Rivermen Dismiss Havoc 7-3 Saturday in Peoria, Advance to Finals

April 22, 2017 7:05 pm

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Huntsville Havoc


Photo Credit: Addison Blair/Peoria Rivermen

Rivermen Dismiss Havoc 7-3 Saturday in Peoria, Advance to Finals

Rivermen advance to Presidents Cup finals for second straight year, will face Macon Friday


Peoria, IL – The Peoria Rivermen scored first and the Huntsville Havoc made a game of it late, but the Rivermen used a monstrous third period to earn a 7-3 victory in the decisive Game 3 of the Presidents Cup Semi Finals. The win clinches the series for the Rivermen, and they will advance to the finals against the Macon Mayhem beginning Friday night in Peoria.


The Rivermen started the scoring early in the contest, when Rivermen forward Alec Hagaman took a pass from line mate Michael Colantone, circled behind the Havoc goal and out into the high slot, where he uncorked a wrister that beat Huntsville goaltender Tyler Steel at 3:18 for a 1-0 Rivermen lead.


Huntsville evened the score just a little under a minute later. Havoc winger John Clewlow had a shot turned away by Rivermen goaltender Storm Phaneuf, but the rebound trickled to the left of the net, where Mike Piluso banged in a rebound at 4:11 of the period to knot the game at a goal apiece.


Peoria regained the lead for good with a pair of goals in the late part of the first period. Rivermen winger Cody Dion carried the puck up the left-wing boards of the Havoc zone and dropped off at the point for teammate Eric Witzel, who walked back down through the left circle and fed across the slot to a streaking Dion, who snapped it past Steel’s blocker for a 2-1 lead at 13:02 of the period. The Rivermen added a power play tally 69 seconds later, with Havoc defenseman Justin Tateson sitting for a high stick. Rivermen defenseman Brandon Greenside took a pass from Hagaman and unleashed a howitzer from the inside right point that beat Steel at 14:11 for the 3-1 Rivermen advantage.


The Havoc cut into the Rivermen lead late in the game’s middle frame. Huntsville defenseman Nolan Kaiser collected a pass from teammate Jordan Wood in the left circle and rifled a wrist shot through traffic and over the shoulder of Phaneuf at 16:16 of the second period for a 3-2 score.


The Rivermen recaptured a two-goal lead near the midpoint of the third period. Rivermen center Adam Stuart chipped a pass off the right wings boards that found captain Dan Bremner, who carried the puck into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 with Stuart. Bremner kept the puck and blasted a slap shot past the outstretched trapper of Steel and into the back of the net at 7:34 of the period for a 4-2 Rivermen lead.


Peoria added an insurance goal late in the third period, at 14:34. Rivermen defenseman Dave Pszenyczny fired a shot from the point that found the stick of teammate Connor Gorman, who tipped it past Steel for a 5-2 Rivermen lead.


The Havoc pulled Steel in favor of an extra attacker with approximately five minutes remaining in the third, and Peoria survived an onslaught that included a two-minute penalty kill before the Havoc broke through. After a mad scramble in front of the Peoria net, Kaiser found the puck and fed a pass across the goalmouth to Kyle Sharkey, who snapped a wrister past a diving Phaneuf at 18:27 for a 5-3 score.


Steel remained on the bench and the Rivermen capitalized, adding two empty net tallies to secure the victory. Winger Dakota Klecha flicked a puck from his own left hashmark that traversed the length of the ice and slowly rolled into the empty net for a 6-3 lead at 18:40. Moments later Jeff Jones added another empty net goal on a shot from the Huntsville blueline at 19:18 for the 7-3 final score.


Phaneuf earned the victory in goal, stopping 29 of 32 shots faced. With the victory, he improves to 4-1 in his first professional postseason.



Notes: Greenside scored his 8th point of the 2017 playoffs, and 11th career playoff point….With his two points in the game, Hagaman now has 8 points in 6 games during the 2017 playoffs….Bremner earned his first career post-season game winning goal, and his first goal of this postseason…Gorman scored his league-leading 6th goal of the playoffs…The Rivermen return to action in Game 1 of the Presidents Cup Finals Friday night, April 28th  against the Macon Mayhem at Carver Arena…Friday’s game starts at 7:30 Central Time, and tickets for the game …The broadcast of the game can be heard, starting with the pre-game show, at 7:15 p.m. at http://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)