Rivermen Fall to Havoc in Shootout 4-3

January 12, 2024 - 11:06 pm

PEORIA, IL – Despite a hard battle by the Peoria Rivermen, they were unable to overcome a resilient Huntsville Havoc team on Friday night as the Rivermen fell to Huntsville 4-3 in the shootout at Carver Arena.

Peoria was able to get on the board first while on the power play as a shot from Ernst on the left side deflected to the right corner. Braydon Barker pinched up and found the puck. Spying Trudel open in the slot, Barker slid a pass to Trudel who one-timed a hard shot into the back of the net to put the Rivermen up 1-0. Huntsville tied the game 1-1 just over three minutes later to force a tie game going into the second period.

Much like the first period, the second was filled with fast skating and physical play. Alec Hagaman led the charge as he skated up the ice on a late-developing odd-man rush. Hagaman rifled a wrist shot into the back of the net for the face-off circle to put the Rivermen up 2-1. But like the first, Huntsville had an answer just 30 seconds later on a play at the goal-mouth to tie the game up at 2-2.

The third period was a back-and-forth affair that came down to the final minutes of regulation. Alec Baer gave Peoria the lead after receiving a drop pass from Cayden Cahill on the left-wing circle. Baer skated to the base of the circle and sent a low shot into the net that put the Rivermen up 3-2. But just under two minutes later the Havoc tied it up on a slap shot from the left circle to tie the game up again, this time at 3-3.

“Mario did his job”, said Rivermen Head Coach Jean-Guy Trudel about his netminder Mario Cavaliere. “He made every shot look easy, kept rebounds to the outside, that last one he would’ve liked back but our ‘D’ allowed a guy behind them with three minutes left in the third.”

Once again, overtime came to Peoria as both sides needed more time to decide a winner. The Rivermen had to kill off a two-minute penalty in the extra session, but kill it they did to ensure Huntsville did not find the back of the net. Peoria was a perfect 4/4 on the penalty kill on Friday.

“The guys on the penalty kill are guys that care, they care for their teammates they care for their team that’s why they’re on the penalty kill, it’s pretty easy to see and it’s why they’re having success,” Trudel said.

For the second straight meeting, Peoria’s contest for Huntsville was decided in the shootout. Alec Hagaman scored for Peoria but Huntsville found the back of the net twice to take the shootout and the extra point in the standings. Huntsville is now 3-0 against the Rivermen in 2024.

Peoria will be back in action against the Havoc on Saturday night in Carver Arena, face-off is set for 7:15 pm.