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RIVERMEN SUFFER FIRST REGULATION LOSS OF 2019 SATURDAY

Moline, IL – The Peoria Rivermen saw their six-game win streak come to an end as they fell 4-3 in regulation to the Quad City Storm at the TaxSlayer Center Saturday night. The loss, Peoria’s first regulation defeat since December 31, drops the Rivermen to 30-4-4 before next weekend’s home pair against Birmingham and Macon.

The Storm opened the scoring with a pair of tallies in the first period. At the 11:53 mark of the frame, Storm winger John Scully redirected a drive from the left point of the Rivermen zone past Peoria netminder Storm Phaneuf for a 1-0 edge. The Storm doubled their lead on the power-play at 17:09 when defenseman Skyler Smutek’s wrister from the Peoria blueline zipped past Phaneuf for a 2-0 lead.

The Rivermen got on the board and cut the Storm lead in half on their first power-play of the evening early in the second period. With Scully boxed for tripping 44 seconds into the frame, Rivermen center Justin Greenberg took a feed from teammate Ben Blasko between the circles of the Quad City zone, and fired a shot past Storm netminder Peter Di Salvo for a 2-1 score at 2:24 of the frame.

The Storm re-upped their lead to a pair with an even-strength tally nearing the midway point of the second period. Off a faceoff in the right circle of the Peoria zone, Storm center Dean Yakura battled the puck down the slot and slipped it past Phaneuf for a 3-1 Quad City lead at 8:46 of the second period.

Peoria cut the Storm lead in half again early in the third period. Rivermen winger Alec Hagaman wrangled a puck loose in the right corner of the Quad City zone and sent it to the slot, where Greenberg’s one-timer sailed past Di Salvo for 3-2 at 5:12 of the period.

Quad City pulled back to a two-goal lead with the eventual game-winner just past the midway point of the third. Storm center Mitchell Mueller raced into the right wing of the Rivermen zone on a 2-on-1 rush, and his wrister from the circle beat Phaneuf for a 4-2 lead at 11:01 of the final period.

Peoria pushed back to a 4-3 score at 12:26 of the third period when winger Beau Walker tipped a point drive from Peoria defenseman Jake Hamilton past Di Salvo. The Rivermen were unable to complete the comeback despite an extra-attacker effort for the final 45 seconds of the third period.

Phaneuf stopped 23 of 27 shots faced to take his first regulation loss of the season in net. Phaneuf’s season record fell to 10-1-1 as he took his first regulation defeat since December 16, 2017 at Knoxville.

Photo credit: Sean Flynn/Quad City Storm

Column credit: Peoria Rivermen