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Rivermen Drop Dawgs, Cruise to Semi Finals Friday

April 13, 2018 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Peoria Rivermen News Release

Peoria, IL - The Peoria Rivermen scored 2:51 into the first period and never lost the lead as they beat the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs 4-1 Friday night at Peoria's Owens Center to advance to the President's Cup Semi Finals. The win completes a series sweep for the Rivermen, and lifts them to the semi-finals for the third consecutive season.

The Rivermen opened the scoring early in the game's first period. With the puck at the right point of the Roanoke zone, Rivermen defenseman Geoff Fortman fired a shot off a pair of Roanoke shin pads, and the puck kicked out to the high slot. Rivermen center Justin Greenberg raced in on the loose puck and uncorked a shot from the high slot that beat Roanoke goaltender Brad Barone for the 1-0 lead at 2:52 of the frame.

The Rivermen doubled their lead with another tally late in the first. Rivermen winger Ryan Siiro carried the puck into the right wing of the Roanoke zone, and fed a pass across the goalmouth to teammate Keegan Bruce, who snapped it past Barone for the 2-0 edge at 18:14 of the period.

The Rail Yard Dawgs got back within a goal with a tally near the midpoint of the game's third period. Rail Yard Dawgs defenseman Brian Rowland collected the puck at the left point of the Peoria zone, and sent a pass down the blueline to teammate Joe Sova, who one-timed it through traffic and past Peoria netminder Tyler Parks for a 2-1 score at 7:49 of the frame.

The Rivermen pushed their lead back to a two-goal edge with a power-play tally in the latter stages of the third period. With Roanoke captain Nick Schneider in the box for cross-checking, Rivermen defenseman Geoff Fortman collected the puck at the right point of the Roanoke zone and fired a shot netward that was tipped by Peoria winger Cody Dion past Barone for a 3-1 lead at 16:01 of the period.

Peoria put the game on ice with an empty-net marker in the game's final minute. With Barone off for an extra skater, Peoria worked the puck into the neutral zone, and Hagaman chipped it into the Dawgs end, collected the loose puck, and slid it into the empty net for the 4-1 final score at 19:18 of the third period.

Parks stopped 30 of 31 shots faced in net to earn his second win of the postseason. With the victory, Parks has won each of his last four outings against Roanoke, dating back to a March 30 win at the Berglund Center.

Notes: Greenberg's goal gives him a marker in back-to-back games...Dion notched his seventh career postseason goal in his 16th SPHL playoff game...Fortman notched a pair of assists for his first SPHL multi-point game since October 24 at Evansvile...The Rivermen will begin the President's Cup Semi-Finals next week, against a to-be-determined opponent, with schedule TBD, dependent on the result of the remaining Challenge Round Series...The broadcast of all remaining Peoria playoff games can be heard, starting with the pregame show 20 minutes prior to puck drop, 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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