Rivermen Drop Overtime Squeaker to Mayhem Saturday

March 24, 2018 7:15 pm

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Macon Mayhem


Photo Credit: Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen

Rivermen Drop Overtime Squeaker to Mayhem Saturday

Gurtler’s two goals not enough in see-saw affair


Peoria, IL – The Peoria Rivermen got two goals from Mike Gurtler and three points from Joseph Widmar, but it wasn’t enough as the Macon Mayhem bested the Rivermen 5-4 in overtime Saturday night. With the loss, the Rivermen fall to 34-12-5 on the season, 73 points and remain on top of the SPHL standings with five games remaining in the regular season schedule.


The Mayhem opened the scoring while on the power play late in the first period. With Rivermen defenseman Brandon Rumble in the sin bin for interference, Mayhem center John Siemer controlled the puck behind the Rivermen net and sent a pass to the right side of the slot, where winger Dylan Denomme collected the pass and snapped the puck over Rivermen netminder Tyler Parks and into the back of the net for the 1-0 edge at 14:16 of the opening period.


The Rivermen evened the score in the early stages of the second period with a power-play goal of their own. With Mayhem defenseman Vinny Muto serving a slashing penalty, Rivermen winger Joe Kalisz took a pass from teammate Joseph Widmar below the left circle of the Macon zone, and sent a pass across the crease to winger Mike Gurtler, who slammed a one-timer behind Mayhem goaltender Peter Di Salvo to tie the game 1-1 at 6:17 of the middle frame.


Peoria grabbed their first lead of the evening just past the midway point of the middle frame while on the power play. With Muto serving another slashing infraction, the Rivermen were cycling the puck in the Mayhem zone. Rivermen defenseman Dave Pszenyczny controlled the puck in the high slot, then slipped a pass to the left circle, where Widmar took the pass and snapped a shot that whistled past Di Salvo’s outstretched glove and into the back of the net for the 2-1 lead at 12:04 of the second period.


Macon re-tied the contest at two late in the second period while on a power play of their own. With Rivermen winger Cody Dion serving minors for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct, Macon defenseman Zach Urban sent a pass to the right circle, where Siemer collected the puck and snapped it over Parks’ right shoulder to tie the score at two goals apiece at 16:29 of the middle period.


The Mayhem grabbed their second lead of the contest in the opening stages of the third period while the teams were skating five a side. Macon winger Jake Trask skated into the left circle of the Rivermen zone, and collected a pass from teammate Brandon Pfeil, and one timed it off Mayhem captain Daniel Gentzler’s stick and over Parks’ shoulder into the back of the net for the 3-2 Mayhem lead at 2:11 of the third period.


The Rivermen re-tied the game moments later when Gurtler took a pass from Rivermen center/defenseman Jordan Carvalho and raced into the Macon zone. Gurtler fired a shot that was wide of the net into the left-wing corner. The puck bounded off the end boards and off of Di Salvo’s body, into the net to tie the game 3-3 at 3:31 of the third period.


Macon regained the lead near the middle stage of the third frame. Siemer fired a shot that appeared to be stopped by Parks. The puck fluttered to the left of the crease uncovered and was stuffed between Parks’ legs and into the back of the net by Mayhem center Ian Ecklund for the 4-3 Mayhem lead at 7:30 of the third period.


The Rivermen tied the contest once again in the closing minutes of the third period. With the puck behind the Mayhem goal line, Carvalho collected the puck off the dasher boards and skated toward the left corner, where he fed a pass to teammate Keegan Bruce. Bruce one-timed the puck from the low left circle over Di Salvo’s left shoulder and into the back of the net for the 4-4 tie at 17:37 of the third period.


Regulation concluded with the teams tied at four and the contest entered an overtime period, and Macon got the game winner just over 60 seconds into the extra frame. Siemer took a pass from Mayhem winger Dakota Klecha in the Rivermen zone, and skated across the slot, where he snapped a shot past Parks and into the back of the net for the 5-4 final at 1:21 of the overtime session.


Parks suffered the overtime loss between the pipes in his first SPHL game since February 2nd. The Imperial, MO native stopped 22 of 27 shots faced, and with the loss Parks falls to 10-3-2 on the season.


Notes: With an assist on Widmar’s goal, Pszenyczny snapped a six-game point drought…Gurtler earned his second two-goal game of the season against Macon, the last was February 11 at the Macon Centreplex….The overtime loss is the first such defeat for the Rivermen this season, they are 5-1 in overtime periods…The Rivermen return to action Sunday afternoon as they welcome the Evansville Thunderbolts to Carver Arena at 3:05 p.m.…Sunday’s game is the season’s final Sunday Family Funday presented by PNC Bank, with $3 tickets for kids 12 and under, a pregame kids fest in the Peoria Civic Center Great Hall featuring inflatables, face painting, and balloon art, and $1 hot dogs all game long….Sunday’s game also features a post-game skate with the Rivermen players on the Carver Arena ice, fans must provide their own skates…The broadcast of the game can be heard, starting with the pre-game show, at 2:45 p.m. at http://mixlr.com/peoria-rivermen/


Group, single game, and season tickets for Peoria's 36th 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/PeoriaRiver-men) - Twitter(https://twitter.com/Peoria_Riverme-n)