Fayetteville offense overpowers Quad City 7-6, Marksmen win sixth straight
MOLINE, Ill. – The Fayetteville Marksmen extended their place at the top of the SPHL standings with a 7-6 win over the Quad City Storm at Vibrant Arena Friday.
Captain Connor Fries (2) started the scoring just 23 seconds into the game after Brendon Michaelian (3) pinched in from the point and won a puck battle along the nearside wall and fed it to Fries in front. What would eventually be a 13-goal game slowed down for about 10 minutes of play before Fayetteville doubled its lead. Grant Loven won an offensive zone faceoff and the wingers jumped in to start the play off to the right of the Storm net. Dalton Hunter (5) then swept the puck back to Kyle Soper (4), who slid it back up to Tyler Kobryn (4) at the side of the net for the 2-0 finish at 10:24. Two goals from Quad City in a span of 86 seconds would tie the game 2-2, but later it would be Anthony Yurkins’s (1) first professional goal to reclaim the Marksmen lead. Soper (5) set up the play from his own blueline before heading for a line change, earning his second assist of the night. John Moncovich (4) caught the puck through neutral ice and gave it to Yurkins streaking into the zone down the middle. The Staten Island native then sent a shot in on net and chased his own rebound for the go-ahead goal at 16:06 of the first period. Under two minutes later, Cam Cook (2) took advantage of a broken play in the offensive zone and scored off an intercepted pass from Quad City to make it 4-2 Fayetteville heading into the first intermission.
The flurry of goals subsided for most of the second period, but the Storm pulled to within one with a powerplay goal at 13:45. The 4-3 marker was the first powerplay goal allowed by the Marksmen since October 27 against Macon when the penalty kill went 6/7 (a span of over four games). With time winding down in the period, the Marksmen would add two more quick goals to jump up 6-3. Loven (2) had some puck luck in front of the net when he sailed the puck toward the crease and it went in off a Quad City defenseman at 17:56. Kobryn (5) and Hunter (6) picked up assists on the play. Sixty-three seconds later, Loven and company went back to work in the offensive zone to set up a three-goal lead. Michaelian (4) sent the puck down low from the far-side point to Kobryn in the faceoff circle before Kobryn tried for a shot. The puck bounced back to him and he gave it off to Loven (3), who circled the zone behind the net to the blueline, fired in a shot from far out and bounced it off of Kobryn (5) in the slot with 61 seconds remaining in the period. The Marksmen took a 31-29 shot advantage, and the 6-3 lead into the third, but the action would continue to ramp up to create a dramatic final frame.
Quad City returned quick back-to-back goals early in the third, scoring twice in 26 seconds to make a 6-5 game. About four minutes later Fayetteville once again answered with a goal off the rush. Cook (6) entered the zone and dropped a pass to Soper (6) at the point. Soper fired it off the end boards and the puck rebounded to the far side of the net where Max Johnson (5) had followed the play to, before Johnson potted the eventual game-winning goal. The Storm answered back 43 seconds later, and continued to pepper the Marksmen net for the remainder of the game, but solid goaltending by Conor O’Brien kept them from tying the contest. O’Brien finished the game with 41 saves, including 17 in the third period and the Marksmen held on to the 7-6 decision to win their sixth straight game.
The Marksmen and the Storm will rematch 8:10 EST Saturday, November 11, 2023 at Vibrant Arena in Moline.
- The Marksmen hold the longest active point and win streaks in the SPHL, at 7 and 6 games respectively, and both teams combined for the highest scoring game of the 2023-24 season so far.
- Fayetteville’s 7 goals were the most scored by the team since March 11, 2022 (7-3 win over Macon), and the 6 goals against match the most given up since February 19, 2023 (6-1 loss vs Birmingham).
- The six-game win streak matches the longest undefeated streak Fayetteville had strung together in the entirety of the 2022-23 season when the team picked up six straight from December 27, 2022- January 8, 2023.
- Kyle Soper’s 3 assists set a new career high for assists in a game, and matched his best single-game point total from January 15, 2022 (1-2-3)
- Tyler Kobryn’s three-point night propelled him to the league lead at 10 (5-5-10) in 8gp
The Marksmen will return to home ice Wednesday, November 15 for a 10 a.m. puck drop against the Knoxville Ice Bears on School Day Game, presented by Dole Foods. Single game tickets are on sale at marksmenhockey.com.