Rivermen Game Notes: President's Cup Finals Game 3

April 29, 2018 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Peoria Rivermen News Release


The Rivermen and Havoc enter tonight's decisive Game 3 at Carver Arena battling for the right to hoist the 2018 President's Cup after Peoria forced the series to a third game with a 3-2 win in Huntsville Friday night. The win marks just the second time this season that Peoria has prevailed at the Von Braun Center, and brings the series back to Carver Arena, where the Havoc were winless this year until Wednesday's series opener and where the Rivermen were 21-6-1 during the regular season.


Tonight's game will be the eleventh meeting this season between the Rivermen and Havoc, and the third since a 4-1 Rivermen win at Carver Arena February 23. The Rivermen swept a pair of games in Peoria December 8 & 9 before capturing a 3-1 win in Huntsville December 30 as part of a three- night, three-city weekend. The Havoc took regulation decisions January 19 & 20 at Huntsville's Von Braun Center before earning a 5- 4 overtime win February 2. The Rivermen rebounded for a 5-3 win the following night in Huntsville. Last April, the Rivermen and Havoc met in the President's Cup Semi Finals, with the Rivermen taking Game 1 5-2 in Peoria before Huntsville captured Game 2 4-3 in regulation in Huntsville. The Rivermen took Game 3 by a 7-3 score to capture the series.


The Havoc enter this season's President's Cup Playoffs after going 30-16-10 in the regular season, good for fourth best in the SPHL. The Havoc dropped the first game in each of their first two playoff series before bouncing back to oust the Mississippi RiverKings and Macon Mayhem in the Challenge Round and Semi Finals, respectively. The Havoc come into play tonight with a roster featuring the league's top four offensive point producers in the postseason, led by center Sy Nutkevitch's 12 points and center Christian Powers' league-best six goals.


Friday's 3-2 Rivermen win in Game 2 included a game-winning goal for Rivermen center Justin Greenberg, giving the first-year pro three goals and three assists, including two game-winners, in six postseason games this season. In the regular season, the Dallas, TX native saw action in 35 games, posting 12 goals and 24 assists, adding a +11 rating.


Rivermen goaltender Tyler Parks stopped 32 of 34 shots faced Friday night in Huntsville, giving the Imperial, MO native his league-best fifth win this postseason. For the playoffs, Parks leads all SPHL goaltenders with a 2.01 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. During te regular-season, Parks went 12-3-2 in 17 outings with a 2.58 GAA and a .915 saves percentage, recording one shutout along the way.

LET'S GO GURTS Rivermen winger Mike Gurtler enters tonight's postseason finale leading the Rivermen with five goals and seven points in the postseason, including multi-goal outbursts April 13 at Roanoke and April 18 against Knoxville. During the regular season, the Rochester, NY native notched a career-best 21 goals to go with 17 assists in 55 games, adding a +8 rating. In his pro career Gurtler has skated in 28 playoff games, all in the SPHL with Peoria and Huntsville, posting 11 goals and 12 assists, including five tallies on the power- play and two game-winners.


Rivermen winger Alec Hagaman comes into play tonight after scoring a goal Friday night in Huntsville to give the fourth-year-pro a goal in four of his last five games this postseason. In six playoff outings this year, Hagaman has registered four goals and an assist after he lead the Rivermen during the regular season with 26 goals and 61 points in 53 games, adding a league-leading +37 rating.

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