PEORIA, ILL – The Peoria Rivermen raised the spirits (and some cash) for the tornado relief efforts in Central Illinois on Friday night. They also, whipped the Bloomington Thunder by a score of 6-2. With 2,979 fans at the game supporting the Central Illinois Tornado relief efforts, the Rivermen took an early lead and stayed ahead throughout the whole game.
The first period was all Rivermen. Nick Wheeler scored the game’s opening goal, assisted by Charlie Carkin at 2:41 of the first period. Peoria had 21 shots on goal, including nine shots during a five minute major penalty when Ron Cramer was called for spearing and ejected from the contest. At the other end of the ice, the Thunder were held to two shots as they struggled for control over the puck the whole period as the Rivermen showed great stick handling.
In contast with the first period, the second period was more evenly matched as five total goals were scored. Nick Prockow began the scorefest with a power play tally just over four minutes in. The assists on the goal went to Parker Stanfield and Garrett Vermeersch, both of whom had just returned to Peoria after call-ups. The Thunder answered with a score on a power play by Kevin Walrod assisted by Tyler Noseworthy.
Things were quiet until a three goals in three minutes outburst late in the period. Vermeersch was set up by Stanfield at the 13:26 mark to once again put Peoria up by two. Bloomington responded just over a minute later when Walrod notched his second score of the night off an assist by Travis Granbois. Corey Tamblyn finished off the Wild middle period by scoring a amazing goal assisted by Taylor Larsen and Cole Ruwe.
In the third period, the Rivermen came out strong and scored twice more to put the game away. First, Paul Chaisson and Rowe drew the assists as Prockow picked up his second goal of the game to put the Rivermen up 5-2. Garrett Vermeersch closed out the scoring when his one timer found the back of the net. The power play goal was set up by a nice cross ice pass from Jarrett Rush.
Eric Levine stopped 22 of 24 shots for the win while Bloomington’s BJ O’Brien allowed six goals on 39 shots in suffering the loss. Bloomington went 1-for-6 on the power play while Peoria was 2-for-7 with the man advantage.
The same two teams face each other twice more this weekend, in Bloomington on Saturday before returning to Peoria for a Sunday afternoon game.
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