Rivermen Rally to Quiet Mayhem 5-4

December 30, 2023 - 10:25 pm

PEORIA, IL – The Peoria Rivermen took care of business on Saturday night as they rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Macon Mayhem 5-4 at Carver Arena to sweep the season series.

Unlike Friday night, fans did not have to wait long for the first goal of the game as the Mayhem struck early on a power-play goal less than two minutes into the game. Peoria had plenty of good chances in the latter half of the period, including a five-on-three power-play. But despite 15-7 shots on goal advantage, the Rivermen trail 1-0 going into the second period.

The Mayhem scored again early in the period to take a 2-0 lead which resulted in a quick goaltender change by the Rivermen. That seemed to spark Peoria as they went on the offensive attack. Two goals by Brody Duncan, both quick wrist-shots from the top of the left-wing circle tied the game quickly for Peoria. This was followed up by Alec Hagaman’s 10th of the season. As forward Alec Baer skated right to the base of the circle, he showed great patience in waiting for a passing lane to open up. It did, and Baer sent a pass across the crease to a waiting Hagaman who tapped the puck into an open net to give Peoria their first lead of the night. Unfortunately, the Mayhem were able to tie the game late in the second period off of a great individual effort and for the second straight night, the Rivermen and Mayhem skated into the third period all tied up.

Peoria did not allow the game to be tied for long however as Alec Hagaman received the puck off of a face-off win in the offensive zone. Skating to the high slot, Hagaman sent in a low shot on the net that beat Macon goaltender Josh Boyko's five-hole to secure Hagaman’s second goal of the night. Zach Wilkie added on another goal with a one-timed blast from the high slot while the Rivermen were on the power play. That goal ended up being the difference maker as the Rivermen held off the Mayhem, despite the visitors netting a final power-play tally, to secure their fourth consecutive victory.

The Rivermen will host the Quad City Storm on Sunday afternoon as they look to close out the 2023 calendar year before a long three-game road trip the following week. Face-off for Sunday’s game is set for 3:15 pm at Carver Arena.
Photo: Elizabeth Maier - Peoria Rivermen