Tagged: Peoria Rivermen

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 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

Kyle Rank stopped all 32 shots against and blanked the Mississippi RiverKings on Sunday, the Peoria Rivermen goaltender broke the SPHL record for shutouts in a season with six. Previously, the record had been held by Louisiana’s Riley Gill, who collected five shutouts just one year ago. Overall, the 26-year-old leads the league with a 1.64 goals against average and .948 saves rate. He is 14-5-0 on the season and 9-4-0 with the Rivermen since being traded from the Fayetteville FireAntz on Dec. 18 for future considerations. Rank dealt his second shutout of the weekend while Parker Stanfield notched two goals to lead Peoria to a 3-0 victory before 2,791 fans at Carver Arena.

-Bob



Dean Yakura scored his first goal of the season on Tuesday but the Bloomington Thunder responded with two unanswered goals to defeat the Peoria Rivermen 2-1 at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Reid MacLeod notched the game-winner more than 12 minutes into the third, while the Rivermen went 0-for-4 on the power play. With the loss, Peoria falls to 20-14-4 on the season (44 points) and remains fifth in the SPHL standings. In addition, Peoria’s six-game point streak comes to an end, while the Rivermen have now dropped each of their last three games in the season-series to Bloomington. Peoria opened the scoring with just 16.3 seconds to play in the first period when Adam Hartley found Parker Stanfield on a backdoor pass from the left circle. After Stanfield jammed at it several times from the back post, Yakura knocked the loose puck home past Thunder netminder B.J. O’Brien at 19:44. Seconds later, Jarrett Rush and Dennis Sicard dropped the gloves for the night’s first bout just as the first period expired. Each earned a five-minute fighting major as well as a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct minor. MacLoad collected the go-ahead goal at 12:38 of the third when he led a 3-on-2 charge down the right side and ripped a shot on target that Eric Levine knocked down, but watched trickle into the back of the net. Travis Granbois and Sicard earned the assists. Peoria outshot Bloomington 30-29, but finished the game 1-for-3 on the penalty kill.

-Bob

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