MOLINE, Ill. — There were two Quad City storms on Tuesday, the morning one causing widespread damage throughout the Quad Cities area and leaving buildings without roofs. The Quad City Storm on the ice, however, left no lasting damage.
The Peoria Rivermen won Tuesday’s contest 4-2 in a game that was rescheduled due to a winter storm at the end of December. The Storm didn’t take any pointers from their namesake that ravaged parts of the Quad City area on Tuesday morning, instead deciding that there was no reason to lay it all on the line for the antepenultimate game of the season.
The Storm were eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday after losing to the Fayetteville Marksmen 4-2 on the road. After the Vermilion County Bobcats ceased operations on February 9, the SPHL adjusted the standings format and schedule. The new standings format is based on win percentage over points earned, but the Storm would have been eliminated either in the points system or the win percentage system.
Through the first period, the Storm had five shots on net. The Rivermen, in contrast, had 14 shots on net. The Rivermen scored twice in the span of less than a minute early in the opening frame after a turnover in front of the net. While Mike Mercurio scored to put the Storm on the board with just over two minutes left in the first period, he appeared to be one of the few to put effort into the game. Mercurio scored both of the Storm goals on Tuesday night, Cole Golka, Trevor Momot, Gianni Vitali, and Alex Carlson picking up assists on the goals.
The Storm continued to show their ineptitude with their sticks, passes going errant throughout the night. There was no spark, no sense of aggression or fire in the team. They took two penalties after going down 2-0 early in the first period, but the hits were subpar. Tommy Tsicos was checked hard into the boards midway through the second period, and Momot stepped in to fight Mitchell McPherson after the Rivermen player had skated away without a whistle.
“I just don’t know how the referees missed that call,” Storm head coach Dave Pszenyczny said. “It doesn’t matter [because] we went 0-for-5 on the power play.”
The Storm now rank tenth in the league for power play conversion, 2.5% behind the ninth-place Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs.
When asked about the performance on Tuesday, Pszenyczny called the game on Tuesday, “ugly.”
The Storm got on the scoreboard again late in the second period, thanks to Mercurio, but the third period was all Peoria. Alec Hagaman scored twice roughly four minutes apart, the second goal sliding in on an empty net. Pszenyczny had pulled Kevin Resop with roughly two minutes to go in the third period. Just a few seconds after Resop had settled at the bench, Hagaman found the back of the net.
Quad City now prepares for the final weekend of the season at home against the Huntsville Havoc.
“I want to see guys play with pride. (It’s) pretty evident that there’s a lot of passengers in there,” Pszenyczny said, “It’s why I shortened the bench up front pretty quickly because I’m not gonna let guys embarrass the organization. Hockey’s a very simple game, but for whatever reason, we want to make it harder on ourselves with individual mistakes.”
The Storm will finish their season at home against the Huntsville Havoc, currently in third place.
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