Our Bubba’s 33 Post-Game Recap By James Jackson
PEORIA, IL – Following Thursday night’s disappointing loss in Evansville, the Marksmen knew there was a tough road awaiting in Peoria, taking on the second-place and three-year-runner-up Rivermen. Head Coach Jesse Kallechy challenged his team before the game to start strong and set the tone in a game they were underdogs in.
They would come out in the first period on fire, as Nolan Sheeran and Paul Fregeau had the first shots-on-goal for the Marksmen, attacking the net early. A penalty near the half-way mark would allow the Rivermen to pick up a flurry of shots. Alex Murray came into this game having something to prove after a tough loss to the Mayhem. Murray did just that, dancing around the ice and blocking shots from every direction. After the Marksmen killed off the Rivermen power play, they had momentum.
After plenty of offensive chances, Fayetteville would score the opening goal for the first time this season. Alternate Captain David Mazurek would fire one toward the net that would sneak its way wide-side, allowing Zach Tatrn to get on the board on just his third shift with the team. Faytetteville would end the first up 1-0, with 15 saves for Alex Murray, who looked untouchable in net.
As the second period started, the Marksmen attacked the net early looking to pick up where they left off. The Marksmen had Peoria goalie Stephen Klein juggling the puck. Zach Tatrn, as he was being pinned to the backboards behind Klein’s net, had an absolutely flawless pass to David Mazurek, striking twine. That goal was Mazurek’s fourth goal of the season and his eighth point. Fayetteville have found themselves in the catbird seat with a 2-0 lead.
The Rivermen had a beautiful shot-on-goal minutes later, which Alex Murray denied. Just when everything was clicking for the Marksmen, they found themselves on a near-two minute 5-3 penalty kill. Travis Jeke and Tyler Palmer were both called on a tripping penalties, one after another. The Marksmen PK unit impressed once again by killing off a tough 5-on-3 penalty kill with zero shots-on-goal during that penalty kill.
With 4:09 left to go, Taylor Pryce had a great backhand pass to Darren McCormick finding the back of the net. That was the fifth goal of the season for McCormick. This 3-0 lead was the largest lead the Marksmen have had all season, outshooting the Rivermen 24-18 at this point in the game.
With just a few minutes left in the second, Alex Murray got into a bit of scuffle with a Rivermen player, defending his crease. Shortly after that scuffle, Rivermen Austin Vieth snuck one under the legs of Alex Murray for his first goal of the season with 1:20 left. Almost directly after that goal from Vieth, Kevin Patterson ripped a shot from the right side circle scoring the second goal of the game for the Rivermen. Just like that, it went from all-Marksmen on a 3-0 lead, to a 3-2 game.
Heading into the third period, the Rivermen were thriving. Tyler Palmer was handed a holding penalty, putting the Marksmen on their fourth penalty kill of the game. Joe Kalisz fired shot on from the left side to score on the power play for the Rivermen, and knot things up 3-3. However, immediately after the goal, Peoria’s Joseph Widmar pushed Alex Murray down on the ice and was handed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Almost instantly on the Marksmen power play, Cody Brown ripped a shot from the right side circle and scored his first goal of his SPHL career. That goal by Brown gave the Marksmen a 4-3 lead.
In a tight game, the Marksmen were doing just enough to keep themselves ahead, but the Rivermen pressure was amounting. Peoria’s Will Smith would find the puck in his offensive end in the latter half of the third, and with a viscous shot would get it past Alex Murray. 4-4 game. Smith wasn’t done yet, scoring his second goal of the period with just under three minutes left, giving the Rivermen a 5-4 lead. Desperate, the Marksmen would pull goaltender Alex Murray, looking to force OT. With 1:10 left to go in the game, Nolan Sheeran would have one bounce past the left-shoulder of Klein, and the score was 5-5. That goal by Sheeran forced overtime.
As overtime began, Darren McCormick was almost immediately called on a weak cross-check, creating a 4-3 opportunity for the Rivermen. Alex Murray continued to come up big for the Marksmen, blocking beautiful one-timers from the Rivermen. As much as the Marksmen defense tried, they were exhausted by the passes of the Rivermen. With only about :15 left on the Marksmen PK, RIvermen Kevin Patterson managed to find the back of the net for the second time in the game, giving him the game-winner and completing the Peoria comeback.
The Marksmen would receive a point, as they drop a hard-one-to-swallow in Carver Arena, dropping their record to 2-4-1.
We’re back at it tonight at 8:15 P.M. EST, looking to finish what we started against Peoria. Tonight’s game will once again be broadcast live at On-After Sports Bar & Grub, with great food and drink specials, and an exciting atmosphere. If you’re unable to join the Marksmen staff, you can watch from anywhere on SPHLlive.com, or listen worldwide for free on the Marksmen Radio Network with the Voice of the Marksmen, Shawn Bednard.
The Marksmen are back home next Friday, November 16 for Margaritaville Night, and Saturday, November 17 for Wizardry Night. Tickets are available now by calling the Marksmen office at (910) 321-0123 or clicking on the dates above!
For more information on the nights, head to our Facebook page and click on the event page.
If you’re interested in partnering up with the Marksmen organization, or hearing about our season ticket packages, group packages, mini-plans, or advertising benefits in-arena or with the broadcast, email Director of Digital Marketing and Media Shawn Bednard, SBednard@MarksmenHockey.com or call the Marksmen Office at (910) 321-0123.
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The Fayetteville Marksmen are owned and operated by Union Pro Hockey Group and play their home games at Crown Coliseum. The Marksmen are a committed community asset, designed to provide premium entertainment to families and individuals in Cumberland County and surrounding areas.