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PHOTOS: Macon Mayhem vs. Peoria Rivermen – 02/18/2023

#SPHLPHOTOS | The first-place @Peoria_Rivermen welcomed the last-place team, @MaconMayhem, to Carver Arena on Saturday.
FPH Photographer Tim Lester was there for all the action!

Tim Lester for Field Pass Hockey

PHOTOS: Macon Mayhem vs. Peoria Rivermen – 02/18/2023

PEORIA, Ill. – The SPHL first-place Peoria Rivermen welcomed the last-place team, Macon Mayhem, to Carver Arena in the Peoria Civic Center on Saturday evening, February 18, 2023.

This would be round 2 of 3 on the weekend, with the first round going to the Rivermen 7-1 on 40-17 shots respectively for the home to visitor squads. The Mayhem were looking to rebound plus attempt to get at least one win on the weekend for a minor victory on this season beating the current top team. If the contest ended after two periods, they would have been victorious but hockey is three periods and one period is all the Rivermen needed to earn a 3-1 victory on DC Comics Super Hero Night where the Peoria players wear different jerseys in each period. This game, the first period was Batman, second being Wonder Woman and ironically the third period was Superman.

When the lights went out for the home team introductions, purple glow sticks waved in the air by the fans, the home crowd getting their team energized before the initial puck drop. Both teams came out playing strong and neither team getting great opportunities for most of the period. Peoria captain Alec Hagaman and Macon forward Rhett Kingston were both charged with roughing after they had a little disagreement behind the Mayhem net four minutes into the first period. The only other penalty called in the period was a questionable call on Rivermen forward Jordan Ernst for boarding – numerous near fights were broken up by the officials or neither player wanted to spend time in the box and kept the gloves on. After the first 20 minutes, both teams had 10 shots on net each with neither finding the back of the net while the Rivermen let a couple of good chances get away, once when Cayden Cahill placed a shot from 5 feet out over the blocker of Mayhem goalie Josh Boyko but hit the near post. A few minutes later when Macon goalie Boyko was aggressive and fell down far outside of the crease, Ernst had a nearly open net but on a poor angle and was only able to move the puck across the crease just inches from the goal line.

Period two had the Wonder Woman jerseys on the home team, with a much brighter color palette compared to the dark Batman sweaters worn in the first. The middle frame was the penalty period on the night, with six calls and seven players sitting from those calls; this resulting in four power plays for Peoria and one for Macon. Neither team was able to capitalize on their man advantages with the only even strength goal in the middle stanza coming off a scramble in front of the Rivermen net and Tucker Scantlebury getting his second goal on the season; putting the visitors on top. A few minutes later the home team fans, 4000 strong, celebrated a goal by Jake Hamilton but in their loud cheers missed the referee waving the goal off, the puck being deflected into the net by a high stick. In the final couple of minutes, Mayhem forward Connor Graham and defenseman Sasha Roy both took penalties, with the visitors needing to kill off a 5 on 3. The Mayhem came out feeling good having a 1-0 lead to start the third only to be greeted by Superman jerseys and the Rivermen having 14 seconds remaining on their 5 on 3 power play. If the Macon squad felt good coming out of the locker room, they felt more energized when they prevented the Rivermen from scoring on this power play. In total, both teams had 10 chances on the power play but no one could finish. Shortly after a Macon power play, the Peoria defense took control over the game, starting with Dale Deon taking a slap shot from inside the near side blue line and finding the top right corner. Little over six minutes later in an extended offensive zone time for the Rivermen, Alec Baer found a wide open Zach Wilkie in the high slot and Wilkie made no mistake on his one timer. The final goal of the night was an empty net goal by Hagaman for his 19th goal of the season, he leads all Peoria players in goals and assists while currently 6th in goals and assists in the SPHL. Post game, the fans had the chance to purchase three times the normal amount of game worn jerseys with some selecting all three jerseys of their favorite player while others picked one or two.


Check out this photo gallery from Field Pass Hockey’s Tim Lester, who was there to capture the action.

Tim Lester is Field Pass Hockey’s Peoria Rivermen and Quad City Storm photographer and will be bringing you action 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!

    Tim Lester covers the Peoria Rivermen for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @timlesterimages.

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