Peoria, IL – The Peoria Mustangs welcomed the Wausau Cyclones to town for the 7th and 8th meetings of the season between the two teams and the final regular season series of the 2021-22 NA3HL season. On both Friday & Saturday night, the Mustangs played catch-up to Wausau with both games coming down to the wire and ending in late losses. The Mustangs concluded the regular season 32-10-5.
PEO 2 – WAU 3 (OT)
The visiting Cyclones opened the scoring early in the opening period when Hayden Shoemake gathered a pass and snapped a shot over the shoulder of Mustangs goaltender Joe Ambroffi and into the back of the net at 4:16 of the opening period for the 1-0 Cyclones lead.
The Mustangs evened the score in the late stages of the opening period when Tristan Trudel muscled his way through the left circle and tapped a Lagatuz pass at the top of the crease that slid past Cyclone goaltender Mitch Miscevich and into the back of the net at 17:40 of the first period.
Wausau regained the lead once again late in the middle frame when Dylan Chapman peeled the puck from the end wall, charged towards the net and stuffed the puck past Ambroffi at 14:08 of the middle frame for the 2-1 Cyclones edge. Peoria once again tied the game late in the third period with Hubert Guzy racing towards the net and poking the puck past the outstretched leg of Miscevich at 18:25 of regulation tying the game at 2.
Wausau scored the eventual game winner just 39 seconds into the overtime session when Zac Maupin sent a pass across the low slot to Gage Vierzba, Vierzba tipped the puck over the sprawling leg of Ambroffi and into the back of the net at 39 seconds of overtime for the 3-2 Wausau victory.
Joe Ambroffi stopped 28 of 31 shots faced in the loss; the overtime loss dropped Ambroffi to 8-5-2 on the season.
PEO 2 – WAU 3
The two teams skated through a scoreless opening 20 minutes on Saturday before the Cyclones kicked off the scoring in the second period. The visitors built a brief two goal lead. Gage Vierzba netted a power play tally at 7:17 and Nolan Gifford lit the lamp at the 16:57 mark giving the Cyclones a 2-0 advantage.
The Mustangs cut into the Cyclones lead just 30 seconds after the second goal when Massimo Polistina tipped a Declan McDermott pass over the left shoulder of Cyclones goaltender Ryan Burke at 17:27 of the second period making the score 2-1. Wausau wasted no time in the third period as they regained their two goal lead just 1:47 into the final frame. CJ Zins netted his 5th tally of the season giving the Cyclones a 3-1 lead.
Peoria once again clawed their way back and got within seconds past the midway point of the 3rd period. Hubert Guzy poked the puck up the left-wing boards where Thomas Kayner pinched and corralled the puck. Kayner zipped the puck through traffic and past Burke and into the back of the net for the eventual 3-2 final score at 10:06 of the 3rd period.
Andrew Doran suffered the loss between the pipes for the Mustangs stopping 19 of 22 shots faced. The loss drops Doran to 10-2-0 on the season.
By The Numbers:
- Friday night’s overtime loss was the 4th overtime game for Peoria in their last 5 outings.
- Saturday night’s regulation loss was the first regulation loss in the 2022 calendar year. The Mustangs went 32-15-1 in the 2013/14 season.
- The regulation loss on Saturday was the first regulation loss on home ice for the Mustangs since 12/17, a 1-0 loss to St. Louis.
- Andrew Doran suffered only his second loss in a Mustangs uniform, both losses were to Wausau. In his career, Doran is 18-2-0 in 22 appearances.
The Peoria Mustangs begin the 2022 Fraser Cup Playoffs this Wednesday evening with game one being held at the Owens Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CST. Game two will shift to Oregon, WI for Friday night, 3/11, with a scheduled start of 7:30 p.m. Game three, if needed, will be back at the Owens Center on Saturday, March 12th with a 5:00 p.m. scheduled puck drop. All games can be viewed live on HockeyTV or following along on Mustangs social media.