Rivermen Comeback Falls Short in Shootout, 5-4 to Havoc
January 6, 2024 - 11:20 pm
HUNTSVILLE, AL – Peoria came back from three separate deficits to force overtime on Saturday night but fell just short in the shootout to the Huntsville Havoc at Roto-Rooter Ice at Propst Arena.
Huntsville was able to notch the first goal of the game on a net-mouth scramble to take a 1-0 lead early in the contest. After Peoria killed off a double-minor penalty, they went on a five-on-three power play looking to tie the game. Alec Baer unloaded a beautiful slapshot in the high slot that was wired over the glove of Huntsville netminder Matt Petizian to tie the game with under a minute left in the period. Still short-handed, the Havoc went up on a two-on-one rush in the waning seconds of the period. After the initial shot from the right side was saved, a turn-around shot from the left wall slid into the back of the net with three-tenths of a second to go to give Huntsville the lead right back 2-1.
Braydon Barker was the player of the second period for Peoria. Barker was the one who tied the game after a shot from the right side deflected off of the stick of Petizian to Barker at the left-wing circle. Barker snapped home a shot into the top right corner to tie the game 2-2. Barker was also instrumental defensively, breaking up several cross-slot passes by the Havoc while on the power play, ensuring that the Rivermen entered the third period tied 2-2.
Huntsville scored two goals in less than 30 seconds but the Rivermen fought back to tie the game. Mid-way through the period, Andrew Durham had a shot blocked from the left side but the puck deflected back to him. Durham skated across the low slot and waited for Petizian to go down before firing a shot into the back of the net to pull the Rivermen within one. Then, with less than a minute remaining, Alec Hagaman unloaded a one-timed shot from the top of the left-wing circle to find the back of the net with just 18 seconds to go.
Peoria forced overtime but could not find the back of the net. The game was decided in the shootout, one that took 10 rounds to decide. In the end, Peoria fell just short and was forced to settle for three points out of a possible six on their road trip.
The Rivermen will return to the River City for a three-game series against the Havoc on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Carver Arena.