Rivermen Fall to Storm 5-4 in Shootout
February 9, 2024 - 10:35 pm
MOLINE, IL – Back-and-forth action, lots of goals, and a thrilling post-regulation. All of the things that mark an exciting rivalry game came to pass on Friday night as the Rivermen took on the Quad City Storm for the first time in 2024. Unfortunately, Peoria fell 5-4 to Quad City in the shootout at Vibrant Arena at the Mark, their first loss to the Storm since early November.
After a bit of a feeling-out period, and some friction between the two rivals, Peoria got on the board first. Good passing between Alec Hagaman and Mike Gelatt below the goal line opened up room in the slot for Alec Baer, a pass by Hagaman to Baer in the slot saw Baer fire a shot into the back of the net to take a 1-0 lead. Quad City scored late in the period after their first power play but the Rivermen soon drew a major power play that they took into the second period.
The middle period was all goals as Quad City killed off the Rivermen advantage and scored twice in the first half of the period to take a 3-1 lead. But the Rivermen rallied just 21 seconds later. Picking up the puck at the left half-wall, Cayden Cahill spied Braydon Barker pinching in on the pack door. Cahill spent a perfect pass to Barker who tapped in his fifth goal of the season to trim the Quad City lead to 3-2. That goal was like a shot in the arm for Peoria as they found the tying goal just over a minute later.
Kalib Ford skated the puck to the net from the right wing and got caught up in traffic right in front as the Storm defensemen tried to tie him up. Refusing to give up on the play, Ford located the loose puck in the scrum and back-handed it into the net for his first as a Riverman to tie the game 3-3. Quad City took the lead back later in the period off the face-off but the Rivermen responded in the final minute of the second. A shot by Hagaman on the left side forced a rebound in front and Baer was able to locate and bury the rebound for his second goal of the game with just under a minute to play in the second period to tie the contest up 4-4.
A scoreless third period resulted in the game going to overtime. Alec Baer had the best chance to end it but struck the crossbar off of a quick pass from JM Piotrowski. The contest was decided in the shootout where the Storm, undefeated in shootouts this year, flexed their muscles, and defeated the Rivermen 3-0 in the skills competition to take the extra point and a 5-4 victory.
Peoria will have a chance for payback on Saturday night as the Rivermen will host the Storm in Bloomington-Normal at Grossinger Motors Arena at 7:15 pm.
Photo: Tim Lester - Field Pass Hockey