The winningest team in the SPHL had never won a game in regulation at Pensacola.

Until Sunday.

The Peoria Rivermen rolled to a two-goal lead and hung on to earn their first regulation time road victory over the Pensacola Ice Flyers with a 4-3 decision at Pensacola Bay Center in Pensacola, Fla.

The Rivermen got two goals from Austin Vieth, a game-winner and four-point night from Ben Blasko and 41 saves from rookie goaltender Steve Klein, who weathered a 19-shot Pensacola third-period charge.

Peoria rolled to 26-3-4 and extended its first-place lead to 10 points over Birmingham. And, in their 16th attempt since joining the SPHL, the Rivermen finally won a game in regulation at Pensacola.

"That's awesome," Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel said via phone from Pensacola. "The curse is over.

"It was absolutely beautiful watching our boys play today. Klein was just outstanding again. He hung in there when Pensacola made a run at us in the third period.

"We took five of six points down here for the weekend and seven of eight for the season series against them and never had our full team. So we're proud of what these guys were able to do."

Jesse Kessler blocked a shot at the Rivermen blueline by Peoria winger Joe Kalisz and took off for a breakaway, burying a backhander past Klein's glove for a 1-0 lead at 5:03 of the first period.

The Rivermen did not flinch.

They tied it at 12:46 when Vieth's drive, as he crossed the blueline, smacked under the crossbar and in.

Vieth put Peoria ahead 2-1 at 1:41 of the second period when he teamed up with Blasko to win a puck battle in the right corner, then turned and ripped a shot from the bottom of the circle past goaltender Brian Billett's glove.

Pensacola tied it on a power play at 7:26 on Robert Lepine's second goal in three games against his former team, as he blew across the blueline past Rivermen defenseman Kevin Patterson and sent a drive on the fly through Klein.

Patterson put the Rivermen back on top, 3-2, when Beau Walker, skating backwards with the puck across the doorstep, drew Billett with him and left the puck and an empty net for Patterson to fill at 14:21.

The Rivermen surged to 4-2 during a power play at 18:16 when Blasko finished a three-pass flurry in the high zone and drove the puck from between the circles past Billett's glove.

Billett did not return for the third period, replaced in the net by Sammy Bernard.

The Rivermen got themselves in trouble midway through the third period when they gave Pensacola three power plays in a span of 4:30, all on penalties to kill unit center Dean Yakura.

Pensacola needed just 6 seconds on the second advantage to close to within 4-3 on a goal from Andrew Schmit.

But Klein held off the Flyers the rest of the way.

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RIVER READINGS: The Rivermen are 4-9-3 all-time in the regular-season at Pensacola. ... The Rivermen magic number to clinch an SPHL playoff spot is 15 points over Pensacola, 14 over Quad City and 2 over Evansville, even though it's still January. Locking out two of those three clubs will put Peoria in the playoffs.

Dave Eminian covers the Rivermen for the Journal Star, and writes the Cleve In The Eve sports column for Reach him at 686-3206 or Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.