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RiverKings close regular season with thriller over Pensacola

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - Mike Grace tallied the game-winning goal just 93 seconds into overtime as the Mississippi RiverKings (28-18-10) closed their regular season schedule with a 4-3 victory over the Pensacola Ice Flyers (31-20-5) on Saturday night in Southaven.

It was the Ice Flyers who got on board first. Charlie Adams, on the power play, put a shot past RiverKings netminder Peter Di Salvo to put Pensacola on top 1-0 just 1:17 into the second.

The RiverKings bounced back seven minutes later. Max Cook fired a wrist shot past Matt Zenzola from the slot to tie the game at one. Then, with just over two minutes left in the second, Matt Harrington slid a shot past Zenzola to give the RiverKings the lead 2-1 going into the third.

The RiverKings added to their lead just minutes into the final period of regulation. Ryan Marcuz lifted a shot from his knees over Zenzola to put the RiverKings ahead 3-1 four minutes into the third.

But Pensacola battled back. Jeremy Gates' shot found the back of the net for the team's second power play goal of the night to bring Pensacola within one. Then, with Zenzola on the bench for the extra attacker, Paul Rodrigues took a pass from Corey Banfield and beat Di Salvo to force overtime.

In the overtime period, Mike Grace brought the puck down the right wing line and put a shot past Zenzola to give the RiverKings the 4-3 victory during their last home game of the regular season.

Peter Di Salvo (14-7-5) took the win after stopping 28 of 31 shots against. Matt Zenzola (9-4-2) stopped 25 of 29 shots against in the loss.

The RiverKings were scoreless on six power play opportunities, while Pensacola scored twice on seven chances with the man advantage.


Mike Grace nets the game-winning goal in overtime to give the RiverKings a 4-3 win in their last home game of the regular season. © Mark Mathews

The RiverKings will face Louisiana in the first round of the SPHL President's Cup Playoffs. Ticket packages start at $8 per game and the schedule will be released in the near future.

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 9:58 PM

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Schedule

Standings

TEAM GP W L OT PTS
PEO Peoria 16 11 4 1 23
PEN Pensacola 14 10 4 0 20
MRK RiverKings 15 10 5 0 20
EVV Evansville 16 9 5 2 20
HUN Huntsville 14 8 4 2 18
MAC Macon 16 7 5 4 18
KNX Knoxville 14 7 6 1 15
FAY Fayetteville 18 5 9 4 14
RKE Roanoke 15 5 8 2 12
BIR Birmingham 12 3 8 1 7
 
Full Standings

Updated: December 9, 2017