Paulazzo scores 2OT winner as RiverKings win Game 1

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Bryon Paulazzo scored his second goal of the game 3:49 seconds into the second overtime to give the Mississippi RiverKings a 3-2 win over the Pensacola Ice Flyers in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. The RiverKings tied the game with 40.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime before winning Game 1 of the best-of-three series.

The RiverKings scored the first goal of the series 5:38 into the first period. After consecutive Pensacola icings the RiverKings won an offensive zone faceoff and Paulazzo skated around the net and beat Max Strang with a wraparound to give the RiverKings a 1-0 lead. The Ice Flyers evened the game at 14:21 of the first when Nick McParland converted a pass from Brett Lutes in the crease to tie the game at one.

The game remained scoreless into the third period until McParland gave the Ice Flyers a 2-1 lead at 7:31. After a right circle faceoff win Drew Baker took a shot from the point. Peter Di Salvo made a glove save, but it bounced in and out and McParland swiped the puck over the line to give the Ice Flyers their first lead, 2-1. The RiverKings rallied to tie the game with under a minute to go. With Di Salvo pulled for an extra attacker Andrew Randazzo stepped in at the left circle and took a shot with traffic in front. Ryan Marcuz tipped it past Strang to even the game with 40.5 second left in regulation. 

Neither side score in the first overtime so it went to a second overtime. 3:49 into the second overtime Devin Mantha gathered the puck near the left post in the offensive zone then sent the puck in front, where Paulazzo fired it home for his second goal of the game and a 3-2 win for the RiverKings.

Notes: Bryon Paulazzo played in his first game with the RiverKings since Jan. 31. He had been with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL since then... The RiverKings lead the best-of-three series 1-0 and Game 2 is Friday at the Landers Center.

The RiverKings will host Game 2 of the First Round of the President's Cup Playoffs against the Pensacola Ice Flyers Friday, April 3 at 7:05 p.m. at the Landers Center. Playoff tickets start at $6 at the Landers Center Box Office or at riverkings.com/ticketmaster. Fans are encouraged to wear green for a "Green Out" and those who do will save $2 on select tickets at the Box Office. Group packages for groups of 15 or more start at $5 and are available by calling the RiverKings front office at 662-342-1755.

About the Mississippi RiverKings

The Mississippi RiverKings are supported by their community partners, season ticket holders, fans, and by program-related investments of the Maddox Foundation, an independent private foundation based in Hernando, Miss. To find out more about the RiverKings, call 662.342.1755 or visit www.riverkings.com.

Posted by Lukas Favale at 11:35 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
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Updated: April 8, 2018

x-Clinched Playoff Berth
y-Clinched Regular Season Title