Klein Makes History as Rivermen Blank Storm
PEORIA, IL - Behind goaltender Stephen Klein's third straight shutout, the Peoria Rivermen topped the Quad City Storm, 2-0, on Friday at the Peoria Civic Center. The win, Peoria's sixth in a row, lifts the Rivermen to 23-3-3 on the season before tomorrow night's rematch with the Storm in Peoria.
Klein turned aside all 27 shots he saw to earn his third straight shutout, and currently sits at 209:29 consecutive scoreless minutes, the longest such regular-season streak in the history of the Southern Professional Hockey League.
Peoria winger Ben Blasko opened the scoring, notching his 11th goal on the season at the 4:58 mark of the first period. Rivermen winger Joe Kalisz, in his first game back from a 15-game stint with ECHL Maine, carried the puck out of the left-wing corner of the Quad City zone and banked it off the body of teammate Mike Gurtler atop the crease. The puck found Blasko in front of the net, and he popped it over Storm netminder Peter Di Salvo for a 1-0 lead.
Peoria held the Storm to just four shots in the game's first 20 minutes despite two Quad City power-plays before yielding 23 SOG in the final two periods, holding the Storm's league-leading power-play 0-for-6 on the evening.
The team's combined for 116 penalty minutes in the final five minutes of the middle period, with three players from each team issued game misconducts. Peoria's Austin Vieth, Jake Hamilton, Drake Hunter, Pijus Rulevicius and Ben Oskroba all tallied fighting majors in the final five minutes of the frame, while Quad City's Patrick Harrison, Sean Kacerosky, Tommy Tsicos, Ondrej Misovic and Phil Bronner also received major penalties for fighting.
Rivermen winger Beau Walker pushed the Rivermen lead to two at the 5:41 mark of the third period after cranking a slap shot from just inside the blue line past Di Salvo after a long pass by teammate Kevin Patterson.
Notes: Klein's scoreless streak passed Andrew Loewen of the Columbus Cottonmouths for the longest regular-season shutout sequence in SPHL history...Loewen held opponents without a goal for 191:07 during the 2013-14...Klein also earned his fifth shutout of the season, moving him ahead of Birmingham's Mavric Parks for the league lead...Klein's 1.87 goals-against average leads all qualified SPHL goaltenders...Kalisz extended his SPHL point streak to nine games with his assist on Blasko's goal...Blasko netted his fourth game-winning goal of the season, tying him with Austin Vieth for the team lead...Peoria captain Alec Hagaman had his nine-game point streak snapped in the game...The Rivermen return to action tomorrow night when they rematch Storm at Carver Arena... Saturday is Peoria's annual Hall of Fame ceremony, with former Rivermen winger Butch Kaebel and late broadcaster Norm Ulrich inducted into the Rivermen Hall of Fame...The Rivermen will wear special Hall of Fame jerseys, presented by Samaritan Ministries, and auction the game-worn sweaters off postgame...The first 1,000 fans, courtesy of Pekin Insurance...Saturday is also Faith & Family Night, with a special concert performance from Christian group I Am They...Both games are set to begin at 7:15, and the broadcast of each 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.
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