Rivermen Winning Streak Ends in Fayetteville

February 2, 2024 - 09:30 pm

FAYETTEVILLE, NC – A five-game winning streak came to an end on Friday night as the Peoria Rivermen fell to the Marksmen 5-2 at the Crown Coliseum in the first meeting between the two teams this season.

Fayetteville notched the first goal of the game off of a deflection to take a 1-0 lead. Despite a furious Rivermen push, including a break-away, Peoria could not find the equalizer and had to settle for taking a power play into the second period.  

Peoria continued to buzz in the second period with quality chances, but the Marksmen proved opportunistic and capitalized on an odd-man break to extend their lead to 2-0. Needing a bounce or a critical play, Peoria got it in the form of captain Alec Hagaman. After a won face-off in the offensive zone, defenseman Zach Wilkie sent a hard shot toward the net from the right point. Hagaman, standing in the slot deflected the puck into the back of the net to trim the Marksmen lead to 2-1. Peoria had more chances later on in the period, including short-handed where they thrived last night, but desperation plays by the Marksmen defensively kept the Rivermen from tying the game in the second period.

After a furious start to the third period, Fayetteville managed to extend their lead off of a lucky bounce just after a face-off. But Peoria responded with a power-play goal by Zach Wilkie to once again pull the Rivermen to within one goal. As time ticked down, Peoria was assessed a tripping minor with under three minutes to go. Short-handed, Hagaman stepped in on a short-handed breakaway and a chance to tie the game. Hagaman had his stick slashed out of his hands, though no call against Fayetteville came from it. Instead, Hagaman was given a roughing minor after a collision behind the play.

The Marksmen took advantage of the two-man advantage by capitalizing on two power-play goals late in the game to put them up 5-2. The Rivermen and Marksmen, tied for second place, will do battle tomorrow night at the Crown Coliseum at 6:00 pm Eastern time.