PEORIA — It was a heartbreaking opener for the Quad City Storm Saturday night at the Peoria Civic Center.
The Storm fell 3-2 in overtime to the Peoria Rivermen, a power-play goal from Alec Hagaman at the 2-minute, 40-second mark of the extra period deciding the contest.
It's the first time in the two-year franchise history the Storm failed to win their season opener. Last year, the Storm beat the Rivermen in overtime at the TaxSlayer Center.
The Storm have still yet to win in the Peoria Civic Center since joining the Southern Professional Hockey League, dropping their ninth straight game in Peoria, but did earn a road point against the Rivermen for the first time in the rivalry.
The Storm dug themselves an early hole, falling behind 2-0 in the first period against the Rivermen, who finished last season with the best regular season record in the league.
Hagaman scored first for the Rivermen, the Peoria captain burying an assist from former Storm Skyler Smutek at 8:10 in the first period. Jake Hamilton made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at the 19:24 mark of the first period.
New Quad City captain Dean Yakura scored the first goal of the season for the Storm, scoring after Ludlow Harris Jr. took the puck from end to end to set up the goal at 17:59 in the second period.
Newly acquired Taylor Pryce tied the game on an assist from Shane Bennett at 5:35 in the third period.
Bennett took a slashing penalty just 35 seconds into overtime, giving Peoria a power play it took advantage of as a shot from Ted Hart found its way through traffic and deflected off Hagaman for the game-winning goal.
Peter Di Salvo made 29 saves on 32 shots for the Storm while former QC goaltender Eric Levine made 24 saves on 26 shots for the Rivermen.
The Storm open their home slate Friday, taking on the defending SPHL champion Huntsville Havoc.
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