Peoria, IL – The Peoria Mustangs welcomed the Milwaukee Power to the Owens Center for the final time in the regular season, the 7th and 8th meeting of the season for the two clubs. The Mustangs prevailed Friday night as goalie Andrew Doran notched 39 saves and Massimo Polistina cashed in the game winning goal in a 5-1 victory.
Saturday night had a similar story as the Mustangs netted two goals in the early stages of the game, Milwaukee answered with a pair of their own but the Mustangs took over late in the first period and marched to victory, their sixth straight win and third consecutive series sweep. The Mustangs improved their season record to 23-9-3 and have secured a second place tie with the Oregon Tradesmen in the NA3HL Central Division standings.
Friday: PEO 5 – MKE 1
The Mustangs opened the scoring near the midway point of the opened frame while skating at even strength. Peoria chipped the puck into their attacking zone and Perry Lagatuz picked the puck off the end wall. Lagatuz chipped the puck to Connor Henderson at the blue line. Henderson slipped a cross ice pass to Justin Hubble, Hubble flicked the puck towards the net and Lagatuz tipped the puck into the back of the net past Power goaltender Spencer Northway for the 1-0 edge at 7:45 of the opening period.
Peoria used only 15 seconds, doubling their lead as Declan McDermott gloved down a bouncing puck in the neutral zone and raced into the attacking end. McDermott snapped the puck on goal, with the initial shot being turned aside by Northway, the puck danced around in the crease and Massimo Polistina whizzed by and swatted the puck into the back of the net at 8:01 of the first period for the eventual game winner and 2-0 Mustangs edge.
The Mustangs added a trio of second period goals to seal the victory as S-P Merck tallied his second goal of the season, Jared Wisely and Ethan Chesney were credited with assists on the goal. Wisely then scored the 4th goal of the game for the home team with his 6th of the season, and Chesney rounded out the scoring for the Mustangs netting his 25th goal of 2021-22. Max Erstad tallied the lone goal for the visitors, putting the puck past Andrew Doran off a rebound at 6:44 of the third period for the eventual 5-1 final score.
Andrew Doran picked up the victory between the pipes for the Mustangs stopping 39 of 40 shots faced on the night. The win, Doran’s 4th consecutive, improves him to 6-1-0 on the season.
Saturday: PEO 9 – MKE 2
The Mustangs opened the scoring in the early stages of the opening frame Saturday night when Jaycob Bland picked off a clearing attempt, spun into the right circle and snapped the puck past Power goaltender Kaden Grant for the 1-0 edge at 5:57 of the opening period.
Peoria doubled their lead just 35 seconds later when Ethan Chesney sent the puck towards the net and into traffic. Jared Wisely was stationed just atop the crease and tipped the puck past Grant for the 2-0 Mustangs advantage at 6:32 of the opening frame.
Milwaukee got on the board just past the midway point when Max Erstad lit the lamp at 11:56 for the 2-1 Mustangs lead.
Peoria once again increased their lead to two when Wisely netted his second goal of the period while skating on the power play at 13:43 of the second period for the 3-1 lead.
Michael Dalaly netted the second and final goal of the contest for the visitors while on the man advantage, putting the puck past Nahuel Veyan at 15:59, cutting into the Mustangs lead 3-2.
Ryan Callahan and Jackson Gram rounded out the scoring for Peoria in the opening frame as the home team skated to a 5-2 lead through 20 minutes of action. Callahan netted his 4th of the season and Gram added his 9th of the campaign.
Peoria added 4 goals through the remaining 40 minutes of action, Justin Hubble netted his 5th of the season at 6:58 of the second period, chasing Milwaukee netminder Kaden Grant and Ethan Chesney put the puck past new Milwaukee goaltender Austin Bartell at 11:48 of the middle frame increasing the Mustangs lead to 7-2 through 40 minutes of action.
The Mustangs added a pair of goals in the third and final period, wasting no time lighting the lamp. Bland netted his second goal of the game and 10th of the season 23 seconds into the third period and Massimo Polistina connected with a power play tally at 3:53 for the eventual 9-2 final score.
Nahuel Veyan collected the victory between the pipes stopping 23 of 25 shots faced, the win Veyan’s 8th straight improves him to 8-1-1 on the season.
-With a win in goal Friday night, Andrew Doran has reigned victorious in his last 4 starts.
-With his win Saturday night, Nahuel Veyan has collected 8 straight victories between the pipes.
-Jared Wisely has 10 points in his last 3 games and is riding a 3-game point streak.
-Ethan Chesney has 7 points in his last 3 outings and is currently on a 3-game point streak.
-Massimo Polistina has points in 3 straight and earned his second GWG of the season in Saturday night’s win.
-Ryan Callahan has points in back-to-back games for the first time in his career and collected his second multi-point outing of the season on home ice Saturday night.
-Perry Lagatuz has collected a point in 4 straight games dating back to 1/15/22 at St. Louis.
-Justin Hubble is in the midst of a three game point streak with a goal and 2 assists in that span.
-In their last 6 outings, the Mustangs have allowed only 5 goals to the opposition.
-Hubert Guzy has 3 points in his last 3 outings.
-The Mustangs closed out their season series with Milwaukee going 6-1-1.
The Mustangs hit the road and travel back to Affton, Mo for a pair of games against the St. Louis Jr. Blues at the Affton Ice Rink Saturday and Sunday, the 29th and 30th. Saturday night’s game is scheduled for an 8:30 pm CST face off and Sunday’s game gets underway at 2:30 pm CST. All games can be viewed on HockeyTV.