Snakes fall at Peoria in SPHL playoff opener

Peoria 2, Cottonmouths 0 (Game 1)

PEORIA, Ill. (WTVM) - Garrett Vermeersch scored twice and Kyle Rank stopped all 35 shots on goal as the Peoria Rivermen beat the Columbus Cottonmouths 2-0 on Wednesday night at the Peoria Civic Center in the opening game of their first-round SPHL Playoff series.

Vermeersch scored his first goal on a Rivermen power play at the 19:12 mark of the opening period, then scored 1:03 into the second period.

Cottonmouths goalie Andrew Loewen had 24 saves in a losing effort.

Game 2 of the series is set for Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Columbus Civic Center. The Snakes are trying to force a deciding Game 3, which is scheduled for Sunday at 6:15 p.m. ET in Peoria.