The Quad-City Storm had to watch a former teammate score against them Friday night.
Saturday, they returned the favor.
Dean Yakura scored his first goal with the Storm, tapping in a pass from Shane Bennett in the second period as the Storm hung on to beat the Rivermen 4-3.
The win snapped a season-long eight game losing streak and prevented the Rivermen from clinching a playoff spot for at least one game with Peoria’s magic number down to one.
Yakura had been acquired in a four-player trade Monday that sent forward Austin Hervey to the Rivermen in exchange for Yakura, Stephen Gaul and the rights to Joe Widmar, currently in the ECHL.
Coming from the top team in the Southern Professional Hockey League to the ninth-place team was a bit of a shock for Yakura, who scored four goals and added six assists in 36 games with Peoria this year.
"It's been a whirlwind to say the least. The trade was very unexpected," Yakura said. "I thought I was playing some good hockey, but it's a business and they thought otherwise. I'm just thankful that (Storm head coach Dave Pszenyczny) wanted to bring me in here. It's always nice to be wanted by another organization."
Scoring to help his new team beat his old was a sweet way to end a hectic week.
"As a competitor and a professional you want to prove those people wrong," Yakura said. "Any time you have doubters or people think negatively of your capabilities, you want to prove them wrong, and I definitely had that added motivation.
"This one's extra special, for sure."
Hervey scored in Peoria’s win over the Storm on Friday night but was quiet in the rematch as the Storm grabbed their 10th win of their inaugural season and became the first team to beat Peoria in regulation twice this season.
"It's always funny how that works out," Pszenyczny said. "I think every coach knows that whenever you make a trade, and you're going to be playing against them, there's something about it, it doesn't matter, there's always going to be a way for a guy to score a goal or make an impact on that game."
Of Peoria’s eight losses, three have come to the Storm.
"The confidence is there but we still have to keep playing our game. The way we play against Peoria, we've got to play against everyone," Pszenyczny said. "We have to be physical because that's how we cause turnovers."
Yakura’s goal came after Justin Greenberg put Peoria on the board with a power-play goal at 2:24 in the second period, cutting the score to 2-1 after the Storm took a 2-0 lead in the first period.
Greenberg added a second goal in the third period to cut the Storm lead to 3-2 at 5:12 before Mitch Mueller answered with a goal on a 3-on-1 rush six minutes later. Beau Walker cut the lead back to one goal 80 seconds later, but the Storm held on to grab the win.
Peter Di Salvo made 32 saves for the Storm while Storm Phaneuf made 23 for the Rivermen.
John Scully put the Storm on the board early, tipping a shot from Ben Boukal past Phaneuf at 11:53 in the first period.
Scully added to that lead with a power-play goal at 17:09, getting a piece of a shot from Skyler Smutek.
On the ensuing face off, Storm enforcer Al Graves dropped the gloves with his counterpart Pijus Rulevicius, and after winning the fight, Graves emphatically pumped up the crowd of 5,007 at the TaxSlayer Center for "Hockey Fights Cancer Night."
The momentum carried through for the rest of the game as the Storm never trailed.
It's quite a change from the Storm's last home game, a 9-2 loss to Knoxville back on Sunday, Jan. 13.
"Peoria's a good skilled team. It's good to get the win in front of a huge crowd like tonight, especially after the last performance we had at home," Pszenyczny said. "I think the guys in that room are caring about each other, they're caring about the team."