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Rivermen Frustrated by Hot Goaltender, Fall to Vermilion County in Shootout

November 24, 2021 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Peoria Rivermen News Release


PEORIA, IL - There are times when you are the better team on the ice but you don't come away with the win. You know that had this been a playoff game, played to its final conclusion, that conclusion would see you putting the puck in the net and coming away with a victory. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way and the Rivermen faced a similar situation as they fell to the Vermilion County Bobcats in the shootout by a final score of 2-1 on Wednesday night.

After a scoreless and discombobulated first period, the Rivermen went to work in the second. They moved the puck well and had the edge in time of possession. They were rewarded with a goal on just their first power play of the night. Brandon Rumble took a point shot that deflected off a Bobcat defender in front and into the back of the net to put the Rivermen on the board 1-0. However, just under three minutes later, the Cats answered with a goal of their own to even the score at 1-1.

Peoria shifted their offense back into high gear and went on the attack. The Rivermen had all kinds of "Grade-A" chances in front and in tight, and captain Alec Hagaman had back-to-back short-handed breakaways, but the Rivermen failed to find a way to beat Bobcat goaltender Corbin Kaczperski.

The shots on goal in the second were 19-7 in favor of the Rivermen, just one indication of the lopsidedness of the play.

The third period was a much more even-keeled affair but again, the Rivermen had plenty of chances. The best came on a late power play. Peoria had zone time, good puck movement, and quality looks at the net. But again, they could not solve Kaczperski a second time. At the end of regulation, Rivermen forward Mike Laidley was assessed a double minor for a high stick infraction. Peoria was forced to kill the bulk of it in overtime.

The Rivermen did just that. Vermilion County didn't get many looks at the net and, like earlier in the game, Hagaman found himself on a third short-handed breakaway. Like the previous two tries, he failed to convert. Most of Peoria's chances in the extra session came while short-handed.

The game was decided in the shootout where the Rivermen were again stonewalled by Kaczperski who stopped 37 of 38 Rivermen shots sent his way through the game and all five in the shootout. Peoria now falls to 4-3-0-2 on the year and will have Thanksgiving off before they travel to Quad City in search of their first road victory of the season.


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