Category: Ice Girls

The Bloomington Thunder gave new head coach Greg Pankewicz a victory in his SPHL debut with a 5-1 win over the Mississippi Surge on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. The Thunder opened the night’s scoring with 10:57 remaining in the opening period when Burke Gallimore reached a bouncing puck deep and slipped it inside the right post. The Thunder increased their lead to 2-0 just 32 seconds into the second period when Gallimore forced a turnover and Dennis Sicard scored through the five-hole from the bottom of the right circle. The Thunder pushed the advantage to 3-0 with 12:31 left in the middle chapter when Tyler Noseworthy forced a turnover high in the attacking zone and wristed a drive top shelf, which ended the night for starting Surge goalie Dan Clarke. A power play goal by Travis Granbois at the left post on feeds from Kevin Walrod and Ron Cramer with 9:46 left in the second period increased the hosts’ lead to 4-0. The Surge finally scored with 16:48 left in regulation just as their power play expired on a wrister by Jarkko Leppanen on the glove side just inside the right post. Gallimore recorded his second goal of the game when a deflected puck landed on his stick at the inside edge of the right circle followed by his blast to put the Thunder ahead 5-1 with 14:24 remaining in regulation.

-Bob



Defenseman Nick Wheeler and center Garrett Vermeersch each scored a pair of goals on Friday to lead the Peoria Rivermen to a 4-3 victory over the Bloomington Thunder at Carver Arena. In addition, rookie goaltender Eric Levine (2-4-3) stopped 31 of 34 shots for his second win of the season, and first on home ice. With the victory, Peoria improves to 4-6-3 on the year (11 points) and 3-0-0 against the Thunder this season. Bloomington on the other hand falls to 3-8-0, while netminder Max Strang (3-6-0) stopped 29 of 33 shots in the loss. Bloomington outshot the Rivermen 34-33 on the evening, which was just the second time all year the Thunder have outshot their opponent and first time on the road. Peoria finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-4 on the penalty kill.

-Bob


Rookie center Garrett Vermeersch netted the game winner, and his third goal of the night, with 3.6 seconds left in regulation as the Peoria Rivermen edged the Bloomington Thunder 7-6 in there SPHL home opener at Carver Arena. Nick Prockow also scored a hat trick in Peoria’s home opener before 5,689 fans. The Rivermen improved to 2-0-0-0 on the season, while backup goaltender Russ Stein made his professional debut and went on to earn his first pro victory. Stein made 20 saves on 23 shots over 40 minutes of play. Then with the seconds winding down in regulation, Rivermen winger Parker Stanfield gained the zone and left the puck for Vermeersch, who buried a slap shot from the left side into the back of the net for the game-winner at 19:56. Vermeersch finished the game with four points including an assist. Tyler Fernandez (1g, 2a), Jarrett Rush (2a) and Joe Schiller (2a) also notched multi-point games. Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis, working with Rivermen co-owners Bart Rogers and John Butler, formally declared the home opening game Saturday as Bruce Saurs Hockey Night in Peoria.

-Bob





The Peoria Rivermen franchise ended Sunday night at Carver Arena before 4,302 loyal fans after 31 continuous years. The team received a standing ovation the final minute of the game against the Milwaukee Admirals. Longtime P.A. announcer B.J. Stone announced “One minute remaining in Peoria Rivermen hockey,” to the crowd. Long lines waited for over two hours after the game to meet the players, get autographs, take pictures and visit one last time with there favorite team.

-Bob

Goal keeper Magnus Hellberg made 20 saves to earn his sixth shutout of the season as the Milwaukee Admirals handed the Peoria Rivermen a 3-0 loss Sunday night at Carver Arena in front of 4,302 fans. The Rivermen ended the season with a AHL record of 33-35-5-3. The Admirals took a 1-0 lead with 7:27 remaining in the first period courtesy of Mattias Ekholm’s 10th goal of the season. Ekholm took a shot that Mike McKenna got a piece of, but the puck trickled across the goal line. Ryan Ellis and Patrick Cehlin assisted on the first goal of the contest that needed to be reviewed. Daniel Bang scored his ninth goal of the year at the 10:34 mark of the middle frame to increase Milwaukee’s lead to two goals. On a breakaway, Bang cut to the forehand and was able to elevate the puck over the outstretched right pad of McKenna for the tally. Joonas Jarvinen earned the lone assists on the play. With 5:03 remaining in the second period, Zach Budish scored his first goal of the season to make it a 3-0 game. Mark Van Guilder took a shot that McKenna originally stopped. The rebound went to Budish, who backhanded the puck into an open net. Mattias Ekholm was credited with the secondary assist.

-Bob


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