The Quad City Storm sported special jerseys Saturday night for the Hockey Fights Cancer night sponsored by Unity Point Health Trinity at the TaxSlayer Center.
The Storm, however, were unable to secure a special victory over Peoria before the jersey auction that took place after the SPHL contest.
After a Marcus Ortiz goal 13:54 from third things tied at 1, the Rivermen scored the game-winner just 39 seconds into extra time in a four-on-four when Alec Hagaman scored his 22nd goal of the season on a Francesco Corona (14) assists for the 2-1 overtime win.
The victory was the 10th straight for the Rivermen (23-5-1-3, 50 points, third place) who passed fifth-placed Storm (19-8-3-5, 46 points) in the standings. .
It was a great chance for the Storm to get back on a team ahead of them, but it didn’t work out that way in front of a great crowd.
Peoria kept their distance from the fifth-placed Storm ahead of Sunday’s 2:10 p.m. rematch at the TaxSlayer Center.
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“We still have a chance of scoring five out of six points in a weekend,” QC coach Dave Pszenyczny said, hoping his club can find some Sunday magic this weekend.
The Storm had plenty of chances in Saturday’s setback. QC beat the Rivermen 35-27 and seemingly controlled much of the on-ice action, which had more than 200 names painted in lavender to recognize those who have battled cancer.
“I thought in some areas we could have been a little more blue-collar,” Pszenyczny said, noting missed chances in net and rebounds.
The contest was a bit slow at times and lacked aggressiveness from both sides.
“It was almost like a feeling process,” Pszenyczny said. “We got that goal on the power play and I think we kind of got the upper hand. But it was sometimes a little flippant. It almost felt like two boxers seeing each other for the first time in the first two rounds and not wanting to take too many risks.
“We maintained more free time than them and created more opportunities, but I think we had even more to offer.”
QC, wearing special lavender and black uniforms to honor cancer awareness, had a number of good looks at Peoria keeper Eric Levine, but the former QC player rose to the challenge all night stopping 34 shots .
QC’s Kevin Resop was almost as good as he allowed just two goals and stopped 25.
Peoria took the lead in the first period when Marcel Godbout found a small skating room just after leaving the penalty area. He served a call from too many men on the ice and after coming out of the penalty area, he found himself camped to the left of Resop and went high to beat the Storm keeper.
It took a while for QC to even things up on the board, but that honor went to Ortiz on a power-play chance.
From a ridiculous angle two steps from the red goal line, he also went forefront to beat Levine, who looked like he didn’t even see the shot fired. Tommy Stang (15) was credited with an assist.
After equalising, QC had several good chances with shots from Shane Bennett, Taylor Pryce and Triston Theriot testing Levine in the closing minutes.
Theriot’s wrist from the point created an open net, but there was no chance of a rebound.
Welcome: The Storm added left-winger Michael Mercurio to the roster on Saturday morning, thinking they could lose another skater when Ortiz was called for a kick penalty in Friday’s win over Evansville.
Shortly after Mercurio cleared the waivers, QC’s coaching staff were told by the league that the call for Ortiz had been overturned and he would not face a suspension that comes with a major five. minutes.
Reduced to eight offensive players in Saturday’s game with Stang in the box on a 10-minute misconduct penalty, the Storm will also receive reinforcements for Sunday when Tommy Tsicos returns from his two-game suspension.