Photo: Addison Blair/Peoria Rivermen

About

#AllAboard #FourLeagues #ThirtyFiveYearsOfExcellence #CurrentOwnersOfEvansvilleThunderbolts #CrewChangesOnMonday #PensacolaSucks #YouTooMacon #StillBetterThanYou #SoManyHashtags #SorryNotSorry #DealWithIt #Rivermen.net

Head Coach: Jean-Guy Trudel (6th season, 137-60-27) is the SPHL’s all-time winningest coach with a .672 win percentage.

Captain: Dave Pszenyczny takes the captain’s mantle for the first time in his 12-year pro career. Chezy takes over for the now-retired Dan Bremner.

Last Season: The Rivs didn’t manage the regular season three-peat, finishing third in the standings with a 32-13-11 record and setting a new league record with 11 post-regulation defeats in a season. Peoria returned to the Presidents Cup Final for the second straight season, falling to the Macon Mayhem in a two game sweep.

Overview

The Rivermen’s return to the Presidents Cup Final got off to a rough start, getting outscored 11-2 in the season-opening series at Carver Arena against the Huntsville Havoc. After a month of major roster shuffling by coach Trudel, Peoria began to get back to form. Hopes of a third-straight regular season title were dashed with a 0-4-2 skid in February, including three straight losses against the Pensacola Ice Flyers at the Bay Center – Peoria’s house of horrors. In the postseason, Peoria rolled over a toothless Knoxville Ice Bears squad in the opening round and a hard-fought three-game series against Huntsville to reach the Presidents Cup Final for the second year in a row. In the final against the Macon Mayhem, the Rivs’ ship crashed into a wall named Jordan Ruby. The Macon netminder made 64 of 66 saves, sinking Peoria’s championship hopes.

Trending Topics

  • #CupOrBust – The Rivermen are retooled for another run at the Presidents Cup. Will the third time finally be a charm?
  • #KnobSave – Goaltender Eric Levine returns to Peoria after spending two seasons in the ECHL, mostly with the Colorado Eagles and Indy Fuel.
  • #DivisionOne – Peoria has six rookies on the opening night roster who played NCAA division one hockey.

Insights

  • No player last season scored 40 points last season in a Peoria uniform. Seven players, however, scored 30 or more points.
  • The Rivermen led the SPHL as a team last season with a +252 plus/minus rating.
  • Peoria netminders allowed a league-lowest 38 third-period goals last season.

Following

  • Mike Gurtler (@gurtler_mike) – The forward took a hockey sabbatical for a year before returning to Peoria for his sixth pro season.
  • Ben Oskroba (@Bosskroba19) – The towering 6’5″ defenseman will be imposing his will on opposing forwards for a fourth year. Never finished a season with a minus rating.
  • Connor Gorman (@conjohn92) – The second-year forward led all postseason scorers with 11 points and six goals.

Blocked and Reported

  • Storm Phaneuf (@stormphaneuf) – The 13-5-1, 2.06, .924 goalie took his athletic talents to the ECHL Rapid City Rush, where he suffered a trial-by-fire at the hands of the Allen Americans as the opening night starter.
  • Dan Bremner (@dbrem86) – Peoria’s captain, one of the hardest working guys on the ice, hung up the skates after a six-year career. Bremner picked up the clipboard and is an assistant coach at ACHA Ohio University.
  • Brandon Greenside (@brgreenside) – The All-SPHL blueliner, like Bremner, retired from playing to begin a coaching career. Greenside is now an assistant at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta.

@SinBinSwami tweeted…

The Rivermen have accomplished everything in the SPHL except that one crazy thing that’s driving them wild. Third time’s a charm, boys.

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