PEORIA, IL — The Quad City Storm have made franchise history again after a victory against the Peoria Rivermen, extending their winning streak to five games. They’ll look to continue that streak on the road Saturday against the Vermilion County Bobcats. Coach Dave Pszenyczny isn’t focused on win streaks right now, though.
“I just try to take each weekend at a time, and we just try to sweep weekends or get points when we can, and we’ve set ourselves up for another sweep this weekend,” he said after Friday’s game.
The Storm played like a different team than they have in the past at Carver Arena, dominating play and skating the line of physicality to mostly stay out of the box. Pszenyczny called it a “tough barn to win in,” and he’s definitely right. Friday’s matchup was also the first time since December 8, 2007 that a team from Peoria lost to a Quad City team in Peoria, though at that point the teams were in the AHL and they wouldn’t be in the same league again for ten years — until the Storm joined the SPHL in 2018.
Though there were a few penalties against the Storm, the Rivermen were only successful at converting one powerplay into a goal.
“I thought we had a well-rounded game, especially being on the road,” Pszenyczny said. “Boys prevailed, got the penalty kills that we needed, and we also got good goaltending [from Bailey Brkin] that helped us out when we needed it.”
The Storm were in the right spot at the right time play after play, preventing passes from completing by the Rivermen. They used the body right to break up plays, and were often one step ahead of the Rivermen when it came to breaking into the offensive zone. When a bounce led to a breakaway for the Rivermen, the Storm weren’t idle and got bodies between the net and the play to prevent a goal. The lone goal the Rivermen scored was in a scramble in the crease of Brkin, the puck trickling in between his leg pad and the goalpost amidst a flurry of sticks. Throughout the rest of the night, Brkin stood tall. Levine was similarly good in net, stopping 26 of the Storm’s 28 shots on goal for Brkin’s 31 saves on 32 shots.
The Storm went 1-for-3 on the power play Friday night, and still rank third in the league on power-play efficiency at 25%. On the opposite side of the man advantage, the Storm are fifth in the league with an 85.7% penalty kill efficiency.
The Storm seems to have shaken off the freshman and sophomore jitters and are starting to realize their potential in the SPHL. They now sit one point out of first place, with 11 points after seven games (5-1-0-1). Brkin ranks second in the league for GAA, with 1.26 after four games.
The Storm will face off against the Vermilion County Bobcats tonight at 7:00 inside the David S. Palmer Arena in Danville, IL.
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