Peoria Rivermen hockey beats Pensacola in the first round

PEORIA – Alec Hagaman, Jordan Ernst and Nick Neville helped the Pensacola Ice Flyers win a ring last season.

They kept them from winning another one on Saturday, helping the Peoria Rivermen to a 4-2 victory in Game 3 of the SPHL first-round playoff series to eliminate the defending champion Flyers.

Peoria-born captain Hagaman scored the go-ahead goal and added an assist, Ernst scored a goal to seal the victory nine seconds after Pensacola had closed to within one, and Peoria-born Austin Wisely notched the game-winner on a huge play in the final seconds of the second period.

Jack Berry jumped into the net and shut down the Flyers, and the Rivermen advanced to the semifinals that start next week.

“Go get another one,” Pensacola head coach Rod Aldoff said to Hagaman as the two met in the post-game handshake line, according to the Rivermen captain. “Playing with them last year was a great experience, and now I’m building one with our team in Peoria. Go get another ring is exactly what I want to do.”

BOX SCORE:Rivermen 4, Ice Flyers 2 | PLAYOFF PAIRINGS: 2021-22 playoffs

Hagaman held a court in the Rivermen room, wearing a captain’s hat – that goes after each game to a player who was a hero – and joining his teammates in a celebratory beer.

Peoria Rivermen captain Alec Hagaman dons the

“We got everything we wanted out of this series,” he said. “That’s the way players have to step up in a Game 3, and we had guys do that.”

Settling some old scores

The series meant a lot in the Peoria locker room.

There was Hagaman, Ernst and Neville, determined to repeat the success with the Rivermen they had with Pensacola last year.

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