MOLINE, Ill. – The Quad City Storm have now earned at least one point in seven straight games, but have lost their last three games. Their latest defeat came at the hands of the Peoria Rivermen, who came to town for Storm mascot Radar’s birthday on Friday. For the third straight game, the Storm were unable to win it in regulation, requiring extra hockey to either win or lose. For the third straight game, the Storm lost in overtime or the shootout. Radar’s birthday was spoiled by a 3-2 shootout loss for the Storm.
The home team did not start out strong, allowing two goals in the first two minutes and 32 seconds of the first period. The first of those goals came just 34 seconds into the game, thanks to Mitchell McPherson. The Storm had difficulty taking back any momentum from the Rivermen during the opening frame thanks to these early goals, though both teams had less than ten shots on goal through the first twenty minutes of play.
“Take away the first two and a half minutes, it’s a different hockey game, right? The old saying you’ve got to play 60 minutes, or 65 minutes, and unfortunately we played 56 and change. But resiliency, we showed we could come back with a depleted line up, and it went to a skills competition and a point’s a point, right? So at the end of the day it’s good for us right now,” said head coach Dave Pszenyczny.
The second period was a battle of the goalies, Eric Levine and Thomas Proudlock, as neither team was able to find the back of the net with an average of ten shots on goal for either team. Play was chippy, as it always is between Peoria and Quad City, but very few penalties were called throughout the contest. The Storm had a top-notch power play unit early in the second period, but it wouldn’t be until the early minutes of the third period that the powerplay unit would light the lamp behind Levine.
The Storm began what they whooped would be their comeback early in the third period, with Filip Virgili scoring on the man advantage just five seconds before it was set to expire. Twenty-one seconds later Josh Koepplinger scored as well to even the score out at two apiece. This was Koepplinger’s first game back since being put on 21-day IR on November 15, and he apparently was looking for a Gordie Howe hat-trick as he also almost had a fight mid way through the first period, attempting to fight Chris Allemon but instead earning only a roughing call to Allemon’s boarding.
“It just shows our depth, right, even though he’s not really into game shape, but he’s still effective, right?” said Pszenyczny. “And that’s why we activated him with all our call-ups right now. So it’s a big boost for our team.”
The Rivermen became sloppy in the third period, allowing the Storm to score both their goals, The Storm were unable to score more than this, however, leading to overtime. Both teams traded good scoring chances, a few players even hitting the post during bonus hockey. It was for naught, however.
The Storm have a day off before facing against the Vermilion County on December 25th. Be sure to follow @FPHStorm for live game tweets and the latest news about the Storm.
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