Posted Sunday, Feb. 21 7:39pm
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PEORIA -- The Quad City Ice Eagle Bantam hockey team extended its winning streak to five with a convincing 3-1 victory over the Peoria Rivermen in a game played Saturday morning at the Ownes Center in Peoria. The Eagles took full advantage of Peoria penalties to score all three of their goals on power play opportunities. Later in the day, the winning streak was snapped as the Eagles lost to the league-leading Pekin Flyers by a score of 9-2. Details of the contests follow.

Having already won three of four games against Peoria, the Eagles sought to improve on that record as they took to the ice for the 11:15 face-off. The Quad-Citians were short-handed with Tom Adducci unable to play due to illness. Peoria came out hitting everything in sight during the first couple of shifts of the game, apparently trying to send a message to the Eagles. The game quickly settled down to a tight defensive struggle, with the Eagles outshooting Peoria for the first period, but with neither team able to score. As the second period got under way, Peoria took the first of several foolish penalties that allowed the Eagle power play to get some work. The Rivermen had done a good job of breaking up the power play rushes, but with just over thirty seconds left on the penalty, Austin Busch and Dave Warta got loose on a two-on-one break. Busch broke in of left wing and waited until just the perfect moment, and then slid a pass across to Warta who one-timed it over the goalie's right shoulder for the 1-0 lead.

Several minutes later, another Peoria penalty put the Eagles on the power play again. Jason Corcoran intercepted an attempted clearing pass at the left point, and fired a low shot toward the net. The Peoria netminder made the stop but gave up the rebound, and Josh Moon was on the doorstep to fire in his 40th goal of the season to lift the margin to 2-0. The second period ended that way. Midway through the third period, the Eagles again went to the power play. This time it was Drew Carlson behind the Peoria net who threaded a pass to Ryne Takacs in the low slot. Takacs took his time, faked the goalie to the ice, and then fired in the clincher to make it 3-0.

It looked like Brandon Kruse would register his 13th shutout of the season, but Peoria forward Mike Cheatham got loose and scored the only Peoria goal with just 13 seconds left to make the final 3-1. The Eagles outshot the Rivermen 33-19 for the game.

The winning streak came to a crashing end later that evening as the Eagles traveled a few miles down the interstate to take on the first place Pekin Flyers. Pekin had swept all four previous games against the Eagles, and Saturday night's contest would be more of the same, as the Flyers remained unbeaten in league play with another convincing win, this time by the score of 9-2. As good as Pekin is, and they are very good, the Eagles should take note that all but three of the Flyers are second-year bantam players, and they may have some rebuilding to do next season.

With the split in Saturday's games, the Eagles moved their CIHL record to 7-5, and their overall record to 23-16-1. At this time, next week's games have not been finalized, but the Eagles have entered an additional tournament to be held the weekend of March 6 and 7 at Zion, IL. Other teams entered include the host Zion team, as well as teams from Rockford and Evanston. That will be the final tune-up for the season-ending tournament to be played in Chesterfield, MO during the weekend of March 13 and 14.

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