RIVERMEN MEET ICE BEARS ON CARLOAD NIGHT
|Fri, Jan. 24||7:15 pm CST||Vs. Knoxville||CD Country 107.9 FM / Live Video|
|Sat, Jan. 25||7:15 pm CST||Vs. Knoxville|
CARLOAD NIGHT THIS FRIDAY
On Friday, Jan. 24, fans are encouraged to load up the crew for the first-ever "Carload Night," where everyone in your car gets into the game for just $40! All vehicles must be parked in one of two Peoria Civic Center lots – either the Marquee Lot near the main entrance or the Fulton Lot behind the theater. The $40 includes an upper bowl ticket for every individual in the vehicle and tickets can be picked up at the Peoria Civic Center box office.
LAST CHANCE AT "LOADED TICKETS"
This weekend will mark the final two home games of January, which means it's the last chance to purchase "Loaded Tickets." For just $15, each "Loaded Ticket" includes a lower bowl seat, plus a hot dog, popcorn and soda. However, only 200 seats are available for each game so reserve your spot today by calling the Rivermen office at 676-1040.
IT ALL STARTS HERE
Friday marks the inaugural SPHL meeting between the Rivermen (15-13-3, 33 points) and Knoxville Ice Bears (13-12-4, 30 points), who will meet a total of four times this season – all consecutive. Following a pair of games this weekend in Peoria, the two teams will travel to Knoxville, TN for a pair of games next weekend at the Knoxville Coliseum.
THE STORY COMING IN
The Rivermen enter this weekend’s action in fifth place in the SPHL and on a two-game slide following a pair of losses last weekend to Bloomington. Overall, Peoria has won five of its last eight games, but is just 6-8-3 this year against teams not named the Thunder. However, the Rivermen will gladly welcome a new opponent to Carver Arena after playing Bloomington five straight games – their only opponent since traveling to Biloxi, MS to battle the Mississippi Surge Jan. 3-4.
VIEW FROM KNOXVILLE
The Knoxville Ice Bears are currently on a three-game point streak and in a tie for sixth place in the SPHL standings. However, fatigue may set in by the weekend as the Ice Bears will play at home just 24 hours before enduring a 10-hour overnight bus ride to arrive in Peoria. Overall, Knoxville is led by center Eric Satim (25 pts) and rookie winger Francis Drolet (24 pts), while Ben Power is on a five-game point streak. In goal, Bryan Hince has played all but six games and leads the league in wins (13-8-4) and is sixth in the SPHL with a 2.70 GAA. Knoxville is in its 10th season in the SPHL, where it has won three President’s Cups (’05-06, ’07-08, ’08-09).
CENTER OF ATTENTION
24-year-old center Garrett Vermeersch has been one of the league’s best offensive threats this season, and teams are taking notice. Last Sunday, the rookie was held point-less for the second straight game, but just the third time in his last 15 contests overall. Despite that fact, Vermeersch continues to lead the league in goals (18) and is fifth in the SPHL scoring race with 31 points. In addition, the Macomb, MI native is second among rookies in power play goals (5) and game-winning goals (4).
AMBURGEY HEATING UP
Second-year pro Tyler Amburgey will enter Friday’s matchup on a team-high three-game point streak after notching an assist in all three games last weekend. Overall, Amburgey is sixth in team scoring with 15 points (4g, 11a) and is tied for second on the roster with six assists on the power play.
POWER PLAY PUZZLE
Dating back to New Year’s Day, the Rivermen have scored at least one power play goal in each of their last eight games. However, Peoria is just 9-for-55 (16.3%) over that span and is coming off a 2-for-9 performance on the man advantage last Sunday. In addition, the Rivermen are just 10-for-96 (10.4%) on the power play this season against teams not named Bloomington.
CLIMBING THE “RANKS”
Despite suffering two losses last weekend, Kyle Rank continues to climb the ladder of top goaltenders in the SPHL. Entering Friday, Rank is second in the league in both GAA (2.19) and save % (.928), and continues to be tied for most shutouts (3). Meanwhile, Eric Levine is expected to return after sitting out last weekend with a stiff back. Levine is currently on a two-game win streak and is third in the league in minutes played (1,111).