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 Peoria Rivermen

Rivermen Clinch Second President's Cup Title

April 28, 2024 - SPHL (SPHL)
Peoria Rivermen News Release

PEORIA, IL - For the second year in three, the Peoria Rivermen are President's Cup Champions. Alec Hagaman led the charge in his final game in a Rivermen uniform with two goals and an assist as Peoria defeated the Huntsville Havoc 5-1 on Saturday night at Carver Arena.

Once again, Peoria struck quickly as Alec Hagaman struck the back of the net just 65 seconds into the contest to put the Rivermen up 1-0. Huntsville was able to respond a few minutes later on a shot that trickled in just inside the right post to tie the game. However, Peoria showed great poise as they responded with two goals in five minutes. The first came off the stick of Mitch McPherson after Hagaman had his shot blocked three times. Hagaman finally got his shot off and rifled one on the net. McPherson was right in front to pick up the rebound and put one into the back of the net. Meirs Moore added on his second of the post-season off a wrist shot from the right-wing circle that beat the Huntsville netminder blocker side to put Peoria up 3-1.

The second period was filled with back-and-forth action as both sides traded six shots on net. Huntsville's best chance came on a penalty shot awarded to Dylan Stewart, but goaltender Nick Latinovich held firm with a pad save to keep the Rivermen up 3-1 going into the third period.

Up by two goals going into the third, Peoria held off a determined Huntsville attack, but over time the Havoc started to feel the clock working against them. In desperation, Huntsville pulled the goaltender for the extra attacker, and just like Saturday night Alec Hagaman took it upon himself to ice the game with an empty net goal with just over two minutes to go. Moore added on another empty-netter a minute later to put the game completely on ice.

By the time the clock ticked down, a crowd of over 5900 strong cheered like crazy as the Peoria Rivermen became the first team in SPHL history to come back from a 1-0 series deficit to win a best-of-three finals series. Captain Alec Hagaman, in his final game with Peoria, netted two goals and added an assist. A six-point weekend for the Peoria native that will live on forever in Rivermen lore.

The Peoria Rivermen are President's Cup Champions for the second time in three seasons, and for the first time in 24 years, champions on home ice.

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