Mantha leads RiverKings in game 1 win

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - Devin Mantha had a pair of goals and Rich Coyne scored his first as a professional as the Mississippi RiverKings took a 1-0 series lead with a 5-3 victory over Louisiana on Wednesday night.

The RiverKings fell behind midway through the first period. John Daniels buried a Matt Robertson pass past Di Salvo to put Louisiana up 1-0.

But the RiverKings scored a pair of goals in 13 seconds to take the lead. First Devin Mantha found the back of the net off a Leo Thomas pass before Tim Boyle's shot through traffic beat Brad Barone to put the RiverKings up 2-1 going into the first intermission.

Early in the second, the RiverKings added to their lead. Mantha added to his lead off a pass from Thomas once again to go up 3-1 just 1:06 into the second.

Louisiana, while only putting two shots on goal in the second, came within one 10:25 into the period. Zac Frischmon took a pass from Blake Hietala on an odd-man rush and beat Di Salvo to cut the RiverKings' lead to 3-2 going into the third period.

The RiverKings tallied is a pair of goals within three minutes to extend their lead to 5-2. Rich Coyne, fresh out of the penalty box, brought the puck down the right wing boards and put a shot over the glove of Barone to go up 4-2. Then, Todd Hosmer shot a Linden Bahm pass past Barone to give the RiverKings a three-goal lead.

Louisiana made a late push in the third. Matt Robertson took a pass from Frischmon on an odd-man rush to come within two, but the RiverKings held on to take game one 5-3.

Peter Di Salvo (1-0-0) picked up the win after stopping 22 of 25 shots against. Brad Barone (0-1-0) took the loss after stopping 30 of 35 shots.

The RiverKings were held scoreless on a pair of power play opportunities, while Louisiana went 2-4 with the man-advantage.

The RiverKings and Louisiana face off in game 2 tomorrow night in Louisiana. You can catch all the action at Old Style Bar-B-Q in Olive Branch. If necessary, the RiverKings will play at home on Saturday night in the decisive game 3.

Devin Mantha tallies his first goal of the night as he slides a shot past Brad Barone. The RiverKings and IceGators face off again tomorrow night in Louisiana. © Mark Mathews

About the Mississippi RiverKings

The RiverKings are supported by our community partners, season ticket holders, fans, and grants from the Maddox Foundation, an independent private foundation based in Hernando, Miss. To find out more about the RiverKings, call 662-342-1755 or visit RiverKings.com.

Posted by David Schmoll at 9:30 PM


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PEO Peoria 40 27 10 3 57
PEN Pensacola 37 24 9 4 52
MAC Macon 39 23 11 5 51
HUN Huntsville 41 23 13 5 51
KNX Knoxville 40 22 14 4 48
EVV Evansville 42 19 17 6 44
MRK RiverKings 39 19 18 2 40
RKE Roanoke 40 18 19 3 39
BIR Birmingham 41 15 21 5 35
FAY Fayetteville 41 10 25 6 26
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Updated: February 18, 2017