each other,” Levine said. “We had an awesome sense of urgency to help our teammates and I think stuff like that is how you build a culture and I think that was lacking in the weeks previous and we’re starting to find that life and culture right now.”

The Rivermen will have one more game this weekend as they travel to Evansville, Indiana on Saturday for a single game against the Thunderbolts. Face-off is set for 7:00 pm.

Photo: Tim Lester - Field Pass Hockey