Rivermen Edge Pensacola 2-1 for Sixth Straight Win

January 4, 2024 - 10:09 pm

PENSACOLA, FL – The Peoria Rivermen extended their winning streak to a season-long six games as they defeated the Ice Flyers 2-1 on Thursday night at the Pensacola Bay Center. The contest also marked Rivermen forward JM Piotrowski's 200th pro hockey game.

The Rivermen were able to get on the board first less than 90 seconds in as Brennan Blaszczak skated hard up the right-wing side and into the offensive zone. Blaszczak then backhanded a pass into the slot where Wilkie fired it into the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season. The Rivermen had two additional power plays in the first period but were forced to settle for a 1-0 lead going into the second period.

Peoria’s penalty killers were front and center in the second period as the Rivermen skated off four penalties against, including an extended five-on-three disadvantage to keep Pensacola at bay. Peoria had several chances to extend their lead but Ice Flyer goaltender Stephen Mundinger made several key saves to keep the Rivermen lead to 1-0.

“We had all of the momentum until the penalties were called on us in the second period,” said Rivermen Head Coach Jean-Guy Trudel. “You can’t ask for better than coming to Pensacola, out-shooting a team 17-3 in the first period and then only giving up, I think, seven shots in the second period where they had four power-plays.”

Pensacola evened the score just 18 seconds into the third period but the Rivermen defense tightened up and didn’t allow many more chances. It opened the door for Alec Baer to find a loose puck in the crease and swat the loose puck into the back of the net for his 31st point of the year which ranks second in the SPHL. The Rivermen held the line for a 2-1 victory, their first in 2024.

The Rivermen will remain on the road for two more games in Huntsville, Alabama on Friday and Saturday against the Havoc. Face-off for both contests is set for 7:00 pm on both nights.