Piotrowski, Rivermen capture SPHL’s President’s Cup trophy
The Peoria Rivermen are returning from Virginia with the President's Cup trophy as champions of the Southern Professional Hockey League.
JM Piotrowski scored the clinching goal just 1:06 into overtime as the Rivermen rallied for a 3-2 win over the host Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs, capping off a 3-games-to-1 series victory in the finals.
Goalie Jack Berry was named the Finals MVP after making 122 saves in the four games, as Peoria outscored Roanoke 16-11. He made 31 stops in the final game.
SPHL Rookie of the Year Marcel Godbout scored a tying goal on a power play at 12:23 of the third period and notched the primary assist on Piotrowski's game-winner. Jordan Ernst had the secondary assist.
Peoria trailed 2-0 less than two minutes into the second period, but Mike Gurtler got the Rivermen on the board at 6:10 in the second with assists from Piotrowski and Nick Neville
Godbout got assists from Neville and SPHL Most Valuable Player Alec Baer on his equalizer in the third, and finished the playoffs with six goals and six assists to tie Roanoke's Nick Ford as the postseason scoring leaders.
The championship is first for the Rivermen in the SPHL after three previous trips to the finals, and the 40-year-old franchise’s first of any kind since winning the ECHL’s Kelly Cup in 1999-2000.