Barker Powers Penicillin to 4-1 Victory over Pensacola

March 9, 2024 - 10:25 pm

PEORIA, IL – Braydon Barker only started playing forward for the Rivermen about a month ago. But since then he has become a major factor up front as evidenced on Saturday night. Barker’s hat trick powered the Peoria Penicillin over the Pensacola Ice Flyers on Rebrand Night at Carver Arena.

The Penicillin struck first for the second straight night in a row as Zach Wilkie went for a wrap-around from behind the net. Wilkie had the puck slide off of his stick into the crease where Braydon Barker was waiting. Barker jumped on the loose puck and quickly fired it into the net to put Peoria up 1-0. Pensacola was held off on a five-on-three advantage and Barker soon struck again in the last minute of the first period with a shot from Cale List at the point. List’s shot deflected in off of Barker at the side of the net with 13 seconds to go in the first to put the Penicillin up 2-0.

Peoria continued their offensive dominance in the second period as Wilkie extended his power-play goal streak with a hard wrist shot from the high slot that sailed into the top shelf to put the Penicillin up 3-0 early in the second. Pensacola answered back with a quick shot from point-blank range to trim the lead to 3-1. But Braydon Barker, just like he did in the final minute of the first period, came up with a big goal in the last minute of the second. Skating four-on-four Jordan Ernst was able to fire a shot from the high slot that sailed high. The shot deflected off the glass and right to the base of the right-wing circle. There Barker stood and unlashed a hard shot that snuck in short-side to secure the hat trick, the second hat trick in three games for Peoria.

In the end, Peoria skated to another weekend sweep on home ice, the win marked their 10th consecutive victory at Carver Arena as the race to the post-season comes down to its final stages. Peoria will host the Quad City Storm on Friday night at 7:15 pm in a battle between two of the hottest teams in the SPHL.


Photo: Elizabeth Maier - Peoria Rivermen