Mustangs Derailed At Home, Suffer 3rd Sweep On Home Ice

Photo Credit: Noah Markunas

Mustangs offensive woe’s continue, attention turns to Cyclones

Peoria, IL – The Peoria Mustangs and Rochester Grizzlies squared off for the 7th and 8th times this past weekend, Peoria looking to get back on the winning track. Friday night the Mustangs fell behind, cut into the Grizzlies lead but couldn’t catch up as the Grizzlies skated out of the Owens Center with a 3-1 victory. Saturday night the Mustangs scored first, Rochester tied the game late in the opening period before netting 5 unanswered goals and a 6-1 victory. With the pair of losses, the Mustangs fall to 20-15-2, 4th place in the central division, 3 points behind 3rd place Milwaukee.

Friday: PEO 1 – ROC 3

Friday night the Mustangs fell behind in the first 24 minutes but netted a tally to draw withing one early in the third period but couldn’t come up with the equalizer as Rochester tallied a late goal en route to a 3-1 victory at the Owens Center.

Rochester opened the scoring just past the midway point of the opening frame when Luke Morrisette collected his 3rd goal of the season with assists from Austin Meers and Ryan Berglund, the goal came at 11:26 of the first period and a 1-0 Rochester lead.

The Grizzlies increased their lead by a pair early in the middle frame when Berglund tallied his 5th of the season from Morrisette and A. Meers once again, at the 4:00 mark of the second period and a 2-0 Grizzlies lead.

The Mustangs cut into the Rochester lead just prior to the midway point of the final period of regulation while skating on the power play. With Rochester defenseman Gavin Mears serving a cross checking penalty the Mustangs cycled the puck in their offensive zone. Massimo Polistina spotted Justin Hubble streaking through the right circle and sent a pass to the tape of his teammate. Hubble wound and fired the puck over the trapper of Grizzlies netminder Tate Cothern and into the back of the net at 8:59 of the third period, cutting the deficit to 2-1.

Rochester added an insurance tally late in the third period when newcomer Ruslan Ospanov lit the lamp with help from Luke Jech and Spencer Klotz at 13:10 of the third period and eventual 3-1 final score.

Cam Pendleton suffered the tough luck loss between the pipes stopping 37 of 40 shots faced. With the loss the Little Elm, TX native falls to 6-11-2 on the season.

Saturday: PEO 1 – ROC 6

Saturday night the Mustangs tallied the first goal of the game then allowed 6 unanswered as the Grizzlies completed the weekend sweep with a 6-1 victory at the Owens Center.

Peoria opening the scoring early in the opening period when Ethan Chesney received a pass from JD Duenwald and sent the puck towards the net, the initial shot was slowed by a defenders stick but, Chesney spun and tipped the puck net ward. The puck slide between the legs of Rochester goaltender Tate Cothern and into the back of the net at 1:06 of the first period and a 1-0 Mustangs advantage.

Rochester knotted the game late in the opening period when Ryan Berglund netted his 6thof the season from Owen Van Tassel and Ty Petzke at 18:28 and a 1-1 tie.

The Grizzlies grabbed the lead and never looked back in the opening minute of the middle frame when Spencer Klotz collected his 17th goal of the season just 52 seconds into the period and a 2-1 Grizzlies lead.

The Grizzlies added to their lead with a pair of tallies to round out the second period the first coming at 2:09 off the stick of Ben Oakland and the second at 16:50 from Riley Dueber. Through 40 minutes of action the Grizzlies held a 4-1 lead over the Mustangs.

Rochester added a pair of insurance tallies in the final frame the first at 7:48 from Ruslan Ospanov at 7:48 and rounded out the scoring with a power play tally at 13:21 from Ryan Berglund and eventual 6-1 final score.

Cam Pendleton suffered the loss between the pipes stopping 22 of 28 shots faced in the contest, with the loss Pendleton falls to 6-12-2.

Stable Notes:

– The Mustangs have been outshot in 4 straight games; they have not collected 10+ shots on goal for 6 straight periods.

– JD Duenwald has collected 3 points in his last 3 outings, all coming via the assist.

– Jaycob Bland had an assist in both games on the weekend.

– Defenseman Justin Hubble collected his 4th goal of the season Friday night and his 2nd power play goal of the campaign.

– The Mustangs magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 7 over the Wausau Cyclones.

What’s Ahead:

The Mustangs hit the road as they head to Wausau, WI for a pair of crucial games against the Cyclones at Marathon Park the 3rd and 4th of February. Both contests are scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. face off and can be viewed on HockeyTV or by Following along on Mustangs social media platforms.