Peoria Rivermen prepare for first game of the season after 593 days

Good Day Central Illinois

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — It’s been more than 18 months off the ice with no games for the Peoria Rivermen.

“It’s been 593 days since we played a game here at carver arena,” said Rogers.

The Rivermen are getting ready to lace their skates and hit the ice for Friday’s season opener. The Rivermen will face off the Macon Mayhems from Georgia. The owner, Bart Rogers, said due to COVID-19 restrictions last year they were only allowed 25 fans per game. He said it just wasn’t sustainable.

“That doesn’t pay the bills, so we literally had to sit on another year which was 2021, so you know it’s been challenging it’s been a lot of expense and no revenue,” said Rogers.

Rogers said he’s hopeful they get back on their skates, with fans back in the stands and slapping the glass.

“Thankfully we have had great community support from our sponsors, we’ve set a 15-year record. We’re still not out of the woods but were excited that we are at this point,” said Rogers.

Looking ahead to the puck drop, two players both agree it’s time to blast the horn.

“There’s just nothing like seeing the Civic Center packed with people. It’s one of the coolest places to play, and we have the best fans in hockey, so to be shut down for as long as we were this is going to be extra special,” said Rivermen Goalie Eric Levine.

“We didn’t get to say bye to anyone, it just kind of ended abruptly there, so it’s going to be really awesome to see everyone and all the fans again,” said Rivermen Defense Skyler Smutek.

The puck is set to drop at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local News

More Local News