Face Off Field Trip Matches RiverKings and IceGators

Game 9: Mississippi RiverKings (3-4-1) vs. Louisiana IceGators (5-5-0)

10:35 a.m., Landers Center, Southaven, MS

The Mississippi RiverKings begin a busy week with a morning test against the Louisiana IceGators Tuesday as part of this year’s Face Off Field Trip. The RiverKings will blend education and hockey as students will be prompted to complete parts of their workbook during the game.

This is the second of three straight matches between the teams. The RiverKings won last Friday, 7-2, and they play again tomorrow night in Louisiana.

The IceGators are coming into this week with losses in three of their last four games. They lost two of three games against the Pensacola Ice Flyers before losing to the RiverKings last Friday.

The RiverKings have points in their last three games, winning against Columbus Nov. 14, losing to Knoxville in overtime Nov. 15 and beating the IceGators Friday.

Broadcast Coverage

Hibu RiverKings Pregame at 10:30 a.m.

Radio: Audio-ony stream on riverkings.com

Streaming: Pay-to-watch video on SPHL Live

Last time out

Because of travel issues for the IceGators, Friday’s game was delayed over an hour and a half, but by the time the night was over it was worth the wait as the RiverKings rolled the IceGators, 7-2, Nov. 21 at the Landers Center. 

Just 26 seconds into the first period Matt Harrington spun a shot past Marco De Filippo for a 1-0 lead. The IceGators tied the game at one a few minutes later, but just seconds after that Matt Whitehead put the RiverKings back up 2-1. Bryon Paulazzo added a goal minutes later to make it 3-1 and chase De Filippo from the game.

In the second the RiverKings extended the lead again. Paul Ciarelli ripped a shot past Andrew Flemming for his first professional goal and a 4-1 lead. Justin Gvora and Whitehead added tallies later in the period and the score was 6-2 entering the third. Gvora finished the scoring with his second goal of the game with under four minutes to play, giving the RiverKings a 7-2 win. Ciarelli, Matt Wray and Linden Bahm each picked up their first pro points in the game.

Peter Di Salvo made 35 saves to earn his third consecutive victory. The RiverKings have points in their last four home games (3-0-1). Both teams went 0-for-2 on the power play.

Scouting the IceGators

The IceGators are 5-5-0 in 10 games this season. With 10 points they are in fourth place in the SPHL, three points ahead of the RiverKings, although the RiverKings have two games in hand. Like the RiverKings their only game last week was the one at the Landers Center Friday.

Jeremy Boyer leads the IceGators with 10 points (4g, 6a) in 10 games. Benjamin Rubin is second with nine points (2g, 7a), but both players were held off the scoresheet Friday against the RiverKings. Chris Wilson (3g, 4a) and Adam Stuart (3g, 4a) are tied with seven points each. 

In goal Marco De Filippo has appeared in seven games and he has a 4-3-0 record. He has a 2.60 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. He allowed three goals on six shots against the RiverKings before being replaced Friday night. Andrew Flemming is 1-2-0 in four games. He has a 3.41 goals-against average and .896 save percentage. He allowed the final four goals against the RiverKings Friday, stopping 33 shots in the process.

Special Teams

Louisiana’s power play is third in the league at 15.2% through 10 games, going 5-for-33. They were 0-for-2 Friday against the RiverKings. Although they are third, the IceGators have done most of their damage on the power play at home, where they are 4-for-13 (30.8%). On the road they are just 1-for-20 (5.0%).

The RiverKings were 0-for-2 on the power play Friday against Louisiana after scoring power-play goals in back-to-back games. They are now 3-for-32 (9.4%) on the season, which places them seventh.

The IceGators have given up the third-most power-play goals (7) this season and their penalty kill is ranked fifth in the league at 85.7% (42-for-49). They have the second-best road penalty kill at 86.4%. Only one team has been shorthanded more than the IceGators’ 49 times, although they took just two penalties Friday.

Mississippi is sixth in the SPHL on the penalty kill. After killing both IceGators power plays last Friday the RiverKings are now 20-for-24 (83.3%) on the kill this season.

Posted by Lukas Favale at 8:30 AM

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PEO y-Peoria 56 38 13 5 81
MAC x-Macon 56 33 16 7 73
PEN x-Pensacola 56 33 16 7 73
HUN x-Huntsville 56 30 16 10 70
KNX x-Knoxville 56 30 20 6 66
EVV x-Evansville 56 27 20 9 63
MRK x-RiverKings 56 29 25 2 60
RKE x-Roanoke 56 26 26 4 56
BIR Birmingham 56 22 28 6 50
FAY Fayetteville 56 12 38 6 30
Full Standings

Updated: April 8, 2018

x-Clinched Playoff Berth
y-Clinched Regular Season Title