PEORIA, Ill – The Quad City Storm arrived at the Peoria Civic Center on Friday evening, hoping the home team had gone for extra helpings in their Thanksgiving feast. Peoria Rivermen were hoping to try and bring the head-to-head battle closer, being 1-3 in their four previous SPHL contests this season when facing the Storm. The Rivermen were sporting special Peanuts Cartoon-themed jerseys for the second home game in a row, with a crowd of 2989 fans in Carver Arena looking forward to a post-game jersey auction, hopefully, after a home team win. The home fans were treated with an early present as the Rivermen shutout the Storm for the second game this season, earning a 3-0 victory.
The first period looked ominous for the visiting fans, with play occurring mainly in the Storm zone and strong neutral zone play by the Rivermen, defending off any offense the visitors attempted. The positive for the Storm was the 0-0 score plus play by their goal tender Bailey Brkin, turning away 17 shots in the first period. At the first intermission, both teams had some adjustments to make; Quad City needed to find some offensive presence as they only had four shots on goal. Peoria needed to find the back of the net with the puck. The officiating crew made it evident from the start they were not going to allow fights on this night, breaking up every scuffle shortly after it started, which the fans did not appreciate as they wanted to see the gloves dropped. Near the halfway mark of the second frame, Storm defenseman Dillon Fournier forced Rivermen forward Mitchell McPherson into a fight, each receiving 5-minute majors for their actions. Quad City was able to locate some offense, tighten up their defense, and nearly equaled shots on net with Peoria, finishing the period 11-12 in the shot column. Unfortunately for the Storm, Rivermen forward Jordan Ernst was able to get the puck past Brkin for his second of the season, and four minutes later, Rivermen rookie forward Tyler Barrow was able to beat a one-on-two alone and get a quality shot off, lighting the lamp for the home crowd. Shortly before Barrow’s goal, a fight ensued after Storm forward Filip Virgili delivered an elbow that Rivermen Captain Alec Hagaman did not care for and attacked Virgili to show his feelings. Both players received fighting majors and game misconducts for their respective actions.
Quad City entered the third period down 2-0 on the road, not a great position to be in, but with the game misconduct by forward Virgili, the Storm needed to re-arrange their lines as they started the evening with nine offensive and seven defensive players. The final period provided both squads opportunities, but numerous blocked shots by the Peoria defense helped keep the puck away from their net, and the Rivermen offense missing the net often. Peoria was able to finally get on the scoresheet during their fifth powerplay of the game when Alec Baer was able to one-time a shot past Brkin; this was Baer’s fourth goal of the season – a slow start compared to last season. When the final period buzzer sounded, Peoria goalie Eric Levine celebrated a shutout victory after stopping all 20 shots on goal; this added another tally to his SPHL shutout record, now 15 – this was his second shutout of the season; both against Quad City.
Check out this photo gallery from Field Pass Hockey’s Tim Lester for action from the evening.
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.
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