Peoria, IL – The Peoria Rivermen scored the first goal 9:59 into the opening period and never looked back Friday night, dropping the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs 8-2 at Carver Arena. The win, Peoria’s second straight, improves the Rivermen to 32-4-5 on the season before tomorrow night’s and Sunday afternoon’s rematches with the Rail Yard Dawgs.
Peoria captain Alec Hagaman netted the first goal of the game at the 9:59 mark of the first period, taking a pass from linemate Drake Hunter at the top of the left circle for the one-timer to give the Rivermen the early 1-0 lead. The lead was doubled after a cross-ice pass from Rivermen defensemen Kevin Patterson found center Justin Greenbergskating to the left-wing corner of the Roanoke zone. Greenberg hurled the puck toward the net where Rivermen forward Beau Walkerredirected it past Rail Yard Dawgs goaltender Jacob Caffrey at 17:47 of the frame.
The Rivermen continued their scoring surge into the second period after winger Ben Blasko broke between the circles and found Hunter on the right side of the Dawgs net. Hunter was able to sneak the puck through Caffrey for his first career SPHL tally, making the game 3-0 just 1:45 into the middle period.
Peoria pushed its lead to 4-0 and chased Caffrey from the contest at 9:30 of the second stanza. Walker carried the puck down the right wing of the Roanoke zone and fed a netfront pass to Greenberg, who put it past Caffrey for the four-goal edge.
Roanoke got on the board with a goal from winger Colin Murray with just over five minutes to play in the second period, but Peoria netted two more from Blasko and Austin Vieth, at 14:42 and 19:41 of the second period, respectively, against new Roanoke netminder Henry Dill to take a 6-1 lead into the second intermission.
Roanoke got a power-play tally from former Rivermen winger Jeff Jones at 7:53 of the third period, and Peoria answered with markers from Hunter at 8:47 and defenseman Jake Hamilton at 10:13 of the period for the 8-2 final score.
Rivermen goaltender Stephen Klein stopped 16 of 18 shots faced to earn the victory in net, improving the Saskatoon native to 17-3-2 on the season. The win gives Klein eight wins in his last nine outings, dating back to a January 4 victory over Huntsville.
Notes: Blasko extended his league-long point-scoring streak to 18 games…Blasko’s four-point outing marked his third career four-point performance and first since January 27 at Pensacola…Hunter netted a pair of goals and two assists, and scored his first career game-winning goal…Walker set a new career high with three assists and four points in the game…Rivermen defenseman Kevin Patterson tied his career high with three assists…Seven Rivermen players posted multi-point outing…Peoria scored eight goals in a game for the first time since February 18 of last season, at home against Fayetteville…The Rivermen return to action tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon when they continue, then conclude, the series with the Rail Yard Dawgs…Saturday will be the Rivermen’s Hockey Fights Cancer Night presented by the Dax Foundation…The Rivermen will wear special jerseys Saturday honoring friends and loved ones who have battled cancer, with the jerseys to be auctioned off after the game…Sunday is another Family Fun Kids Day presented by the Peoria Park District and the Peoria Journal Star…The Rivermen will have a pregame fan fest behind section 1 at Carver Arena beginning at 2 PM with inflatables provided by Fun On The Run, face painting by Wild Style Design, and balloon art by Unique Twist…Saturday’s game will begin at 7:15 PM and Sunday’s contest will get underway at 3:05…both games can be heard, beginning with the pregame show 20 minutes prior to puck drop, at https://www.mixlr.com/peoria-rivermen
Article Credit: Peoria Rivermen
Photo Credit: Tim Lester/Peoria Rivermen