Photo Credit: Noah Markunas
Mustangs play back-to-back 60+ minutes games, take 4 points on weekend
Oregon, WI – The Peoria Mustangs hit the road for only the second time this season, heading to Oregon, Wisconsin for a weekend pair with the Tradesmen. Each game featured back and forth lead changes and comebacks but when the buzzer sounded in regulation the score was tied both nights. Each night exceeded 60 minutes of regulation, Friday needing a shootout to determine a victor, and Saturday night the game was decided in the sudden death overtime session. With the pair of victories on the weekend the Mustangs improved to 7-5-0, 14 standings points and a third place tie with the Oregon Tradesmen.
Friday: PEO 5 – ORE 4 (S/O)
Friday night the Mustangs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes of action as Massimo Polistina tallied a pair of goals, the first while skating on the power play at 5:30 of the opening frame, Tristan Trudel and Ethan Chesney assisted on the opening goal. Polistina netted his second of the period in the closing minutes while the teams were skating 5-on-5, Jaycob Bland and Chris Kondiles were credited with assists on the goal. Through 20 minutes of action the Mustangs were out front 2-0.
The Tradesmen drew withing one just past the midway point of the middle frame when Will Falconer connected while the host team was skating on the power play. Peoria increased their lead back to a two goal advantage late in the second period when Connor Bruns netted his first goal of the season assisted by Joey Rancilio and JD Duenwald. After 40 minutes the Mustangs held a 3-1 edge over the Tradesmen.
Oregon jumped out of the gate hot in the final period of regulation netting a trio of goals and taking an eventual 4-3 lead late in the stanza. Nathan Walker wasted no time as he netted his 3rd goal of the season just 52 seconds into the third period. Oregon tied the game just prior to the midway point of the period when Easton Simpson collected his first goal of the campaign. The Tradesmen took the lead with just under 5 minutes left in regulation after Max Rotsaert scored his 3rd goal of the season.
The Mustangs eventually tied the game late with goaltender Joe Ambroffi pulled in favor of an extra attacker. Perry Lagatuz collected a loose puck atop the Tradesmen crease and stuffed the puck into the back of the net with 19 seconds left in regulation, tying the score 4-4, and forcing the overtime session.
The teams skated a scoreless 3-on-3 overtime session and eventually descended into the coveted shootout session. Trudel kicked off the shootout with a dazzling goal in the opening round. Oregon tallied a single goal in the three round session, that goal coming in the opening round when Amir Velikhanov snuck the puck past Ambroffi tying the session at 1-1 after a single round. JD Duenwald netted the eventual game winner in the second round and Ambroffi sealed the net for the final 2 Tradesmen shooters and Peoria collected two points and the road victory by a 5-4 final score.
Joe Ambroffi earned the victory between the pipes stopping 55 of 59 shots faced in the contest, with the win the Plainfield, IL native improves to 3-1-0 on the season.
Saturday: PEO 6 – ORE 5 (OT)
Saturday night the two teams traded goals, Oregon built a lead, and Peoria charged back forcing the game into an overtime session Oregon’s Will Falconer opened the scoring and Ethan Chesney capped the scoring in the overtime session, and mayhem ensued in between, and the Mustangs skated out of Wisconsin with 4 points on the weekend.
The Tradesmen opened the scoring in the first period a little over 5 minutes into the game, Will Falconer netted his second goal in as many nights giving the home team a 1-0 lead early in the opening period. Peoria evened the score just prior to the midway point of the period when Massimo Polistina lit the lamp at 9:53 tying the game at 1-1. Oregon regained a lead less than two minutes later when Falconer netted his 3rdgoal of the weekend. E. Chesney once again tied the game at 2 when he collected his 6th goal of the season at 12:02 of the first period. Oregon regained the lead once again in the closing minutes of the opening frame when Max Rotsaert put the puck in the back of the net for the 3-2 Oregon edge through 20 minutes of action.
Oregon added to their lead late in the second period, Luke DiPasquale found the back of the net at 16:14 giving the home team a 4-2 advantage through 40 minutes of action. The second period featured a dash of physicality as there were multiple penalties and game ejections handed out at the midway point of the period.
Peoria eventually tied the game in the third period with a pair of goals in the opening 5 minutes of action. E. Chesney cut the Oregon lead to one with a goal 3:24 into the period, assisted by Jaycob Bland and Justin Hubble. Perry Lagatuz netted the equalizer at 4:40 of the 3rd period, the game tying goal was unassisted. Oregon grabbed a one goal lead past the halfway point when Jordan Larkee put the puck in the back of the net giving the home team a 5-4 lead late in regulation. The Mustangs tied the game with less than two minutes to go in the third when Chris Kondiles collected his 3rd goal of the season, also unassisted. When the horn sounded at the 60 minute mark the score was once again tied 5-5.
The overtime session ended rather quickly as E. Chesney raced in all alone with the puck and was pulled down in the process and was rewarded with a penalty shot. E. Chesney took the puck at the center ice dot and raced into his attacking end with speed, cut across the left circle and into the low slot, and snapped a shot past Oregon netminder Tyler Kreft at 1:20 of the overtime session and a 6-5 Mustangs victory.
Kason Yamada earned the victory between the pipes stopping 45 of 50 shots faced, the win, Yamada’s second straight improves the Bloomington, IL native to 2-0-0 on the season.
-Massimo Polistina has 4 goals on the season, all 4 against Oregon, all 4 with Tyler Fromolz in goal for the Tradesmen, Polistina collected 4 total points on the weekend
-Ethan Chensey collected 5 points on the weekend including a hat trick on Saturday night. The goal outburst was the first goals for Chesney since 9/16/22 vs Oregon in Peoria
-Forward Chris Kondiles has collected at least a point in three straight games
-Mustangs goaltenders were faced with 109 shots on goal on the weekend and turned aside 100 of those shots
-Friday night Sam Truxaw dazzled his teammates with a tilt in the second period
-Saturday night chaos broke out midway through the second period, that chaos saw 3 players get game ejections, and a pair of 10-mimnute misconducts handed out
The Mustangs return home for a pair of games as they welcome the St. Louis Jr. Blues to the Owens Center for the first time this season. Friday night’s game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. CST puck drop, and Saturday is scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. start time. Saturday night is the first Peoria Mustangs Stuff-A-Bus game, with fans that bring a nonperishable canned food item receiving a free gift from City Link as well as free admission to the Saturday night game. If you can’t make it out to the Owens Center both games can be viewed on HockeyTV or by following along on Mustangs social media.