Peoria, IL – The Peoria Rivermen and Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs exchanged goals for three periods before Guillaume Naud played hero in overtime, giving Peoria a 4-3 victory Saturday night at Carver Arena. Peoria’s third straight win improves them to 33-4-5 on the season before tomorrow afternoon’s weekend finale.
Peoria’s Kevin Patterson opened the scoring with a power play goal 6:48 into the opening frame on a one-timer from above the left circle following passes across the offensive zone from center Justin Greenberg and defensemen Ralfs Grinbergs. The goal, Patterson’s seventh of the year, gave the Rivermen the early 1-0 lead.
The teams entered the first intermission tied at a goal apiece after Rail Yard Dawgs winger Jeff Jones deflected a puck sent airborne by defensemen Brian Rowland through Rivermen netminder Storm Phaneuf at the 18:36 mark of the period.
The teams split a pair of goals in the middle period and the game was tied at two into the second intermission. Roanoke took their first lead of the weekend at the 6:21 mark of the middle period on a power-play goal by winger Zach Nieminen. The lead was short-lived as Peoria winger Mike Gurtler redirected a drive from between the circles by defensemen Nick Neville to knot the game at 2-2 for the Rivermen on a power play of their own at 11:32 of the period.
Peoria and Roanoke again exchanged goals early in the third period. Gurtler redirected a shot on the right-wing post of the Roanoke net past goaltender Jacob Caffrey at 1:31 of the final period to put the Rivermen ahead 3-2. The Rail Yard Dawgs quickly followed with a power-play goal by Roanoke center Steve Mele just 59 seconds later to make the score 3-3 at the 2:30 mark of the frame. The game remained tied through the remainder of regulation, despite a 19-5 shots-on-goal advantage for the Rivermen in the third.
Naud ended the game 3:43 into the overtime frame, skating a full lap of the Roanoke net and faking a pass before lifting a shot from the right circle past Caffrey for the game-winner.
Phaneuf earned the win for Peoria, stopping 14 of 17 shots faced through regulation and overtime. The victory improves Phaneuf’s record to 12-1-1 on the season and gave him his second straight victory.
Notes: Naud’s overtime goal is his first career SPHL game-winner…Gurtler recorded his first multi-goal game since December 28 at Huntsville…Patterson has recorded 13 points in his last 10 games and five points in his last three…Rivermen winger Beau Walker has eight points in his last five games and back-to-back multi-point nights…Rivermen winger Ben Blasko saw his 18-game point streak snapped…The Rivermen will be back in action again tomorrow for the last game of the weekend series with the Rail Yard Dawgs…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 2:05 PM with inflatables provided by Fun On The Run, face painting by Wild Style Design, and balloon art by Unique Twist…Action begins with puck drop at 3:05…the game 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