COLUMBUS, GA – The Peoria Rivermen carved their name in Southern Professional Hockey League history as they won their 13th consecutive game 2-1 over the Columbus Cottonmouths Saturday night. The win sets league records for consecutive wins and road wins (11) before they return home to start a three-game series with Fayetteville next Friday.
Peoria opened the scoring at the 9:33 mark of the first period when Dan Bremner started a shorthanded rush into the Columbus zone. After gaining the Cottonmouths blueline Bremner dropped a pass to Steve Morra, who buried it over the shoulder of Columbus goaltender Brandon Jaeger to give Peoria the 1-0 lead.
The Rivermen extended the lead to 2-0 at 11:48 of the second when Matt Summers dropped a feed to Walker Wintoneak on a powerplay rush and Wintoneak ripped it by Jaeger and into the Columbus goal. The Cottonmouths got one back from Shawn Bates at 15:37 of the second when he fired one from the mid-slot past a screened Kyle Rank to cut the Peoria lead to 2-1.
Rank stopped 37 of 38 shots he faced, including several outstanding saves in the third period to protect a one-goal lead. The win is Rank’s league-best 13th of the season, and his sixth consecutive win, dating back to a shootout loss December 12 against Mississippi.