Rivermen Calm Havoc, Force Game 3

April 27, 2018 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Peoria Rivermen News Release

Huntsville, AL - The Peoria Rivermen scored 1:25 into the contest and never trailed Friday night in Huntsville, earning a 3-2 win to force a decisive Game 3 in the President's Cup Finals. With the win, the Rivermen force a winner-take-all game Sunday at 4:15 PM in Carver Arena.

The Rivermen started the scoring early in the game's opening period. With play raging in the Huntsville zone, Rivermen winger Connor Gorman collected a bouncing puck in the high slot, skated between the circles, and fired a wrister past Havoc goaltender Keegan Asmundson for a 1-0 lead at 1:25 of the period.

The Havoc tied the game with a goal of their own just over three minutes into the game. Huntsville center Sy Nutkevitch collected the puck behind the Peoria net, and skated it up the left-wing boards of the Rivermen zone. Sikalis' pass to the middle found Havoc veteran Stuart Stefan, who sent a shot past Peoria netminder Tyler Parks for a 1-1 score at 3:11 of the first period.

The Rivermen retook the lead with a marker late in the first period. Rivermen center Joseph Widmar carried the puck into the Huntsville slot, and dropped a pass to teammate Alec Hagaman, who deked it around Asmundson's left pad for a 2-1 lead at 18:31 of the frame.

Peoria extended their lead to a pair with a goal early in the contest's middle stanza. Rivermen winger Ryan Siiro picked off a Huntsville pass at the Peoria blueline, and fired a pass up ice to teammate Justin Greenberg, who split the Huntsville defense and lofted a shot over Asmundon's shoulders for a 3-1 score at 3:38 of the period.

The Havoc cut the Peoria lead to a goal nearing the midway point of the game. Huntsville won a faceoff in the left circle of the Peoria zone, and sent the puck back to defenseman Anthony Calabrese on the point. Calabrese carried it through the circle and fed a pass across the goalmouth to Nutkevitch, who rang it off two posts and a crossbar, past Parks for the 3-2 score at 9:01 of the second period.

Parks and the Rivermen defense staved off an extra-attacker flurry in the final two minutes of regulation to hold the 3-2 score until the final buzzer. Parks stopped 32 of 34 shots faced, including 25 of 26 in the final two periods to earn the win in goal. With the win, Parks improves to 5-1 in the postseason.

Notes: The win is Peoria's first ever in the President's Cup Finals, in their third straight trip to the finale...Peoria will look to become the first team in SPHL history to win the President's Cup after failing to win Game 1 of the finals...With the win, the Rivermen force a winner-take-all Game 3 Sunday afternoon at 4:15 in Peoria's Carver Arena...Tickets to the game will go on sale beginning Saturday, April 28 at 9 AM through the Rivermen office...The broadcast of the championship-deciding game can be heard, starting with the pregame show at 3:55, 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)

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