Mustangs Split Road Series With Power, Head Home For 1st Place Showdown

Photo Credit: Jeremie Alle

Mustangs drop road opener, rebound for weekend split

West Bend, WI – The Peoria Mustangs hit the road for the first time in the 2022/23 season, as they traveled to West Bend, WI to square off against the Milwaukee Power. The teams battled for the 3rd and 4th time this season, the first at the Kettle Moraine Ice Center. Friday night Milwaukee skated away with a 3-2 victory, while Saturday the Mustangs double up the Power and earned the 6-3 victory. With the weekend split the Mustangs improve to 4-2-0, 8 standings points, and sit just two points out of first place in the central division.

Friday: PEO 2 – MKE 3

Friday night the Mustangs feel behind early and scratched their way back but could never draw even as the Power skated to a 3-2 Central Division victory in their home opener.

Milwaukee opened the scoring just 1:41 in when Connor O’Neal netted his second goal of the season giving the hosts a 1-0 edge. Milwaukee double their lead roughly four minutes later when Jacob Renbarger put his first goal of the season into the back of the net for the 2-0 Power lead at 5:31 of the opening period.

The Power tripled their lead in the opening stages of the middle period while skating on the power play. Matthew Ebersole tallied his first goal of the season and gave the home team a 3-0 lead at 3:44 of the middle stanza.

It took Peoria over half the game to break their scoreless streak, and they did it in fashion, while skating shorthanded. Chris Kondiles picked an errant Milwaukee pass of the wall in the neutral zone and raced across center ice. Kondiles zipped down the right wing boards and cut across the right circle and snapped a shot past Milwaukee goaltender Spencer Northway at 14:18 of the second period cutting the Power lead to 3-1.

The Mustangs cut the Milwaukee lead to one just a 1:33 later while cycling in their attacking zone. Connor Bruns found a streaking Joey Rancilio, Rancilio skated down the slow and snapped a shot on goal that was turned aside by Northway. The puck hopped right to Beckett Doyle who was cutting to the left side of the crease, Doyle whacked the puck into the back of the unprotected net for the eventual 3-2 final at 15:51 of the middle frame.

Joe Ambroffi took the loss between the pipes for the Mustangs in 28:03 of action, stopping 14 of 17 shots faced. The loss, Ambroffi’s first of the season, drops the netminder to 2-1-0 on the campaign.

Kason Yamada came in in relief, seeing 31:57 of ice time in the contest. Yamada turned aside all 6 shots faced.

Saturday: PEO 6 – MKE 3

Saturday night Peoria opened the scoring and double their lead in the first period and never looked back as they cruised to a 6-3 victory at Kettle Moraine Ice Center. Peoria got goals from 4 different skaters in the contest, capped by an empty netter to seal the deal from Josh Chesney.

The Mustangs opened the scoring early in the opening period when a trio of rookies connected to light the lamp. JD Duenwald sent the puck to Beckett Doyle slipped a nifty backhand pass to Joey Rancilio who snapped the puck past Power goaltender Adam Prokop at 4:58 of the opening frame and 1-0 Mustangs lead.

Peoria added to their lead in the closing seconds of the first period while skating on the power play. Doyle was stationed along the left-wing wall and spotted Tristan Trudel tip toeing into the high slot, Doyle fed Trudel a pass, Trudel then ripped a shot that buzzed past the blocker of Prokop and into the back of the net for the power play tally and 2-0 Mustangs lead at 19:02 of the opening period.

Milwaukee got on the board in the first minute of the middle period when Connor O’Neal put the puck past Mustangs netminder Kason Yamada at :54 to cut the Mustangs lead to 2-1.

Peoria answered with a pair of goals in the middle period, the first a shorthanded tally from Jaycob Bland, then another power play goal from Trudel. Bland’s shorthanded beauty came at 4:55 of the period and Trudel lit the lamp for the second time at the 8:03 mark of the second period. After 40 minutes of action the Musangs held a 4-1 lead.

Peoria added to their three goal advantage in the opening minutes of the second period when Ethan Chesney got pinned against the left wing boards and nudged a pass to Bland, Bland corralled the pass and danced into the slot and snapped a shot past Prokop at 2:48 of the third period and 5-1 Mustangs lead.

Milwaukee added a pair of goals in the middle stages of the final frame Max Mudge snuck the puck past Yamada cutting the Peoria lead to 5-2. Just a 1:16 later the Power struck again when Patrick Toomey lit the lamp cutting the Mustangs advantage of 5-3.

The Mustangs put a wrap on the party in the closing minutes of the contest with an empty net tally. Johnny Switzer chipped the puck out of the Peoria end and into the neutral zone. Josh Chesney gave chase to the loose puck, caught up to it, and skated into the attacking end, J Chesney was tripped up by a Milwaukee defender but not before he directed the puck towards the unprotected net. The puck slid into the back of the net at 18:21 for the eventual 6-3 final score.

Kason Yamada picked up the victory between the pipes for the Mustangs stopping 27 of 30 shots faced. The win is the first of the season for the Bloomington, IL native as he now sits 1-0-0 on the season.

Stable Notes:

-With an assist on Friday, blue liner Connor Bruns collected his first point of the 22/23 season.

-With a goal in Friday night’s game, Beckett Doyle earned his first career NA3HL goal, Doyle added a pair of assists Saturday for points in back-to-back games.

-Kason Yamada made his first appearance for the Mustangs since 12/15/2019, a 17 save shutout against the Long Beach Sharks, Mustangs won that game 11-0. Yamada also started Saturday night’s game, his first start since that same date.

-Saturday night, Josh Chesney collected his first career NA3HL goal, and empty netter in the closing minutes of regulation.

-Saturday night, Peoria  hit all the tabs on goals, 2 even strength, 2 power play, 1 shorthanded, and an empty netter.

-Joey Rancilio earned his first NA3HL goal in Saturday night’s win, it was assisted by Doyle and Duenwald.

-Saturday night’s game was marred with penalties, Peoria got whistled for 26 minutes while Milwaukee got whistled for 58 penalty minutes.

What’s Ahead:

The Mustangs return home for four games beginning with the Rochester Grizzlies September 30th and October 1st. Both games are scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. CST face off and can be viewed on HockeyTV, or by following along on Mustangs social media.