RiverKings eye first win vs. Ice Bears

Game 2: Mississippi RiverKings (0-1-0-0) vs. Knoxville Ice Bears (1-0-0-0)

7:05 p.m., Landers Center, Southaven, MS

The Mississippi RiverKings look to bounce back from a season-opening 3-2 loss as they host the Knoxville Ice Bears in the final game of the home-opening weekend. The two teams met in the preseason, with Knoxville prevailing, 3-0, at the Landers Center. 

The Ice Bears won their season opener, 5-4, on the road in Columbus last night. Berkley Scott finished off a three-point game (1g, 2a) with the game-winning goal with 2:10 remaining in the third period. Knoxville will have their home opener against the RiverKings Saturday Nov. 1.

The RiverKings lost their season opener for the second straight season, losing to the Ice Flyers, 3-2, last night. Last year the RiverKings were shut out, 2-0, by Louisiana but responded with a 9-2 drubbing of Peoria in their second game.

Broadcast Coverage

Hibu RiverKings Pregame at 6:55 p.m.

Audio: Free stream available via riverkings.com.

Last time out

The RiverKings lost their season opener to the Pensacola Ice Flyers, 3-2, last night. The RiverKings scored first, as Burke Gallimore converted on a one-timer between the circles for a 1-0 lead 4:45 into the first period.

In the decisive second period, however, the Ice Flyers outscored the RiverKings 3-1 to grab the lead. Steve Bergin tied the game at one by stashing in a rebound just 2:46 into the period. Adam Pawlick’s power-play goal made it 2-1 with under 10 minutes to play in the period. Just a few minutes later Matt Whitehead tied the game at two, but Pawlick’s second goal of the game with 3:46 to go in the second put Pensacola back up by one.

Adam Courchaine got the nod in goal for the RiverKings, stopping 26 of 29 Ice Flyer shots. The RiverKings power play was 0-for-7, including two separate 5-on-3 chances.

Strong Debuts

The RiverKings have 11 returning players on the roster to start the season. However, it was the mix of returning players with those making their RiverKings debuts that contributed to the two RiverKings goals.

Burke Gallimore and Matt Whitehead, who both were with the RiverKings last season, scored the two goals. Gallimore’s goal was set up by defenseman Dylan Quaile, playing in his first game with the RiverKings. Paired with defenseman Daniel Sobotka, Quaile finished the game with an assist and one shot.

The only assist on Whitehead’s goal was from another newcomer, Cody Dion, playing in his first regular season game with the RiverKings. The 6-foot-4 forward, who was acquired in a trade with the Ice Bears over the summer, had an assist and two shots in the season opener. He will have the chance to face his former team tonight when the RiverKings host the Ice Bears

Scouting the Ice Bears

The Ice Bears opened their season with a 5-4 win over Columbus last night, starting the season with a win for the second straight year.

Two players had three-point games for the Ice Bears. Berkley Scott (1g, 2a) scored the game-winning goal with 2:10 left in the third period. Eric Satim (1g, 2a) assisted on the game’s first goal just 23 seconds into the first period and had the lone assist on Scott’s game winner. Ben Power (2g) and Ryan Salvis (2a) were the other two Ice Bears with multi-point games in the season opener. Only six players registered a point, despite the team scoring five goals.

In net Bryan Hince got the start for the Ice Bears and allowed four goals on 33 shots to earn his first win of the season. He was 22-16-5 with Knoxville last season.


In 2013-14 the RiverKings won four of the six games against the Ice Bears, going 4-1-1. In their preseason matchup Knoxville got goals from Travis Janke, Charles Baldwin and Ben Power. Goaltender Bryan Hince, who kept the RiverKings off the scoreboard for the first half of the game, played 44 games last season and posted a 22-16-5 record with a 2.56 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.

The teams will meet again Nov. 1 in the Ice Bears’ home opener. In total they will square off six times again in 2014-15, three in Knoxville and three at the Landers Center.

Special Teams

Last season the Ice Bears had the worst power play in the SPHL at 12.2% (29-for-237). They got off to a good start this season, however, going 2-for-4 in Friday’s win over Columbus. 

The RiverKings power play, which finished fourth last season at 18.8%, was kept off the board in the season opener, going 0-for-7. That includes two 5-on-3 chances in which the RiverKings had opportunities, but couldn’t convert. 

The Ice Bears penalty kill allowed one goal in seven shorthanded situations (85.7%) in the season opener. That’s better than the 82.5% rate they killed penalties at last season, which was eighth in the league.

The RiverKings went 3-for-4 on the penalty kill against Pensacola Friday night. They were victimized on a second-period power-play goal from Adam Pawlick.

Posted by Lukas Favale at 2:48 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