Well. The Peoria Rivermen have lost yet another hockey game. But hidden within that fact is a lot of good and progress! And here are some bullet points to illustrate just that.
• Rivs earned their first point of the year!
• They’ve started the season off 0-2-1, which is an improvement on last year’s 0-3-0.
• The loss was 2-1 and not another blowout.
• The goal came from TJ Hensick, a person whose actual role is to score goals. On the PP!
• They killed off a very crucial 5-on-3 in the second to keep themselves in the game.
• Jake Allen was solid in goal, making 24 saves. The Jake we Rivs fans all know and love has (most likely) returned!
• The “Teeny Tiny Men Line” (Derek Nesbitt-TJ Hensick-Jaden Schwartz) was tiny, fast and produced numerous quality scoring chances as well as the lone Rivermen goal.
• Brett Ponich, noted stay-at-home-defenseman, led a rush in the first period and then kicked the puck out of the crease the clear the zone near the end of the second.
• Penalties. Dumb penalties. Inopportune penalties. PENALTIES.
• They’re still looking for a good mesh on the other lines that are not the TTM Line.
• Four goals in three games? That’s just not enough offense to keep the team afloat. With the exception of Hensick’s goal tonight, the proven goal scorers on this team have yet to get started with the season. Perhaps that one goal will open the floodgates?
Overall, it was BY FAR the Rivermen’s best effort of the still young season. They lost, but not for lack of effort. According to Dave Eminian, Hensick said after the game, “We were in this game. Everyone played well. Did we deserve to win it? Definitely. But sometimes deserve to win, and winning, have nothing to do with each other.”
If they continue where they left off, in Friday’s home opener vs. the bitter rival Rockford IceHogs they’ll have a good chance of getting into the win column.