Slow Start Stifles Storm

Friday night in Peoria the Storm dropped their first road game 6-2 against the Peoria Rivermen. 


The opening five minutes of hockey were back and forth, despite an early score from Justin Greenberg.  Greenberg scored again to make it 2-0 at 7:50 of the first period and changed the flow of the frame.  Peoria took over and added a goal by Mark Pettacio to go into intermission leading QC by three.


In period two the Storm were the better team.  Vinny Caligiuri cracked open the scoring for Quad City with a one-time blast passed Stephen Klein.  Chaos ensued on the following faceoff when Caligiuri got tied up with Rivermen captain Alec Hagaman.  Storm forward Al Graves pulled Hagaman off of Caligiuri and the two dropped the gloves.  Hagaman served five for fighting and Graves was given a five and a match, despite no penalty being issued to Caligiuri.  Skyler Smutek was also issued a five-minute fighting major and a minor for instigating which put two minutes of five on three time, to be followed by three minutes of five on four time, on the board in favor of Peoria.


55-seconds later Ben Blasko was sent to the box for tripping and 37-seconds after the tripping call, Mark Pettacio was issued an interference minor.  The calls negated the meat of the potentially devastating Peoria powerplay chance and not only chopped off significant PK time for the Storm, but also led to a brief Storm powerplay.


No goals were scored during the special teams circus and it felt as if the Storm were preparing to seize momentum and carry it into the third.  The feeling intensified after a missed change led to a 3-0 for the Rivermen and Peter Di Salvo made the save of the season, so far.  Rocketing across the crease from right to left he reached behind him with his glove to stop the one-time chance and rob Peoria of their fourth goal.  Unfortunately, the fourth goal would come for the home team late in the second period on the powerplay with thirty-one seconds on the clock. 


Peoria added two goals in the third period and Mitch Mueller buried a slap shot for the Storm’s second goal with 1:07 remaining in the game to set the final score at 6-2.


The Storm return home to take the ice at the Taxslayer Center tomorrow night and attempt to bounce back with a win and split the opening four game set with the Rivermen. 


Ticketmaster fees are still waived online for all single game ticket purchases.

Photo Credit: Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen

Brian Rothenberger