March, 2014 Archives

The Peoria Rivermen saw their first season in the Southern Professional Hockey League come to an end on Sunday when the Columbus Cottonmouths escaped with a 4-1 win at Carver Arena. Cottonmouths center Preston Shupe scored twice for the visitors, while Adam Feniak netted the lone goal for the Rivermen. Peoria was stymied by the Cottonmouths’ goalkeeper Andrew Loewen, who stopped 27 shots during the victory. Loewen certainly lowered his goals against average, which was 1.35 entering the contest. Columbus forced the Rivermen’s goaltenders to work between the pipes, launching 39 shots and forcing 35 saves. Kyle Rank made 16 stops and Kevin Carr made 19. The Cottonmouths stifled Peoria’s power play, and did not give up a single goal while down a man. With the loss, Peoria is eliminated in the first round of the 2014 President’s Cup Playoffs. Columbus, on the other hand, moves on to face the Huntsville Havoc in the semi-finals. Sunday was Game 3 of the best-of-three series.

-Bob

The Peoria Rivermen opened the 2014 SPHL President’s Cup Playoffs with a 2-0 victory over the Columbus Cottonmouths on Wednesday behind two goals from Garrett Vermeersch at Carver Arena. Between the pipes, GK Kyle Rank stopped all 35 shots he faced en route to his first career playoff shutout. With the win, Peoria took a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three, first-round series and is now just one victory away from the second round. It was the first playoff win for the Rivermen franchise since April 25, 2009, when the American Hockey League team defeated Houston in Game 6 of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Combined with the regular season, Rank’s shutout was his ninth of the season. Andrew Loewen, on the other hand, made 24 saves and suffered the loss. The Rivermen will continue the best-of-three playoff series with Game 2 against the Columbus Cottonmouths on Friday at 6:30 p.m. CST in Columbus, Georgia.

-Bob



The Illinois State men’s basketball team’s 62-55 win Monday night over Texas A&M in the quarterfinal round of the College Basketball Invitational marks just the third time in program history that the Redbirds have won two postseason contests in the same season, with the last time coming during the 1995-96 season. ISU was led by Daishon Knight, who connected on 50 percent of his shot attempts from the field, scoring 17 points. Knight also pulled down a career-high nine rebounds, all coming at the defensive end in 36 minutes. John Jones was the only other Redbird to score in double figures, as he tied a career-high 12 points, scoring nine-straight in the first half. The Aggies were led in scoring by sophomore forward Antwan Space. With the win, the Redbirds continue CBI play Siena College in Loudonville, NY Wednesday evening at 6:05 p.m. CT in the tournament semifinals.

-Bob

A few images from the weekend’s  Original March Madness and host of the IHSA Class 3A & 4A boys State basketball finals held at Carver Arena in Peoria, IL. Congratulations to Class 3A champions Chicago Morgan Park High School (24-6) led by Josh Cunningham (13 pts.), Lamont Walker and Charlie Moore with 12 points each, defeated the Lincoln Railers (34-3) 59-49 led by junior sharpshooter Gavin Block. In the Class 4A  championship game Whitney Young (28-5) held on to beat a tough opponent from Lisle Benet Academy (25-8) 46-44. The game had several high profile athletes. The Dolphins had three Division one college players on the floor, Jahlil Okafor, Paul White and Miles Reynolds. The Redwings  were led by Sean O’Mara and Collin Pellettieri.

-Bob

The Peoria Rivermen concluded the home portion of their regular-season schedule on Tuesday with a convincing 4-1 win over the Bloomington Thunder at Carver Arena. Joe Schiller led the way with a career-high three points (3a), while Taylor Larsen, Adam Hartley, Alex Mentink and Rob Vanwynsberghe each netted a goal. With the victory, the Rivermen extended their point streak at home to 13 straight games and finished the season 19-6-3 at Carver Arena. In addition, the win closed out Peoria’s 17-game season-series against Bloomington, which the Rivermen took 10-7-0. Peoria also mathematically eliminated the Thunder from playoff contention. Overall, the Rivermen improved to 29-18-7 (65 points, third place) and increased its lead over the Huntsville Havoc and Mississippi RiverKings – who are tied for fourth – to three points.

-Bob

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