Rivermen Drop Opener in Overtime Saturday
October 20, 2018 7:10 pm
Photo Credit: Tim Lester/Peoria Rivermen
Rivermen Drop Opener in Overtime Saturday
Nikiforov’s OT penalty shot gives Quad City first SPHL win
Moline, IL – The Peoria Rivermen lost their regular-season opener 4-3 in overtime to the Quad City Storm Saturday night after building a 3-1 lead through the first 2 1/2 periods of regulation. The loss drops the Rivermen to 0-0-1 on the young season before next Friday’s rematch with the Storm at the TaxSlayer Center in Moline.
The Rivermen opened the scoring with their first goal of the regular season early in the first period. With the puck in the Quad City Zone, Rivermen defenseman Olivier Schingh-Gomez sent a shot netward from the left-wing point that was deflected by teammate Joe Kalisz. Storm goaltender Peter Di Salvo made the initial save, but on the ensuing net-front scramble Peoria captain Alec Hagaman stuffed the puck into the net for a 1-0 Rivermen lead at 6:27 of the frame.
The Storm tied the game at one with a marker late in the middle period. Quad City defenseman Skyler Smutek carried the puck into the left wing of the Rivermen zone and dropped a pass atop the circle for Storm winger Phil Bronner. Quad City center Joe McKeown dunked Bronner’s crossing pass by Peoria goaltender Mason Pulde for the 1-1 score at 18:16 of the second period.
The Rivermen built a 3-1 l,ead with a pair of goals just over two minutes apart early in the third period. Rivermen forward Austin Vieth wrested a loose puck from Quad City control in the neutral zone, and Peoria center Justin Greenberg carried it into Storm territory. Greenberg hesitated in the left-wing circle and fed a pass to teammate Ben Blasko, who drove to the net and beat Di Salvo for a 2-1 lead at 7:52 of the period. Peoria doubled their advantage to 3-1 just over two minutes later when winger Joe Kalisz carried a loose puck out of the right corner and tucked it over Di Salvo’s left shoulder for a 3-1 score at 9:55 of the frame.
Quad City rallied to tie the game with a pair of special teams tallies late in regulation. With Peoria on the power-play courtesy of an Al Graves roughing minor, Storm forward Dalton Mills pokedthe puck free from high in his own zone and charged ahead 2-on-2 into Rivermen territory. Mill’s shot around a Peoria defender got by Pulde for a shorthanded goal and a 3-2 score at 11:57 of the period. The Storm tied the game later in the third on the power play, with Peoria defenseman Ben Oskroba boxed for cross checking, the Storm worked the puck across the low slot, and Taylor McCloy’s one-timer of an Austin Hervey pass got past Pulde for a 3-3 tie at 17:34 of the frame. The game remained tied until the final buzzer of regulation and the game descended to overtime.
During the overtime period the teams traded scoring chances and penalty shots before the Storm cashed in for the 4-3 victory. Hagaman’s penalty shot was unsuccessful at 1:28 of OT after he was hauled down on a breakaway by a Storm defender. Quad City winger Vladimir Nikiforov was tripped on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot of his own, during which he deked his way through the low slot and tucked the puck under Pulde’s left pad at 3:32 of overtime
Pulde stopped 29 of 33 shots faced during regulation and overtime, including the game-winning penalty shot, in a losing effort, dropping him to 0-0-1 on the season and 6-1-2 in his SPHL career.
Notes: Hagaman recorded a goal and an assist and has a seven-game regular-season pointscoring streak dating back to March 17 of last season…Kalisz notched a goal and an assist in the game…Blasko’s goal is his first as a professional and comes in his pro debut…Peoria will hold the season’s first Coaches Show at the Fieldhouse Bar & Grill this Tuesday, October 23, from 6-7 PM, and broadcast live on ESPN Radio Peoria…The Rivermen return to action next Friday night, October 26, when they return to the TaxSlayer Center for a rematch with the Quad City Storm at 7:10…The broadcast of the game can be heard, starting with the pregame show, at 6:50, 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)