Joe Caveney scored the game-winner with just 1:27 left in overtime on Saturday as the Pensacola Ice Flyers defeated the Peoria Rivermen, 3-2, for the third straight night at Carver Arena. Despite the loss, Rivermen goaltender Eric Levine made a career-high 40 saves, while Peoria scored both goals on the power play.
Peoria falls to 3-6-3 on the season, but earns its ninth point of the year. In addition, Levine is now 1-3-2, while Ice Flyers’ netminder John Griggs stopped 29 of 31 shots for his second win. Parker Stanfield (1g, 1a), Tyler Fernandez (1g, 1a) and Cole Ruwe (2a) each notched a multi-point night for the Rivermen.
For the full box score, click here.
After a scoreless first period, Pensacola struck first at the 7:29 mark of the second period courtesy of Steve Whitely. From the top of the right circle, Whitely received a pass from Paul Rodrigues before he walked in and beat Levine glove side for his second of the year. Rodrigues and Good got the helpers.
Two minutes later, Stanfield answered on the power play at the 9:29 mark to tie the game at 1-1. Following a goaltender interference call to Good at 8:58, Ruwe rocketed a slap shot from the blue line that was initially saved by Griggs. The rebound however popped loose and Stanfield cleaned it up for his third goal of the year. Ruwe and Fernandez were credited with the assists.
Peoria took a 2-1 lead right out of the gate in the third with its second power play goal of the game. Just 29 seconds into the period, Ruwe found an open Fernandez at the top of the point, who snapped a shot from just inside the blue line to beat Griggs for his fifth of the season. Ruwe and Stanfield notched the helpers.
Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
The pendulum continued to swing at 7:14 of the third as Pensacola answered on the power play to even the game at 2-2. Shortly after a tripping minor against Peoria’s Matt Viola, Donnie Harris took a slap shot from the right point that was saved by Levine, but Good knocked home the rebound from the near post with a baseball-like swing. Harris and Shaun Arvai got the assists.
With a 2-2 draw at the end of regulation, the Rivermen and Ice Flyers went to overtime for the second night in a row, where Peoria began the extra session with 52 seconds left on a power play. The home team was unable to capitalize, but the Ice Flyers also failed to convert on a number of breakaway chances including two in a row for defenseman Drew Baker.
Pensacola did capitalize at the 3:33 mark in overtime with Caveney’s league-leading 12th goal of the year. From the right corner, John Dunbar sent a pass to the near post where Caveney jammed it home on the backhand for the 3-2 final score. Dunbar and Arvai were credited with the helpers.
The Rivermen finished the game 2-for-6 on the power play, which was the third time this season Peoria has scored multiple goals on the man advantage. The Rivermen also went 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
In addition, the Rivermen were outshot for the third time this season, 43-31.
Peoria begins a home-and-home series next weekend against the Bloomington Thunder with a 7:15 p.m. puck drop on Friday at Carver Arena. The game can be heard locally on CD Country 107.9 FM or online at www.cd1079.net. Fans can also follow along via the live video and audio stream at www.americaonesports.com.