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Makeup game matches RiverKings against Havoc

Game 54: Mississippi RiverKings (31-20-2) vs. Huntsville Havoc (9-36-7)

3:05 p.m., Landers Center, Southaven, Mississippi

The Mississippi RiverKings play the final game of their last three-in-three weekend of the season as they face the Huntsville Havoc in a makeup game Sunday afternoon at the Landers Center. The game was originally scheduled for February 17, but an ice storm in the Mid-South prevented the Havoc from traveling to Southaven, so the game was postponed. It's the eighth and final match of the season series and the RiverKings have a 6-1-0 record, including five straight wins. They last beat Huntsville, 7-2, Mar. 3 in Mississippi.

The Havoc are trying to finish the season on a high note after a difficult regular season. They lost last night at home against Fayetteville and went 2-4-0 on their final homestand of the season. They are 3-6-0 in March, which is just the second time this season they have more than one win in a month. They went 3-5-2 in November, but had just three total wins in December, January and February. Huntsville can play spoiler over their final four games as they play the RiverKings tonight and Pensacola on Tuesday as those teams battle for third place. They also play Columbus twice next weekend as the Cottonmouths fight for first place.

The RiverKings lost back-to-back tight games against the Peoria Rivermen Friday and Saturday night and are now officially eliminated from the race for first place, which is down to just two teams. The RiverKings are now fighting for the third seed and home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. This is the seventh and final three-in-three for the RiverKings this season. They are looking to avoid losing all three legs of a three-in-three for the second time this season. They lost three straight games in three night Dec. 5-7.

Broadcast Coverage

Hibu RiverKings Pregame at 3:00 p.m.

Radio: Live audio on riverkings.com

Streaming: Pay-to-watch video on SPHL Live 

Last time out

The Peoria Rivermen did just enough to edge the RiverKings, 4-2, in a see-saw battle at the Landers Center Saturday night, sending the RiverKings to their second straight loss.

After another scoreless first period between the teams the Rivermen started the scoring 2:51 into the second period when Cole Ruwe put a backhand shot from the slot past Peter Di Salvo. The RiverKings answered a few minutes later with a shorthanded goal from Devin Mantha, as he finished a 2-on-1 with Matt Harrington. 65 seconds later Dylan Quaile wound up with a puck in front with nobody around him and he buried a backhand to give the RiverKings a 2-1 lead. Peoria evened the game against with 26 seconds to go in the second as Steve Morra got loose in front to tie the game at two.

The Rivermen then went back ahead, 3-2, when Morra slammed a one-timer from the slot 1:36 into the third period. At 14:16 Dan Bremner was able to get loose in front to cut across the crease and out wait Di Salvo to beat him with a backhand shot for a 4-2 Peoria lead. That would end up as the final score. 

Scouting the Havoc

The Havoc are 3-6-0 in March, scoring wins over Louisiana, Peoria and Fayetteville, making this only the second month this season the Havoc have more than one win. They went 3-5-2 in November. On the season Huntsville is 9-36-7 and have 25 points. With just four games left the Havoc have officially locked in the fewest wins in an SPHL season. The max number of wins they can get is 13, one short of Winston-Salem's 14 wins they had in their one season of operation in the SPHL's inaugural season in 2004-05.

Drew Akins in Huntsville's leading scorer, but he was just placed on the 30-day IR with a broken nose. He led the team with 40 points (15g, 25a). In his place Luke Greiner has the most points among active players with 33 (14g, 19a). Stuart Stefan (10g, 18a) is second with 28 points and Jacob Johnstone (15g, 12a) is third with 27 points. 

Although the team has struggled this season, the Havoc are one of just three teams to stick with the same two goalies all season, joining the RiverKings and Cottonmouths. Kevin Genoe has made 32 appearances and is 7-18-5 with a 2.76 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage. Before allowing five goals Tuesday against Columbus, Genoe had given up just three goals over the last two starts, making 59 saves along the way. Jesse Kallechy is Genoe's backup and he is 2-18-2 in 23 games and he has a 3.53 goals-against average and a .875 save percentage. He has started both games this weekend and he earned his second win Friday night, his first victory since Nov. 15, a span of 17 straight losses in between.

Special teams

Huntsville's power play is 1-for-4 so far this weekend in two games against Fayetteville. On the season the Havoc are last in the SPHL at 11.4% (20-for-175). They finished with just eight power-play goals at home, where they were 8-for-84 (9.5%), while they are 12-for-91 (13.2%) on the road. Their 175 power-play opportunities are the fewest in the SPHL.

The RiverKings power play is just 1-for-23 over the last five games, moving them to seventh in the SPHL at 14.5% (30-for-207). At the Landers Center the RiverKings are fifth at 16.5% (19-for-115), which is much better than their road mark of 12.0% (11-for-92). 

The Havoc's penalty kill was 6-for-6 in the two games against the FireAntz this weekend to move to 163-for-197 (82.7%) on the season, which ranks fifth in the SPHL. Huntsville has been perfect on the penalty kill the last four games, stopping all 11 opponent's power plays. 

The RiverKings penalty kill is second in the SPHL, after going 20-for-22 (90.1%) over their last seven games. They have successfully killed 84.7% (149-for-176) of opponent's power plays this season. They are perfect on the kill in 13 of the last 18 game, going 46-for-51 (90.2%). 

Posted by Lukas Favale at 11:30 AM

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Next Game

RiverKings vs. Havoc
Tue, Dec. 12 - 10:30 AM

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Planters Bank Ice @ Landers Center

Schedule

Standings

TEAM GP W L OT PTS
PEO Peoria 16 11 4 1 23
PEN Pensacola 14 10 4 0 20
MRK RiverKings 15 10 5 0 20
EVV Evansville 16 9 5 2 20
HUN Huntsville 14 8 4 2 18
MAC Macon 16 7 5 4 18
KNX Knoxville 14 7 6 1 15
FAY Fayetteville 18 5 9 4 14
RKE Roanoke 15 5 8 2 12
BIR Birmingham 12 3 8 1 7
 
Full Standings

Updated: December 9, 2017