Adam Stuart scored a power play goal midway through the second period on Saturday, which stood as the game-winner in a 1-0 Louisiana IceGators victory over the Peoria Rivermen at the Cajundome. Louisiana’s Kiefer Smiley stopped all 17 shots he faced en route to his fourth shutout of the year. In addition, it was just the third time this year Peoria has been held scoreless, and first since Dec. 31 at Bloomington.
With the loss, Peoria falls to 24-15-5 on the season (51 points) and moves to a tie for fourth place in the SPHL standings with the Mississippi RiverKings.
Though there was no scoring in the first period, both teams spent time on a 5-on-3 power play. Peoria was outshot 13-5 in the first 20 minutes.
The scoreboard remained empty until 14:57 of the second when Stuart netted his 15th goal of the year. With just four seconds left on a hooking minor to Matt Viola, Shawn McNeil fielded a pass from the right side and dished another pass across to Stuart who went back door for the 1-0 final. McNeil was credited with a helper on the goal, which gives him a league-leading 51 points on the year.
Peoria’s best offensive chance in the third came with 3:17 remaining when Stuart was sent to the sin bin for tripping. However, the Rivermen were unable to record a single shot on net over the two-minute span. With 1:12 remaining, Peoria netminder Kyle Rank was pulled for an extra attacker, but it was to no avail.
Peoria finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. Plus, the IceGators outshot the Rivermen 27-17, which was Peoria’s lowest shot count in a game this season.
Rank (14-6-1) suffered the loss after he made 26 saves.
The Rivermen conclude a three-game road trip on Sunday with a 3:05 p.m. CST puck drop against the Louisiana Ice Gators at the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana. The game can be heard locally on CD Country 107.9 FM or online here. Fans can also follow along via the live video and audio stream at www.americaonesports.com.