RiverKings face first road test in Knoxville

Game 3: Mississippi RiverKings (0-2-0) vs. Knoxville Ice Bears (2-0-0)

6:35 p.m. CDT, Knoxville Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, TN

The Mississippi RiverKings hit the road for the first time in 2014-15 as they take on the Knoxville Ice Bears for the second straight game. The Ice Bears beat the RiverKings, 5-1, Oct. 25 at the Landers Center.

This is the home opener for the Ice Bears after they won their first two games on road last weekend. They won their season opener, 5-4, in Columbus Oct. 24 and then beat the RiverKings the next night. Tonight is Knoxville's only game of the weekend; the Ice Bears are in Peoria next weekend.

The RiverKings lost a pair of games to start the season, losing 3-2 against Pensacola Oct. 24 before losing to the Ice Bears. They will return home tomorrow to face the Huntsville Havoc at the Landers Center at 3:05 p.m.

Broadcast Coverage

Hibu RiverKings Pregame at 6:30 p.m.

Radio: Available on 87.7 F.M. and on riverkings.com

Streaming: Pay-to-watch video on SPHL Live

Last time out

The Knoxville Ice Bears scored twice in the second and twice in the third to beat the RiverKings, 5-1, Saturday night at the Landers Center. Ryan Salvis led all scorers with four points (2g, 2a) for the Ice Bears.

Salvis scored the game's first goal 9:12 into the first period, scoring a shorthanded breakaway goal on Peter Di Salvo for a 1-0 Ice Bears lead. With 3:52 remaining in the frame, Leo Thomas tied the game, scoring on a breakaway of his own by flipping a backhand shot over Braely Torris.

Salvis gave Knoxville the lead for good just 3:55 into the second period. David Segal doubled the lead at 5:28 of the second, making it 3-1 after two periods. The Ice Bears put the game out of reach late in the third, with Eric Satim and Francis Drolet scoring two goals in 2:02 for a 5-1 lead.

Milestone maker

Last weekend Matt Whitehead scored his 100th career SPHL goal, becoming just the 15th player in league history to accomplish that. He has the most career SPHL goals among active players. 61 of his goals have come with the RiverKings since he joined the team midway through the 2011-12 season.

Scouting the Ice Bears

The Ice Bears opened their season with road wins over Columbus and the RiverKings last weekend.

Scoring ten goals combined through their first two games the Ice Bears have the two top scorers in the league through the first weekend. Ryan Salvis (2g, 4a) and Eric Satim (2g, 4a) both have six points in two games. Salvis had four points (2g, 2a) Saturday against the RiverKings, while Satim had three points (1g, 2a). Two other Ice Bears have three points in two games; Berkley Scott (1g, 2a) and Francis Drolet (2g, 1a) are tied with five other players for third in the league in scoring.

Both goaltenders got a start last weekend, with Bryan Hince starting the season opener and Braely Torris getting the nod against the RiverKings Saturday. Hince turned aside 29 shots in a 5-4 win over Columbus and Torris stopped 20 of 21 shots to beat the RiverKings.

Special Teams

After the first weekend the Ice Bears are third in the league on the power play, going 2-for-9 (22.2%). They scored both power-play goals in the season opener before going 0-for-5 against the RiverKings.

Despite having the second-most opportunities, the RiverKings are the only team without a power-play goal, going 0-for-11 in two games. They gave up a shorthanded goal to Knoxville Saturday.

The Ice Bears penalty kill is 10-for-11 (90.9%) through two games, including killing off all four RiverKings power plays Saturday. They have a shorthanded goal in both games this season.

The RiverKings are third in the league on the penalty kill, successfully killing eight of the nine power plays against (88.9%). They killed off all five Knoxville power plays Saturday. 

Posted by Lukas Favale at 10:00 AM

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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