Peoria, IL – The NA3HL Central Division race reached a critical point in the season and this weekend’s battle between the Mustangs and the Tradesmen would prove to be a crucial series as second place was up for grabs. The Mustangs (27-9-2) continued their dominant ways by sweeping another weekend series and claiming their 10th straight victory in a row and solidifying themselves as the second place squad in the Central Division as the regular season winds down.
Friday: PEO 3 – ORE 2 / SO
The Mustangs opened the scoring in the early stages of the opening frame when Thomas Kayner circled behind the net and poked a shot on goal rebound, putting it past Oregon’s Adelman and into the back of the net at 6:13 of the opening period for the 1-0 Mustangs advantage.
Oregon evened things up late in the opening frame when Sam VanderHoeven chipped it past Peoria’s Veyan and into the back of the net at 13:55 to even the score at one a side.
Peoria re-gained the lead just past the midway point of the middle frame when Massimo Polistina circled behind the net and picked up a Jared Wisely shot on goal. Polistina came out at the left post and poked the puck across the goal line giving the Mustangs the 2-1 lead at 11:14 of the middle frame.
The Tradesmen once again evened the score just minutes later when Oregon’s Amir Velikhanov streaked by during a power play and poked a rebounded shot past Veyan at 12:49 of the second period.
The Mustangs and Tradesmen skated through a scoreless third period and overtime session before the game proceeded to the sudden death shootout. Oregon’s Henry Slager and Thomas Kayner connected in the second round before the goaltenders highlighted their talents. Jentzen Kaebel came out in the 7th round for Peoria and snapped the puck past Adelman for the game winner in the shootout.
Nahuel Veyan earned the win between the pipes stopping 31 of 33 shots faced and turning aside 6 of 7 in the shootout. The win, Veyan’s 9th straight, improves the goaltender to 9-1-1 on the season.
Saturday: PEO 5 – ORE 3
Oregon kicked off the scoring in the early stages of the opening period when Jack Sumner took a feed from Zachary Orwig and slipped the puck past Mustangs netminder Andrew Doran and into the back of the net at 2:48 of the first period for the quick 1-0 Tradesmen lead. Peoria evened things up a little over 5 minutes into the contest while Tristan Trudel cut to the left post. Trudel flipped a shot that squeaked past Oregon goaltender Evan Witchow at 5:25 of the first frame for the shorthanded goal and 1-1 tie.
Peoria grabbed the lead early when Trudel skipped into the circle and unleashed a wrist shot that sailed past the glove of Witchow and into the back of the net for the 2-1 Mustangs lead at :23 of the second period. Oregon evened the score just minutes later when Abe Laggis notched his 12th goal of the season with an assist going to Stauffacher and Carter Watters. Peoria regained their lead just 27 seconds later as Trduel netted a Perry Lagatuz feed at 3:40 for the 3-2 Mustangs edge and eventual game-winner.
The Mustangs added insurance tallies in the third and final period Trudel struck again with his 4th goal of the night and 100th career NA3HL point at 6:38 of the third period while skating on the power play, the goal was assisted by Brett Anderson. Perry Lagatuz added the 5th goal of the game for the Mustangs at 9:44 from Trudel and Jared Wisely. Oregon added a tally of their own late in the third period as Carter Watters netted his 15th goal of the season from Stauffacher and Cayden Erickson while skating with the man advantage for the eventual 5-3 final score. Andrew Doran earned the victory between the pipes, stopping 23 of 26 shots faced. The win, Doran’s sixth in a row, improved the Orchard Park, NY native to 8-1-0 on the season.
By The Numbers:
-Nahuel Veyan has recorded 9 straight wins in goal for the Mustangs.
-Andrew Doran has picked up 6 straight victories between the pipes for Peoria.
-Mustangs F Thomas Kayner has collected a point in 5 straight games.
-Jared Wisely has 8 points in his last 5 outings.
-Tristan Trudel collected 5 points in Saturday night’s win, 4G and an assist.
– Both the Peoria Mustangs and Peoria Rivermen have won 10 games in a row.
The Mustangs travel to Oregon, WI for a pair of games with the Tradesmen at the Oregon Ice Arena. Friday night’s game is scheduled for a 7:30 face off, and Saturday’s game also gets underway at 7:30 pm CST. All games can be viewed on HockeyTV.