Rivermen Come Back to Drop Marksmen in OT Friday
Peoria, IL - The Peoria Rivermen erased a three-goal, second-period deficit as they topped the Fayetteville Marksmen 6-5 in overtime Friday at Carver Arena. The win, Peoria's fifth in a row, improves the Rivermen to 5-0-1 on the season, two points behind league-leading Macon before tomorrow's rematch with the Marksmen.
The Marksmen opened the scoring with a goal just past the midway point of the game's opening period. Fayetteville center Zach Tatrn carried the puck own the left wing of the Rivermen zone, and sent a sharp-angle shot on net. The puck trickled trough Rivermen goaltender Stephen Klein, wavered along the goal line, then slid into the Peoria net for a 1-0 Fayetteville lead at 12:43 of the frame.
The Marksmen built their lead to three with a pair of second-period goals. 3:01 into the period, Fayetteville center David Mazurek snapped home a netfront feed from Tatrn for a 2-0 Fayetteville edge. The Marksmen lead swelled to three at 15:51 of the middle stanza when Fayetteville winger Darren McCormick fired a feed from between the circles past Klein for a 3-0 lead.
The Rivermen got on the board with a goal late in the game's middle period. Peoria winger Ben Blasko took a pass from teammate Jake Hamilton and carried into the left wing of the Marksmen zone. His feed across the net was snapped wide of the cage by teammate Austin Vieth. Vieth collected the rebound off the end boards and stuffed it past Marksmen goaltender Alex Murray for a 3-1 score at 18:40 of the period.
The Rivermen pulled within a goal in the final minute of the second period. Rivermen defenseman Kevin Patterson took a feed from teammate Guillaume Naud and rifled a slap shot from atop the right-wing circle of the Marksmen zone past Murray for a 3-2 score at 19:14 of the frame.
Peoria tied the game at three goals apiece with a power-play marker in the early stages of the third period. With Marksmen defenseman Tyler Palmer boxed for holding, Rivermen center Joseph Widmar carried into the right wing of the Fayetteville zone and fed a pass to the left circle, where Peoria winger Joe Kalisz fired a one-timer past Murray at 1:10 of the period.
The Marksmen re-took the lead with a power-play goal of their own less than two minutes into the third. With Widmar in the sin bin for unsportsmanlike conduct, Marksmen winger Cody Brown ripped a one-timer from atop the right circle past Klein for a 4-3 score at 1:50 of the period.
The Rivermen re-tied the game and then took their first lead of the night with a pair of goals from winger Will Smith past the midway point of the final frame of regulation. At the 13:46 mark of the period, Smith's slap shot from the left-wing circle of the Fayetteville zone found twine behind Murray for a 4-4 tie. Precisely four minutes later, Smith weaved his way through the Fayetteville slot and snapped a wrister over Murray's shoulder for a 5-4 Rivermen lead at 17:46 of the period.
The Marksmen tied the game and sent it to overtime with an extra-attacker goal in the final two minutes of regulation. Fayetteville winger Nolan Sheeran stuffed the puck past Klein from the right corner of the Rivermen zone at 18:50 of the third period.
The Rivermen won the game with a power-play goal nearing the halfway point of the five-minute sudden death stanza. With McCormick boxed for cross-checking 50 seconds into the OT, Peoria worked the puck to Patterson on the high slot. Patterson sent a pass to Widmar on the right point of the Marksmen zone, and the return pass to Patterson was one-timed through traffic and past Murray for the 6-5 final score at 2:19 of overtime.
Klein earned the win in net for the Rivermen, stopping 23 of 28 shots faced, including 21 of 24 in the first two periods of regulation. With the win, Klein improves to 3-0-0 in his pro career.
Notes: Vieth's goal was the first of his professional career...Patterson posted his first career multi-goal game and first game-winner...Smith's three points tied a career-best, achieved twice last season with the Rivermen...Peoria captain Alec Hagaman notched three assists, tying his career-high for most assists in a game, last reached March 9 of last season at Mississippi...The win improves Peoria to 14-2-0 all-time against the Fayetteville franchise in Peoria...The overtime point is Fayetteville's first standings point earned in Illinois since their last win in Peoria, January 30, 2016 at Carver Arena...The Rivermen return to action tomorrow night at home for a rematch against the Marksmen...Saturday will be Peoria's annual Military Appreciation Night presented by the Illinois Air National Guard, with special American Flag-themed jerseys worn by the Rivermen and auctioned off postgame...Saturday will also be Peoria's annual CityLink Stuff-A-Bus food drive, with fans bringing a nonperishable food item for donation receiving a free T Shirt courtesy of CityLink...Friday's and Saturday's games will start at 7:15 PM, and the broadcasts of the games 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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