Rivermen Maul Marksmen 5-1

February 17, 2024 - 10:35 pm

PEORIA, IL – In an intense and animosity-filled battle, the Rivermen mauled the Fayetteville Marksmen 5-1 on Saturday night in front of 4,434 fans at Carver Arena. The win secures second place for the Rivermen for the remainder of the weekend.

Peoria continued their stout defensive play from Friday night’s contest, not allowing the Marksmen to register a shot on the net until after the midway point of the first period. Chase Spencer was able to pick a pocket on the right-wing side before sending a cross-ice pass to Cayden Cahill who stepped in over the line to the left side. Cahill rifled a wrist shot off the far post and into the net to put Peoria up 1-0. It marked the fourth straight game that the Rivermen netted the first goal of the game. Peoria kept the pressure up as Cahill won a zone draw to Chase Spencer on the right point. Spencer sent a wrist-shot to the front that was deflected by Drapluk in front to put the Rivermen up 2-0.

The Rivermen extended their lead to 3-0 off of a one-timed shot by Jordan Ernst in the mid-stages of the second period. It marked the first power-play goal for either side on the weekend. But fights and extra-curricular activities ensued soon after that eventually put the Rivermen short-handed for three minutes. Peoria, down several players due to misconduct, was able to hold the line and kept the Marksmen off the scoreboard through 40 minutes.

Fayetteville was able to find the back of the net just 68 seconds into the third period, but the Rivermen answered back midway through the regulation period. Ryan Nolan was able to force a turnover along the right-wing boards in the offensiev3 zone and stepped in on a two-on-one with Cahill. Nolan showed great patience before sending a quick cross-crease pass to Cahill who tapped the puck into the back of the net to restore Peoria’s three-goal lead. Late in the contest, Fayetteville went for broke on the power play, pulling the goaltender for a six-on-four advantage. It worked to Peoria’s advantage instead as the leaking penalty kill unit for short-handed goals in the SPHL struck again. JM Piotrowski took the puck from a pass from Drapluk at center and rifled in an empty net goal, his third short-handed tally of the season.

All in all, the Rivermen secured an empathic 5-1 victory over the Fayetteville Marksmen to pick their second straight victory of the weekend. The win also ensures that Peoria will close the weekend in second place in the SPHL standings. The Rivermen and Marksmen will close the weekend and their weekend series on Sunday afternoon at Carver Arena at 3:15 pm.