PEORIA - The Bloomington Thunder gave up a pair of two-goal leads as the Peoria Rivermen scored the game-winner with under four seconds remaining to take a 7-6 victory on Saturday night in Carver Arena.
For the second straight night, Dan Barczuk opened the scoring as the Thunder wing connected from the left wall on an assist from Travis Granbois just 1:27 into the game. The Rivermen tied the contest on a power play wrister from Nick Prockow at 4:57 with an assist given to Tyler Fernandez. The Thunder grabbed a 2-1 lead with their first power play goal of the season, a Paul D'Agostino blast from the slot assisted by Ron Cramer and Eddie Olczyk with 7:46 remaining in the opening session. Bloomington carried a 3-1 lead into the first intermission thanks to another power play goal from the slot, this time by Tyler Noseworthy assisted by Kevin Walrod and Darick Ste. Marie with just 3:12 remaining in the period.
The Rivermen tallied with 15:25 left in the second period on a power play goal, a one-timer from Garrett Vermeersch at the left circle. The Rivs capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play with 10:05 remaining in the middle stanza with a one-timer by Tyler Fernandez to even the game at 3-3. The Rivermen capitalized on another power play with Prockow's second goal of the game with 4:27 left, but the Thunder tied the game at 4-4 just 25 seconds later on a Ron Cramer tally to go into the second intermission even.
The Thunder quickly took a 5-4 lead just 1:11 into the third period on Noseworthy's second goal of the game on a sharp angle from the right side assisted by Cramer and D'Agostino, and Barczuk lit the lamp just under two minutes later for the second time in the game off a turnover at the Bloomington blue line off a feed from Ste. Marie for a 6-4 Thunder advantage. Peoria quickly knotted the score at 6-6 on Vermeersch's second goal of the game and Prockow's third tally for the hat trick with 9:11 left in regulation. The game-winner came from Vermeersch on a running blast from the left side for the second hat trick of the game during 4-on-4 skating with only 3.6 seconds remaining.
Peoria outshot the Thunder 35-30. B.J. O'Brien took the loss, stopping 30 shots, while Russ Stein took the win in goal in relief with 20 saves. Bloomington was 2-of-5 on the power play while the Rivermen were 4-of-6.