Mayhem Sink RiverKings on Titanic Night, 7-3

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - With a perfect 2-0 record on the season playing on Planters Bank Ice at Landers Center, the RiverKings were happy to return home after falling to the Ice Flyers on Friday in Pensacola. Their excitement would be short-lived, however, as the Mayhem net four goals in the first period alone, and sink the RiverKings 7-3. 

It didn't take long for Macon to bust open the scoring when John Siemer struck only 3:40 into the first period. An interception by Dennis Sicard started the play in the neutral zone. A breakout was underway, where Vincent Muto floated a pass across to Siemer who beat rookie goaltender Jared Rutledge on the blocker side. 

Mississippi would surrender the second goal only 2:33 later when John Gustafsson would tally his first goal of the night, and of the season. Siemer began the play by making a centering pass finding Gustafsson who was wide open in the slot and slid a shot by Rutledge.

The bleeding continued for Coach Landmesser's squad as precisely eight minutes later Ryan Salkeld would take the Mayhem up 3-0. Salkeld was able to flag down a shot which caromed off the skate of a defenseman and beat Jared Rutledge five-hole with a backhand attempt.

Some poor decisions led to an immediate Macon goal, the second of the night for John Gustafsson. While moving the puck forward, rookie Jordan Carvalho attempted to make a spin pass behind him to a defenseman while in the defensive zone. His no-look pass was immediately picked off in the slot, and Gustafsson sniped a goal over Rutledge's shoulder and would give Macon the 4-0 lead at the 5:01 mark of the first period. That would be the end of the night for Jared Rutledge as he got the hook in favor of Tyler Green. 

The RiverKings came back with some fight in the second period after some time to make adjustments, and they struck first only 2:51 into the period. Kristaps Bazevics used every ounce of fight and muscle he has to work his way into the offensive zone from his point position, shaking off two checks in the process. While below the goal line, he threw a shot-pass out to the slot where Derek Sutliffe corralled the loose puck and put it home for the first RiverKings goal of the night, 4-1 Macon.

Just when Mississippi got the momentum going in their way, a long lead pass from Caleb Cameron, playing in his first SPHL game of the season after spending some time in the ECHL, hit John Siemer in stride who beat Tyler Green with a wrister, giving the Mayher a 5-1 cushion.

Powering back were the Riverkings when Derek Sutliffe tallied his second goal of the season, an of the evening. Richard Coyne handled the puck at the point and took a shot on goal with the intention of a deflection out in front. While it wasn't deflected, it did land near the right-hand post where Pius Rulevicius and Derek Sutliffe were camped out, and it was Sutliffe who stuffed home the rebound to cut the lead to 3.

The RiverKings woes continued into the third period where their inability to string together consecutive goals and allowing the big play, ultimately, caught up to them. For the third period in a row, a team would score within the first four minutes of the period. It wasn't the RiverKings, rather Caleb Cameron who would notch his second point of the night, thanks to some heads-up play by Vincent Muto and Jake Trask. Muto would gain and followed the puck behind the goal-line. His pass out to Jake Trask was right on the money, and Trask found himself with plenty of room to slide a feed over to Cameron who rustled the twine after some tic-tac-toe passing by the Mayhem.

Macon would follow up their sixth goal of the evening with their seventh, only two minutes and 26 seconds later. Ryan Salkeld would add a goal to his stat sheet when he slipped in behind the RiverKings defense and beat Tyler Green one-on-one.

Credit where credit is due, the RiverKings continued to battle and in the first game in a new city, recently acquired RiverKings forward Jamie Hill scored against his former team. Daniel Gentzler would go to the box for crosschecking setting the RiverKings up on a much-needed power play. Dillan Fox would win the draw to his right side where Ryan Marcuz quickly rushed the net trying to get a shot off. Much like his first goal, Sutliffe was in the right place to jam home a rebound and the RiverKings got their third goal of the night but still trailed by 7-3. 

The final six minutes and 53 seconds would tick off the and RiverKings fall to the Mayhem 7-3. Mississippi moves to 2-2-0 on the season while the Mayhem improve to 2-2-1. Up next for the black and gold, they head east to take on the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs in back-to-back games in Virginia on November 10 and November 11. The RiverKings return home to Planters Bank Ice at Landers Center for their first weekday game of the season, All-You-Can-Eat Tuesday on November 14 vs. Pensacola. For tickets to All-You-Can-Eat Tuesday check out www.riverkings.com/allyoucaneat and get your fill.

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 10:42 PM

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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