PEORIA, Ill – The Peoria Rivermen on the previous night, Friday, December 9, 2022, provided an old-fashioned 10-3 beating on the visiting Huntsville Havoc, with every player except four getting a point on the scoresheet for the home team; the four includes both goalies! Most people would agree this was not the Huntsville team and expected a stronger performance on Saturday for the second night of action at Carver Arena in the Peoria Civic Center. If the 3398 fans in attendance were looking for another beat down on this evening, most would be disappointed as the Havoc were first to score but, in the end, were unable to contain the Rivermen offense, dropping the game 5-3.
Shortly after the opening puck drop, the visitors showed the previous game was a fluke when Havoc forward Cole Reginato found the back of the net only 1:49 into the first period. Both teams would share opportunities in their respective offensive zones, the Peoria defense making sure the Huntsville chances were low percentage attempts. Just past the halfway mark of the first period, the Rivermen were able to get on the scoresheet when Alec Baer was able to feed Mitchell McPherson, sitting behind the Havoc defense on a powerplay opportunity, for his sixth goal of the season. This evening was special for a couple of reasons; first, it was ‘Mighty Ducks’ themed jersey night with ‘Mighty Rivermen’ listed on the home team sweater, plus it was the annual Teddy Bear toss. After McPherson’s goal, the bears were flying onto the ice with some stuffed animals larger than children in attendance – the next few minutes were spent collecting the bears by players and Rivermen game day staff, all the stuffed critters going to Salvation Army. The Rivermen dominated the remainder of the period, but neither team finding a way past the opposing goal tender.
Period two was a continuation of the second half of the first, with Peoria controlling the game and outshooting the visitors 14-3 in the frame. The lone goal was a power-play goal by Rivermen forward Jordan Ernst, his sixth of the season. The second period ended with Peoria on a 5-on-3 power-play for the final 41 seconds plus 21 seconds into the final period after Havoc defenseman Robbie Fisher and Derek Perl each received Cross-Checking infractions at 18:21 and 19:19, respectively. The Rivermen offense was unable to capitalize in the second period but did not waste this power-play, scoring one second after Fisher was released from the sin bin; McPherson was able to get a loose puck in front of the net off a rebound and made no doubt about his second on the night. Both squads tightened up their defense, and it was just over 13 minutes later before another goal was scored, this time by Peoria defenseman Brendan St-Louis. With the hometown crowd feeling good about the evening, Huntsville added two more of their own over the next three minutes, first by defenseman Trey Phillips and next by forward Bair Gendunov. Huntsville coach Glenn Detulleo made a bold decision to pull goalie Hunter Vorva with 2:30 to play in the game but unfortunately, a turn over in the neutral zone was made, and the Rivermen were able to put the game away 11 seconds later with an empty-net goal by Mitchell McPherson, for the hat trick.
In the game, Peoria Rivermen outshot the Havoc 31-14 and went 60 percent on the power play whereas Huntsville when 0 for six on the powerplay. The four points on the weekend, coupled with a loss by Evansville Thunderbolts, moves the Rivermen into first place in the SPHL standings, while Huntsville leaves down one point, in seventh, behind the Quad City Storm.
Check out this photo gallery from Field Pass Hockey’s Tim Lester of images from the night.
Tim Lester is Field Pass Hockey’s Peoria Rivermen and Quad City Storm photographer and will be bringing you images from both teams all season long.
Download the Field Pass Hockey app from the iTunes or Google Play stores or follow @FieldPassHockey on Twitter for the latest news on the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL throughout the 2023 season!
- PHOTOS: Providence Bruins vs. Charlotte Checkers – 03/26/2023
- Ghost Pirates Survive The Final Battle of Georgia Tilt
- PHOTOS: South Carolina Stingrays vs. Cincinnati Cyclones – 03/31/2023
- PHOTOS: Evansville Thunderbolts vs. Pensacola Ice Flyers – 03/24-26/2023
- Quick Start Fuels Indy to Wheeling Win
- PHOTOS: Jacksonville Icemen vs. Orlando Solar Bears – 03/31/2023
- Bulls Rally Past Stingy Mayhem, Tied For First
- PHOTOS: Trois-Rivières Lions vs. Worcester Railers – 03/29/2023
- PHOTOS: Reading Royals vs. Wheeling Nailers – 03/25-26/2023
- IceHogs Prepare For Three Huge Games This Weekend