The Peoria Rivermen will face their first test in the Southern Professional Hockey League this weekend with a pair of exhibition games against the Bloomington Thunder. Pre-season play kicks off on Friday with a 7:15 p.m. puck drop at Carver Arena, and will conclude on Saturday with a 7:15 p.m. rematch at Bloomington's U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
Peoria will dress 18 skaters and two goaltenders on Friday, although there are still 30 players on the team's active training camp roster. Forward Robert Short, who was acquired in a trade from Louisiana last Friday, remains out with a neck injury.
For Friday's exhibition game roster, click here.
Among those who will not play on Friday is 6'4, 205-pound forward, Mike Lysyj, who was added late Thursday night. The 24-year-old Hillsborough, New Jersey native spent the majority of last season at SUNY-Cortland, where he notched 18 goals and 15 assists in 25 games. He also played six games for the Orlando Solar Bears in the East Coast Hockey League under former Rivermen assistant coach Drake Berehowsky.
Power forward Ryan Raven along with defensemen Joe Schiller and Tyler Amburgey are also among the names who will not dress on Friday.
One of the biggest questions the Rivermen will look to answer during the pre-season is who wins the goaltending battle between Russ Stein and St. Louis native Kevin McFarland. Stein will start in goal on Friday, but will share time with McFarland as the game progresses.
Tickets for Friday's exhibition opener at Carver Arena are still available. All lower bowl seats are just $10 with all upper bowl seats just $5. For more information, please visit the Rivermen office located inside the Peoria Civic Center or call 309-676-1040.