Story By Josh Redman
Photo by Michael Natoli
Friday night goal outburst, Saturday evening shutout propel Mustangs to pair of victories
Peoria, IL – The Peoria Mustangs broke into the win column with a pair of victories over the visiting Wausau Cyclones this past weekend. The Mustangs (2-3-1) will now hit the road for a season long 10 game, five-week road trip beginning next weekend (10/15-16) in New Ulm, MN.
Friday night’s contest saw the hosts treat their guest in a less than cordial fashion as the Mustangs tallied 9 goals en-route to a 9-1 victory over the Cyclones. The win is Peoria’s first in the 2021/22 campaign and first on home ice for the season.
Thomas Kayner got the scoring started for Peoria in Friday night’s contest putting in a rebound off an initial shot from Jackson Gram. Gram put the puck on net in just to the left side of the crease, Wausau goaltender Zach Dosan made the initial stop but, the puck trickled out to Kayner who promptly deposited it into the back of the net for the 1-0 Mustang’s lead.
Kayner added a second goal just past the midway point of the opening frame when he stole a Wausau pass attempt just inside the left circle, Kayner corralled the puck, spun and fired it past the blocker of Dosan for the 2-0 Peoria advantage.
Tristan Trudel stretched the Peoria lead to 3-0 a minute and forty-two seconds later when he took a feed from Justin Hubble, cut across the slot, and fired a back-hander past the outstretched glove of Dosan at 12:12 of the first period. The goal was Trudel’s first of the contest.
The middle frame saw much of the same as the first, Trudel added two power play tallies to complete his hat trick, sandwiched in between was an Ethan Chesney goal. Chesney took a Chris Kondiles feed in neutral ice, raced into the zone along the left-wing boards, got to the circle and snapped a wrister past Dosan for his 4th goal of the season at 16:22 of the middle stanza. Through 40 minutes of action the Mustangs held a 6-0 lead over the Cyclones.
The third period was a carbon copy of the first 40 minutes as Chesney scored just 2:19 into the final stanza to extend the home team’s lead to 7-0. Massimo Polistina and Jaycob Bland added tallies, firing the puck past new Cyclone’s goaltender Ryan Burke that extended the Peoria advantage to 9-0. Wausau broke their goal drought at the 9:31 mark of the period when Griffin Lennes stuffed the puck between Mustang’s goaltender TJ DeMeulenaere and the left post for the eventual 9-1 final score.
Saturday night the two teams skated a scoreless for 44:03 when Ethan Chesney broke the scoreless tie. Chesney took a feed from line mate Perry Lagatuz just in front of the Peoria bench, Chesney raced into the zone, cut across the right circle and snapped the puck past the blocker of Wausau goaltender Zach Dosan at 4:03 of the third period for the 1-0 Mustangs edge.
Jackson Gram added to the Mustangs lead a little over 2 minutes later when he corralled a Jared Wisely clearing attempt in the left circle of the Mustangs zone, cut to the right and flipped the puck over the left shoulder of Dosan for the 2-0 Mustangs advantage at 6:25 of the 3rd period.
Tristan Trudel put the cherry on top when he collected a Chesney face off win in the defensive zone, skated to the blue line, and slid the puck the length of the ice and into the empty net for the eventual 3-0 final score.
The pair of wins over the weekend improved the Mustangs to 2-3-1, 5 points, and 5th place in the central division a single standing point behind the Wausau Cyclones. TJ DeMeulenaere picked up the win between the pipes Friday night, stopping 14 of 15 shots faced, the win, DeMeulenaere’s first of the season improves him to 1-2-0 on the season. Joe Ambroffi picked up the shutout win in Saturday night’s contest, stopping all 21 shots faced. The win was Ambroffi’s first of the campaign and improves the Joliet, IL native to 1-1-1.
Notes: The Mustangs have collected at least 40 shots on goal in all four home games this season…Tristan Trudel earned the hat trick Friday night, and added an empty net goal in Saturday contest, Trudel is currently riding a three game point streak…Saturday night Joe Ambroffi collected his second career shutout, the first also against Wausau 1/9/21 at the Owens Center…Ethan Chesney has collected 5 points in his last two outings…Friday night the Mustangs had 7 skaters earn multi-point games…Issac Fuller earned the first fighting major of the season for Peoria as he and Wausau’s Bowen Arola went toe-to-toe after exiting the penalty boxes in the second period of Friday night’s game…The Mustangs return to action Friday night when they travel to New Ulm, MN for a two-game series with the Steel…The games can be viewed live on HockeyTV, or by following along on the Mustangs social media platforms…Puck drop for Friday night’s game is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CDT…