PEORIA — One was the voice of the team for a generation. The other was the face of the franchise's work ethic reputation.

Their body of work allowed them to go into the Peoria Rivermen Hall of Fame together on Saturday before 3,888 at Carver Arena.

Pekin native and winger Butch Kaebel held center stage off the ice on induction night, going into the Rivermen Hall of Fame with late broadcaster Norm Ulrich, while the Rivermen beat Quad City on it, 5-2.

Pijus Rulevicius scored two goals, Joe Kalisz notched the game-winner in a three-goal third period and Ben Blasko had three assists as the powerhouse Rivermen rolled to 13-0-1 at home and 24-3-3 overall.

"We wanted to get a win for Butch Kaebel and Norm Ulrich on their induction nights," said Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel, who joined the induction ceremony on the ice during the first intermission. "Butch just wanted to be a great teammate his whole career. We wanted him to be part of one more Rivermen win tonight."

Those Rivermen hold an eight-point lead over second-place Macon.

Kaebel, meanwhile, became the first player born in central Illinois to be inducted into the Hall of Fame for the 37-year franchise.

Now 52, he addressed the Rivermen team in the locker room before the game, then pulled on his skates and joined them on the ice for pre-game introductions in a cool moment as the team was dressed in throwback jerseys from its IHL era of the early 1990s.

"I was never the best player on the Rivermen teams I played for," Kaebel said. "But I was committed to doing whatever it took to win games. Block shots, kill penalties, I did anything the team needed and I got to play with a lot of NHL guys along the way."

Surrounded by his wife and children, Kaebel teared up and had to stop briefly as he thanked the fans and the people in his life, during his on-ice induction ceremony.

His thoughts were on Ulrich, whose one-of-a-kind voice presided over 1,414 Rivermen games touching three decades.

"Norm was such a good friend, such a great broadcaster," Kaebel said. "The night he wouldn't go off the air until I came upstairs to talk to him, that was a thrill."

He was referring to an epic game at Carver Arena when the Rivermen faced a veteran Indianapolis team full of Blackhawks call-ups, and had Olympic goaltender Ray Leblanc in net.

Kaebel won it in the 10th round of the shootout.

"I remember sitting there thinking, 'Coach is eventually going to tap me on the shoulder, I better think of some kind of plan,'" Kaebel said. "And then he did. I went out there and went backhand, forehand, backhand, prayed, and it went in."

On the air, Ulrich screamed "It's over, it's over, Butch Kaebel did it! It's a Hollywood script!"

And then he stayed on their air and waited to talk to Kaebel.

"I just know he's watching us from Heaven and smiling right now," Kaebel said. "We had a great sense of team and family in those years, everyone had a role, everyone was an important part. When I skated out here tonight, I just love this arena, this ice here, this place holds so many amazing memories."

The Rivermen, meanwhile, added to a memorable season when Rulevicius scored twice in a span of 6:08 late in the first period to put Peoria up 2-1, and then Kalisz, Jake Hamilton and Alec Hagaman added third-period goals in the final 10 minutes to pull away.

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RIVER READINGS: Quad City pulled veteran goaltender Peter Di Salvo after Alec Hagaman's goal — with 3:28 left in the game — and sent in backup Cory Simons. ... Rivermen goaltender Steve Klein was a healthy scratch, and served as an assistant coach. ... Rivermen goaltender Storm Phaneuf played his first game for Peoria since Dec. 22. ... Rivermen Hall of Fame winger Butch Kaebel is a skill and skating instructor now in Prior Lake, Minn. He had a large contingent of local family and friends, and former teammates going back to his youth hockey days in Pekin, on hand Saturday. ... Norm Ulrich's family was on hand as well, his wife, son, daughters, grand children and great children, 16 in all. His son, Norm Jr., accepted Ulrich's Hall of Fame plaque.

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.