RiverKings advance to President's Cup Finals

PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Mississippi RiverKings scored twice early in the second period and then Peter Di Salvo made 39 saves, including a penalty shot with 8.1 seconds left in regulation, to give the RiverKings a 2-1 win over the Pensacola Ice Flyers Saturday night. The RiverKings won the best-of-three series 2-1 and because of the results in other games tonight the RiverKings advance to the President's Cup Finals.

The Ice Flyers carried their momentum from their overtime win Friday night into the first period when Adam Pawlick scored a power-play goal 5:27 into the game. Brett Lutes stopped a RiverKings clear attempt and then sent a pass to Pawlick at the left circle, where he fired a shot past Di Salvo to give the Ice Flyers a 1-0 lead. 

Mississippi erased that deficit early in the second period. After a brief 4-on-4 the Ice Flyers went to the power play and the RiverKings used that to tie the game. Andrew Randazzo cleared the puck and Leo Thomas tracked it down to start an odd-man rush for the RiverKings. He skated to the left circle and snapped a shot past Max Strang for a shorthanded goal at 2:35 of the second. Then about two minutes later Devin Mantha gave the RiverKings the lead for good. Matt Harrington and Bryon Paulazzo cycled behind the net and Paulazzo put it in front where Mantha fired it into the net at 4:43, giving the RiverKings a 2-1 lead.

The Ice Flyers pressured in the third, putting 17 shots on goal, but Di Salvo turned them all aside. With two minutes to go in regulation the Ice Flyers went to the power play. Then with 8.1 seconds to go the Ice Flyers were awarded a penalty shot. Corey Banfield took it and went to the backhand, but Di Salvo gobbled it up with the glove to preserve the RiverKings win, 2-1.

Notes: The RiverKings advance past the first round for the first time since joining the SPHL and advance to the President's Cup Final for the first time since they won back-to-back championships in the CHL in 2001-02 and 2002-03... Bryon Paulazzo had an assist, giving him a point in all three games in the series... The Knoxville Ice Bears and Louisiana IceGators play in the second round with the winner facing the RiverKings in the President's Cup Finals.

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 10:14 PM


4/4/2015 at 10:48 PM by Chad Brown

Congratulations Riverkings. The team has come together and fought hard for these wins this season. It is very satisfying to see. Good luck in the finals.

4/4/2015 at 11:16 PM by Natalie

Went to my first Riverkings watch party and WHOA! Talk about exciting, and intense! It was a nail biter, and we had so much fun! So excited to see our Kings advance to the next round!

4/6/2015 at 07:21 PM by coryrose

first of all im so proud of the missisippi riverkings for their success this season and in the playoffs and i hope we can win this this cup without a dought iknow we can we just need to do this with our offence aswell as our defence so go kings go and let.s bring home the cup

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RiverKings vs. Rail Yard Dawgs
Fri, Feb. 23 - 7:00 PM
Fresh Friday
Presented by Valpak
Planters Bank Ice @ Landers Center



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