December 31, 2016 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Peoria Rivermen
Peoria, IL - The Peoria Rivermen battled from behind to tie the game late before falling 3-2 in a shootout to the Mississippi RiverKings at Carver Arena Saturday night. The loss, Peoria's seventh in a game decided after regulation, keeps Peoria in fourth place with 29 points before a pair of games at Mississippi next weekend.
The Rivermen took the lead with the game's first goal late in the first period. With a 2-on-2 battle for the puck in the right corner of the Mississippi zone, the puck squirted free to Peoria winger Nick D'Avolio above the corner, and he walked down the goal line and tucked a shot inside the far post of RiverKings goaltender Brad Barone for a 1-0 lead at 17:44 of the period.
The Rivermen lead held through the remainder of the first until Mississippi tied it up with a power play marker in the second. With Klecha in the box for roughing, Mississippi worked the puck to the top of the slot and RiverKings defenseman Joe Sova's shot through traffic was tipped by Ryan Marcuz past Rivermen goaltender Storm Phaneuf to tie the game 1-1 at 5:54 of the second.
The RiverKings went on to take their first lead of the weekend later in the second period. At 10:02, Mississippi wingers Sam Higgins and Todd Hosmer entered the Peoria zone, and after Higgins' initial slot from the high slot was blocked by the Rivermen defense, Hosmer slid the loose puck under Phaneuf's pads for a 2-1 RiverKings lead.
The Rivermen battled from behind for the rest of the second period and most of the third before tying the game in the final four minutes of regulation. With the puck atop the Mississippi slot, Peoria winger Adam Stuart fed a pass through the left circle to Ben Oskroba. The Rivermen defenseman walked through the circle and ripped a wrist shot over Barone's shoulder to tie the game 2-2 at 16:07 of the third.
The game remained tied through the end of the third period and all of overtime, despite a 14-1 shots on goal advantage for Peoria in the extra period. In the shootout the RiverKings took a lead from their first shooter, Sova, when he wrapped the puck around Phaneuf's right pad. Peoria tied the game on veteran Adam Stuart's forehand wrister from the low right circle, and the contest descended to extra shooters. In the second sudden-death round, RiverKings winger Dillan Fox tucked a shot inside the left post, and Barone denied Olivieri's second attempt of the shootout to seal a 3-2 RiverKings victory.
Phaneuf stopped 28 of 30 shots he faced in regulation and overtime, and five of seven shooters faced in overtime, taking the first shootout loss of his pro career. Phaneuf's performance drops his goals-against average to 3.54 in three SPHL appearances with Peoria.
*Notes:* The Rivermen fall to 2-7 in games decided after regulation, and 0-2 in shootouts...Oskroba's goal is his first since January 2, 2016 against Huntsville...Oskroba also has a point in back-to-back games...D'Avolio's goal is his first since an 8-2 Peoria victory over Evansville November 25...Klecha notched his third two-assist game of the season, and his first since December 2 at Columbus...The Rivermen and RiverKings return to action next Friday night when they face off for the first of two at Landers Center in Southaven, MS at 7:30 p.m....The broadcast of the game can be heard, starting with the pre-game show, beginning 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 )*