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Rivermen Thrash Cottonmouths 6-1 Friday

April 8, 2016 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Peoria Rivermen News Release

Peoria, IL - The Peoria Rivermen built a 5-0 lead in the first two periods before cruising to a 6-1 victory over the Columbus Cottonmouths Friday night. The win improves the Rivermen to 38-12-5 with one game remaining in the regular season.

The Rivermen started the scoring just 61 seconds into the first period when Dave Pszenyczny's drive from the left point was redirected and resulted in a rebound that Mike Gurtler fired past Columbus goaltender Brandon Jaeger to make it 1-0. The Rivermen doubled their lead at the 19:56 mark of the first when Connor Toomey entered the right wing of the Columbus zone and executed a give-and-go with Gurtler in the slot before Toomey fired past Jaeger from the right circle to make it 2-0 through one period.

The Rivermen piled on with a trio of goals in the second period. At 4:52, Chris Wilson fed Toomey on the back door and Toomey buried it to give Peoria a 3-0 lead. With Peoria on the power-play, the Rivermen lead swelled to 4-0 at 15:50 when Jaeger was trapped behind his net and the puck came free to Cody Dion above the crease, and Dion buried it into an unprotected Cottonmouths cage. Peoria's lead grew again just 30 second later when a left-circle face off in the Snakes zone came back to Ben Oskroba at the left point, he carried down the wing to the left corner, and fed through the Columbus crease to a wide open Gurtler, who made it 5-0 with a dunk from the right post.

The teams traded goals in the third period, as at 4:32 Gurtler completed his second career hat trick to make it 6-0. The Cottonmouths got on the board at 6:14 of the third when Alex Pompeo's wrister from the right circle beat the blocker of Peoria goalie David Jacobson to make it 6-1.

Jacobson stopped 19 of 20 shots faced to earn his 14th victory of the season in net. Pompeo's goal at 6:14 of the third snaps a personal shutout streak of 169:36 overall and 166:21 at home.

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