Oliveri's Hat Trick Leads Rivermen Past RiverKings Friday

February 3, 2017 7:05 pm

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Olivieri’s Hat Trick Leads Rivermen Past RiverKings Friday

Phaneuf stops 31 to earn second career win


Peoria, IL – The Rivermen scored first and never trailed as they beat the Mississippi RiverKings 4-2 at Carver Arena Friday night. The win, Peoria’s fifth in their last six games, improves Peoria to 18-6-7, good for a second-place tie with Macon before they rematch the RiverKings tomorrow night.


The Rivermen got on the board nearly halfway through the opening frame. At 9:21 Rivermen winger Connor Gorman sent a cross ice pass from the right corner to a streaking Garrett Vermeersch who buried a wrist shot past RiverKings goaltender Brad Barone for a 1-0 Rivermen advantage.


Mississippi tied the game almost ten minutes later on the man advantage. With Rivermen winger Adam Stuart in the sin bin for high sticking, RiverKings winger Mike Moran took a pass just inside the blue line from teammate Cullen Bradsdhaw. Moran blasted a slap shot from just above the circles that snuck past the right pad of Rivermen goaltender Storm Phaneuf to tie the game at 1-1. The first period concluded with the two teams knotted at one apiece.


Peoria retook the lead at 8:04 of the second period. Stuart sent a pass to Rivermen defenseman Don Olivieri, who wristed a shot from above the circles that evaded Barone to give the Rivermen a 2-1 advantage.


Mississippi evened the score just before the midway point of the second. With Rich Ledy off for tripping, RiverKings forward Dillan Fox dropped a pass to Ryan Marcuz. Marcuz crossed from left to right and flicked a shot past Phanuef to even the score at two.


The Rivermen regained the lead for good at 17:09 of the period. Stuart won a faceoff in the RiverKings zone, the puck slid to the right-wing boards, where Rivermen defenseman Dave Pszenyczny sent a pass to Olivieri, where he one-timed a shot from the high slot past the outstretched leg of Barone for a 3-2 Rivermen edge. The second period ended with the Rivermen on top, 3-2.


The Rivermen added an insurance tally 4:11 into the final period. With Bradshaw serving a tripping penalty, Olivieri took a pass from Pszenyczny to the high slot and rifled a shot that beat Barone, completing the hat trick for Oliveiri and giving Peoria a 4-2 lead. The Rivermen would hold their two-goal advantage until the final buzzer, staving off an extra-attacker sequence from the RiverKings in the game’s final minute.


Phaneuf stopped 31 of 33 shots faced to earn his second career victory in net for Peoria. With the win, Phaneuf improves to 2-3-1 on the season, with both wins coming against Mississippi.


Notes: Olivieri collected his first career hat trick, and the first three-goal game in a regular-season game by a Peoria defenseman in the SPHL era…The hat trick is also Oliveri’s first career three-point game…The Rivermen were 1-for-6 on the power-play, giving them a power-play tally in six of their last seven games…The Rivermen return to action Saturday February 4th when they face the RiverKings in a rematch at 7:05 PM…Saturday’s game features an adult replica jersey giveaway for the first 1000 fans 13 and older, presented by Farmers Insurance…The broadcast of the game can be heard, starting with the pregame show, at 6:45 PM,  with the pre-game show beginning at 6:45, at mixlr.com/Peoria-rivermen


Group, single game, and season tickets for Peoria's 35th season of professional hockey presented by Midwest Orthopaedic Center are on sale at the Toyota Box Office in the Peoria Civic Center, or by phone at the Rivermen office, located at 201 S.W. Jefferson Street, or over the phone at (309) 676-1040. For the latest Rivermen news and notes, follow online at www.rivermen.net or through Facebook (www.facebook.com/PeoriaRivermen) - Twitter(https://twitter.com/Peoria_Rivermen)