Photo Credit: Noah Markunas
West Division foe, Granite City takes 4 points at Owens Center this weekend
Peoria, IL – For the second straight weekend the Peoria Mustangs welcomed a top tier team to the Owens Center, this weekend it was the Granite City Lumberjacks, and it was the Lumberjacks that left Peoria with 4 points on the weekend. The Mustangs entered the weekend two games above .500 and exited the weekend at the .500 mark, 5-5-0, 10 points, 3rd place in the Central Division, one standings point behind second place Milwaukee.
Friday: PEO 2 – GCY 3
Granite City opened the scoring Friday night, Peoria tied it up, eventually took a lead, then Granite city netted a pair of goals in the last 10 minutes of regulation to skate away with a 3-2 victory on Friday night.
The Lumberjacks grabbed a quick lead just 3:05 into the contest when Addy Powell poked a loose puck past Mustangs netminder Cam Pendleton for the 1-0 edge in the early stages of the opening frame.
Peoria tied the game in the opening minute of the second period when Tristan Trudel found a rebound on a net-front flurry. Trudel, who was in a mass of bodies atop the crease whacked the puck past Granite City goaltender Xander Roberts to the game 1-1 at the :13 mark of the middle frame.
The Mustangs gained the lead in the opening stages of the third period when Robin Kuusik skated the puck into the attacking zone, was pushed below the goal line, and circled back into the right circle. Kuusik got to the dot and wristed a shot that whizzed by Roberts and into the back of the net for the 2-1 Mustangs edge at 5:59 of the third period.
Granite City tied the game just past the midway point of the frame when Coby Weber tallied the game tying goal at 10:33 of regulation. The Lumberjacks netted the eventual game winner in the final 60 seconds of regulation while skating on the power play Luke Delzer poked a loose puck past Pendleton at 19:07 of the third period for the eventual 3-2 final score.
Cam Pendleton suffered the loss between the pipes, stopping 33 of 36 shots face. The loss drops the Little Elm, TX native to 2-3-0 on the 2022/23 campaign.
Saturday: PEO 1 – GCY 4
Saturday night the Lumberjacks jumped out to a lead and never looked back as they tallied a trio of goals before the Mustangs got on the board. Granite City opened the scoring in the first half of the opening period when Andrew Butler put the puck in the back of the net at 6:57 of the first period and a 1-0 Lumberjacks lead.
Granite City double their lead and added another goal in the middle frame, the first coming from Brett Robinson at 8:50 of the second period, and Carson Van Zuilen made it 3-0 Lumberjacks at 12:42 of the second period.
Peoria Cut into the Lumberjacks lead in the opening minute of the final frame, while skating on a 5-on-3 power play. Tristan Trudel sent the puck net ward, the initial shot was turned aside by Granite City Netminder Ryan Lehet, the rebound popped out to Chris Kondiles who promptly fired the puck on goal, having his shot turned away as well, the rebound fluttered to the left of the crease and Jaycob Bland swatted it into the back of the net cutting the Lumberjacks lead to 3-1 at the :49 mark of the third period.
The Lumberjacks put the nail in the coffin in the final 40 seconds of regulation when Jack Louko netted his first of the season and the eventual 4-1 final score.
Cam Pendleton suffered the loss for the second straight night, in the loss he stopped 38 of 42 shots faced. Pendleton currently sits 2-4-0 on the season.
-With a goal and an assist on the weekend, Tristan Trudel has a point 5 straight games dating back to 9/24 at Milwaukee. In that span Trudel has collected 5 goals and 2 assists.
-With a goal in Saturday night’s contest and an assist Saturdat, Jaycob Bland earned points in back-to-back games.
-On Friday night forward, Robin Kuusik netted his first career NA3HL goal, at the time it was the go ahead goal in the contest.
-Cam Pendleton has started 4 consecutive games, in that span he has gone 1-3-0, stopping 134 of 144 shots faced.
The Mustangs have a weekend off before hitting the road to Oregon, WI to square off against the Tradesmen in a Central Division battle at the Oregon Ice Arena on October 21st and 22nd. Both games are slated for a 7:30 p.m. CST puck drop and can be viewed on HockeyTV or by following along on Mustangs social media platforms.