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RiverKings face Havoc in afternoon matinee

Game 41: Mississippi RiverKings (23-15-2) vs. Huntsville Havoc (6-27-7)

2:00 p.m., Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Alabama

The Mississippi RiverKings wrap up a quick weekend with an afternoon tilt against the Huntsville Havoc at the Von Braun Center. It's the sixth of eight matches between the team, with the RiverKings winning four of the first five, including each of the last three. The teams were supposed to play Tuesday at the Landers Center, but that game was postponed due to an ice storm in the Mid-South. A makeup game for that hasn't been finalized yet. They will still play March 3 in Mississippi.

The Havoc have lost back-to-back games against the Columbus Cottonmouths to start the week. They lost, 5-3, in Huntsville Thursday and 4-1 Friday in Columbus. Prior to that the Havoc had points in a season-high three straight games (1-0-2). 

The RiverKings have won seven straight games and 11 of their last 12 games, after beating the Louisiana IceGators, 4-2, last night in their first game since Feb. 7. This is the final game of the weekend for the RIverKings, but they are back in action Tuesday at the Landers Center against Pensacola to start a stretch of four games in five nights, which concludes with a three-in-three in three different cities.

Broadcast Coverage

Hibu RiverKings Pregame at 1:55 p.m.

Radio: Sports 56/87.7FM

Streaming: Pay-to-watch video on SPHL Live 

Last time out

The RiverKings added their seventh straight win with a 4-2 victory over the Louisiana IceGators last night at the Cajundome.

The IceGators took the early lead less than four minutes into the first period when Jeremy Boyer cashed in on a rebound in front. The RiverKings overcame that deficit in the second period, scoring three times to take the lead. Dmitry Peremikin started the run with a slap shot from near the right blue line for his first goal in North America, coming in his RiverKings debut. Linden Bahm added two goals later in the period, one on the power play at 10:23 and another at even strength at 16:27. 

Adam Stuart brought the IceGators back within one late in the third, but Devin Mantha sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 23 seconds left. Adam Courchaine made 13 saves in the third and 28 in the game to get his fourth straight win on his 26th birthday.

Head-to-head

Tonight is the sixth of eight matches between the teams this season and the final one in Huntsville. The RiverKings hold a 4-1-0 record over the Havoc this season and the final two games will be at the Landers Center. The RiverKings have won the last three matches in the series, including a pair of wins in Huntsville in January.

17 players have recorded at least a point for the RiverKings against the Havoc in the season series with Leo Thomas leading the way with four points (1g, 3a) and a plus-3 rating in five games. 11 of the 17 players with a point against the Havoc have registered at least two in the series. The RiverKings have allowed just eight goals in the five game series, giving up just one in the last three matches. Both Peter Di Salvo and Adam Courchaine have given up four goals apiece and Di Salvo is 2-0-0 and Courchaine is 2-1-0.

Huntsville's Stuart Stefan is the top scorer against the RiverKings with four points (1g, 3a). The only player with a game-winning goal against Mississippi is Mike Henderson and he is no longer with the Havoc. In fact, Henderson skated in two games with the RiverKings before being waived this week. In net Kevin Genoe has started four of the five games against Mississippi and is 1-2-1, but has a 1.48 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage.

Scouting the Havoc 

The Havoc have lost back-to-back games, both to Columbus, heading into the final game of their three-in-three. At 6-27-7 they have just 19 points and are in last place in the SPHL.

Drew Akins leads the team in scoring with 30 points (12g, 18a) in 43 games, although just 25 games have come with Huntsville. In those games he has 19 points (10g, 9a). Stuart Stefan is second with 23 points (7g, 16a) in 40 games. He has four points in five games against the RiverKings, which leads the Havoc in the season series. Luke Greiner is third with 22 points (10g, 12a) in 30 games.

Huntsville's goalies have mainly split time this season, although Kevin Genoe has started four of the last five games. In 23 games this season Genoe is 5-13-5 with a 2.79 goals-against average and .911 save percentage. He has started in four of the five games against Mississippi and is 1-2-1 with a 1.48 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage. Jesse Kallechy has appeared in 18 games and is 1-14-2 with a 3.16 goals-against average and a .891 save percentage.

Special teams

The Havoc rank last overall on the power play in the SPHL at 9.0% (13-for-144), going 0-for-4 last night. Their 13 power-play goals are the fewest in the league and the RiverKings are the closest team to Huntsville with 21. The Havoc are worst both at home and on the road, going 6-for-65 (9.2%) at the Von Braun Center, only slightly better than their 7-for-79 (8.9%) mark on the road.

The RiverKings have scored power-play goals in three straight games and five of their last six games, going 6-for-19 (31.6%). Despite that they're still seventh in the SPHL at 13.2% (21-for-159). The RiverKings remain stronger on the power play at home as opposed to on the road. At home the RiverKings are 14-for-97 (14.4%), while on the road they are just 7-for-62 (11.3%).

On the penalty kill, the Havoc are third in the SPHL at 84.7% (133-for-157). They were 5-for-6 in last night's game against Columbus.They have the second best home penalty kill in the SPHL, stopping 53-of-60 opponent's power plays, good for 88.3% clip.

The RiverKings are seventh on the penalty kill in the SPHL at 83.8% (114-for-136). In the last six games, the RiverKings have successfully killed 16 of 17 opponent power plays, including 11-for-11 in the last five. 

Posted by Lukas Favale at 11:00 PM

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RiverKings vs. Havoc
Tue, Dec. 12 - 10:30 AM

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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