Peoria, IL – The Peoria Mustangs and Oregon Tradesmen tangled in the opening round of the Fraser Cup Playoffs with the series kicking off this past Wednesday evening at the Owens Center in Peoria. The Mustangs built a 4-1 lead through 20-minutes of action before Oregon clawed their way back into the game, eventually tying the contest early in the 3rd period then netting the game winner for the 6-5 victory and a 1-0 series lead.
The two teams met again in a win-or-go-home game two Friday night in Oregon, Wisconsin. The two teams skated to a scoreless opening frame before the Tradesmen broke the drought in the second period. Through 40 minutes of action the Mustangs trailed 1-0. Peoria got on the board in the 3rd period tying the game at one before the game descended into a 20-minute overtime session. Peoria played a strong OT period before Oregon netted the game winner with under a minute left for the 2-1 victory and 2-games-to-none series sweep.
Wednesday: PEO 5 – ORE 6
Wednesday night, Peoria opened the scoring early in the opening frame when Jaycob Bland found a streaking Tristan Trudel, Bland was circling behind the Oregon goal as Trudel zipped towards the net. Bland chipped a pass to Trudel, who poked the puck past Oregon netminder Anthony Adleman and into the back of the net at 6:04 of the first period for a 1-0 Mustangs edge.
Peoria added a goal just past the midway point of the first period when SP Merck picked off a shot attempt and fired a pass to Jackson Gram who was speeding out of the Peoria end. Gram received the pass and raced in on Adleman all alone and snapped the puck into the back of the net at 11:57 for the 2-0 Mustangs’ edge.
Oregon cut into the Peoria lead in the closing minutes of the second period when Jason Tenezaka netted his first goal of the playoffs.
The Mustangs added to their lead late in the period with Perry Lagatuz lighting the lamp with his first of the playoffs and Bland rounded out the scoring in the opening period with a goal at 19:02 for the 4-1 Mustangs lead through 20-minutes of play. Oregon cut the Mustangs lead in half past the midway point of the second period when Abe Laggis punched the puck past Nahuel Veyan at 11:15 for the 4-2 Mustangs lead.
The Mustangs one again built a three goal lead when Massimo Polistina sent a cross ice pass to Hubert Guzy who hammered a shot from the right circle past Adleman at 11:39 of the second period for the 5-2 Mustangs lead.
Oregon added a goal at 12:05 as Tenezaka added his second goal of the contest. Through 40-minutes of action the Mustangs held a 5-3 advantage over their guests from Oregon, WI.
The third and final period of regulation was all Oregon as the Tradesmen connected for 3 goals in the final 20 minutes. Sam VanderHoeven connected 2:59 into the 3rd period and added his second of the game at the 5:27 mark of the final period to tie the game at five.
Oregon got the eventual game winner just prior to the halfway point of the period when Gunnar Schiffman pounced on a rebound and snapped the puck past Veyan at 9:41 of the third period for the eventual 6-5 final score and 1-0 series advantage.
Nahuel Veyan suffered the loss between the pipes for Peoria stopping 11 of 17 shots faced. Andrew Doran played the final 10:11 of the contest and faced no shots on goal for the remainder of the contest.
Friday: PEO 1 – ORE 2 (OT)
Friday night the two teams squared off at the Oregon Ice Arena for a decisive game two. The two teams skated to a scoreless opening 20 minutes before the Tradesmen broke the ice in the middle period. Carter Watters picked off a pass and raced into his attacking zone, shifted the puck to his backhand and chipped the puck past Andrew Doran at 7:17 of the second period for the 1-0 Mustangs lead.
Peoria evened the score early in the middle period when Jared Wisely chipped a clearing attempt off the glass and past a defender, skated around a second defender before he collected the puck and raced in and snapped a shot over the glove of Austin Bartell and into the back of the net for a short handed goal at 3:54 of the third period and 1-1 tie game.
The teams closed out regulation with the goaltenders putting on a show keeping the game tied 1-1 when the horn sounded to end regulation. After an intermission the two teams took the ice for the sudden death overtime session. At the 18:30 mark the Mustangs took a bench minor for too many men on the ice that proved to be a decisive point in the game. With the clock winding down in the first overtime Doran stopped a shot, the puck danced out front and was poked into the back of the net by Jason Tenezaka at 19:46 of the first overtime for the 2-1 Tradesmen victory and 2-0 series win.
Andrew Doran suffered the loss between the pipes stopping 27 of 29 shots faced in the contest.
The Mustangs will now enjoy the summer break and be back, stronger, and better than ever to tackle the Central Division for the 2022/23 season. Keep an eye on Mustangs website (www.peoriamustangs.com) and all Mustangs social media for updates. The Mustangs would also like to thank all the fans and sponsors for their support and encouragement this season….