Marcuz assembles best season yet, lends veteran experience toward post-season

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - In the top 10 of the SPHL for points scored for 2016-2017 season, the fourth-year Mississippi RiverKings’ forward Ryan Marcuz lends veteran experience for the team that’s gearing up for the playoffs. This season, Marcuz has scored 43 points (26G,17A) in 52 games for the team.

The gritty forward looks to sustain the RiverKings offensive fire power down the crucial stretch. By scoring more goals and assists than he has ever before, the seasoned veteran has continued to improve every year for the RiverKings. With four games left to play, the Richmond Hill, Ontario native has surpassed his previous season record of 33 points scored.

But with such an offensive skill set, he and the rest of the team will need to focus on their defense for a chance to win the crown.

Q. Looking back to when you first joined the RiverKings, what was that process like finding the team to play for?

A. “One of my buddies who I played with in college was an agent. He got a guy down here before I did, Todd Hosmer (former RiverKings forward) who I went to college with. That’s how I got my connection down here.”

Q. You are in your fourth year with the RiverKings, what has made you stick with the team for so long?

A. “I guess Coach Landmesser likes my style of play. Grit and Grind. I’ve been successful with it so far.”

Q. Describe your progression as player season to season? How has it been different?

A. “Every year I have doubled my points. Every year you get better and more successful. Over time, you just learn how to play better and play the game properly. I’ve been playing with a couple guys here for three to four years, so that helps. Just practice every day and you’ll become a better hockey player.”

Q. What has worked will for you this year? You have already surpassed your point total from the previous season.

A. “I’ve been getting a lot of lucky bounces in front of the net this year. I mean you make your own luck, right? Sometimes you just got to be at the right spot at the right time. I feel like I’ve been successful with that this year.”

Q. In Tuesday’s 7-4 victory, you guys snapped a two-game losing streak against the Cottonmouths, how did the team respond?

A. “We responded very well. They score, we score, then they would score. We just kept scoring and every line was doing so. Usually, you only have one line scoring in the game. Everyone was contributing and being successful. Playing as team and sticking together, the result was positive.”

Q. What does the team need to focus in on with playoffs coming within the next two to three weeks?

A. “I’d say we have to focus a lot on our defensive zone. We are pretty sloppy at times. If we can fix that, we should have no problem. I mean you’ve seen games like Huntsville when we beat them 5-3, 4-3, 4-2. We had no problem doing that then. When we play our game, we can beat anyone. Absolutely.”

Q. What are some keys to playing a good defensive zone?

A. “Contain. We’ll run around and lose a man. He’ll be wide open, and that’s how we kind of get stuck. So if we can just contain and stick with your man, again, we should have no problem.”

Q. Does the team have what it takes to win a championship? What differences are there from previous RiverKings teams that you have played with?

A. “In that year we went to the finals, everyone was on the same page and wanting to win the playoffs. I think we have that for sure. I think we have more skill than previous years.”

Q. How will use your experience as a veteran to help the team heading towards the crucial stretch?

A. “I’ve kind of been here and done that already, right? So, it’s all about helping them mentally off the ice and on the ice. Everyone knows what is at stake. Everyone has been a part of playoffs before. So, it just extra effort. A lot of guys might get down or something if they aren’t playing, but you got to just keep them up. They’ll get their chance for sure. You just got to make it count. I’ve been through that exact same thing. It’s mental thing for sure. “

The fourth-year Mississippi RiverKings' forward Ryan Marcuz has tallied 43 points (26G,17A) this season. He sustaiend a 10 game point streak in the month of February. - © Kori LaVire 

The Mississippi RiverKings travel to Columbus tonight for another match against the Cottonmouths for a 6:30 puck drop. Catch all the action at the official watch party headquarters, Old Style Bar-B-Q in Olive Branch. The team returns home to the Landers Center this Sunday, April 2 to take on the Evansville Thunderbolts for a 3:00 p.m. face-off. For tickets and details, call 662-342-1755 or visit RiverKings.com

About the Mississippi RiverKings
The RiverKings are supported by our community partners, season ticket holders, fans, and grants from 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 Mississippi RiverKings at 10:11 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