Rivermen Hold Off Thunderbolts Friday
November 23, 2018 7:15 pm
Photo Credit: Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
Rivermen Hold Off Thunderbolts Friday
Klein picks up fifth win as Peoria cruises to third straight
Peoria, IL – The Peoria Rivermen scored a pair of goals in each of the last two periods Friday night as they earned their third straight win, 4-2 over the Evansville Thunderbolts. With the win, Peoria improves to 8-0-2 on the season before tomorrow’s showdown against the Pensacola Ice Flyers.
The game was scoreless through the first period and change until the Thunderbolts opened the scoring at 7:09 of the second period. Thunderbolts winger Brandon Tucker carried into the left wing of the Rivermen zone. Tucker’s wrist shot was kicked aside by Rivermen goaltender Stephen Klein, but the rebound found Evansville forward Pijus Rulevicius, who snapped it past Klein for the 1-0 Thunderbolts lead.
The Rivermen fought back to re-tie the game and take the lead with a pair of goals in the final 2:09 of the second period. Rivermen winger Mike Gurtler tipped teammate Kevin Patterson’s wrist shot past Thunderbolts goalie Braeden Ostepchuk for a 1-1 score at 17:51 of the frame. Peoria netted the go-ahead goal with half of a second remaining in the second period, when Rivermen center Dean Yakura redirected teammate Alec Hagaman’s saucer pass by Ostepchuk for the 2-1 lead, officially at 19:59 of the frame.
Peoria got the eventual game-winner 12:06 into the third period when Rivermen winger Joe Kalisz controlled the puck on the left wing of the Thunderbolts zone, ducked below the goal line, and sent a pass back netfront to teammate Will Smith, who one-timed it past Ostepchuk from point-blank range.
The Thunderbolts pushed to within a goal with a power-play tally in the closing minutes of the third period. With Rivermen defenseman Guillaume Naud boxed for holding, Evansville defenseman Brandon Lubin’s drive from the high slot knuckled past Klein and into the Rivermen net for a 3-2 score at 17:02 of the third period. Peoria added an insurance tally with an empty-net short-handed goal from winger Austin Vieth for the 4-2 final at 18:55 of the period.
Klein turned aside 29 of 31 shots faced in net, including 16 of 17 in the final 20 minutes of regulation, to earn his fifth straight win between the pipes. With the win, Klein moves to 5-0-0 in his professional career.
Notes: Yakura’s second-period goal is his first since March 10 of last season against Roanoke, and his first tally in a Peoria uniform since he netted a pair March 1, 2014 against the Louisiana IceGators…Gurtler scored a goal and an assist to record his first multi-point performance since March 24 of last season against the Macon Mayhem…Peoria defenseman Ralfs Grinbergs recorded two assists to extend his point-scoring streak to seven games, dating back to Peoria’s home opener against Quad City November 2…The Rivermen return to action tomorrow night when they host the Pensacola Ice Flyers Saturday night, when Peoria will hold the team’s second annual Wiener Dog Races during intermission, presented by Camp Bow Wow of Peoria…The Rivermen will also wear special Wiener Dog Race jerseys during Saturday’s game, and auction off the game-worn sweaters postgame…Saturday’s game will start at 7:15 PM, and the broadcast of the game can be heard, starting with the pregame show, at 6:55, at http://mixlr.com/peoria-rivermen/
Group, single game, and season tickets for Peoria's 37th 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)