Peoria’s Third Period Rally Falls Just Short in Fayetteville

February 3, 2024 - 08:25 pm

FAYETTEVILLE, NC – In a battle for sole possession of second place in the SPHL standings, the Peoria Rivermen showed great tenacity and resolve but ultimately fell short on Saturday 3-2 to the Fayetteville Marksmen at the Crown Coliseum.

Just like Friday night, the Rivermen skated well and had a number of chances, including three power plays but could not find the lead-off goal. Instead, it was Fayetteville who notched the first goal of the game midway through the period to take a 1-0 lead that they held going into the second.

Fayetteville was able to hold off the Rivermen despite quality chances in the middle stages of the frame both even strength and five-on-five. Like Friday night Peoria had breakaway chances and odd-man rushes but could not find the back of the net. Instead, Fayetteville was able to capitalize on a goal-mouth scramble while on the power play to extend their lead to 2-0.

The third period saw Peoria mount an epic comeback attempt. The Rivermen embarked on their fifth power play of the night and quickly struck. Jordan Ernst took a hard shot from the left wall that produced a rebound off of the goaltender in front. Mike Gelatt was right in front of the net to deposit the rebound to put the Rivermen on the board. With the lead trimmed to just 2-1, Fayetteville showed weakness and the Rivermen pushed the pace. JM Piotrowski skated into the zone on the right side and unloaded a fast shot that sailed into the net from a short angle. Two goals by Peoria in less than a minute had taken the game for a 2-0 Fayetteville lead to a 2-2 tie game.

Back-and-forth action ensued for the next six minutes before the Marksmen found the back of the net on a broken play with just over five minutes to go. Peoria pressed hard in the final moments, including an opportunity with just a few seconds to go. But in the end, the Rivermen could not find the equalizer and fell to the Marksmen for the second night in a row.

Peoria, sitting in third place in the SPHL standings, will lick their wounds before they take on the Quad City Storm on Friday, February 9 in Moline Illinois before the Rivermen host the Storm at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington, IL on Saturday, February 10.