RiverKings fall behind early, drop first in Peoria

PEORIA, Miss. - The Peoria Rivermen (10-5-1) scored three first-period goals en route to a 5-2 victory as they snapped the Mississippi RiverKings (12-4-1) three-game winning streak on Friday night in Peoria.

The Rivermen started with a strong first period. Garrett Vermeersch tallied the first goal of the game on a breakaway shot that he lifted over the glove of Dalton McGrath and to the back of the net to put Peoria up 1-0 7:51 into the first. Just under six minutes later, Adam Stuart picked up a loose puck in the slot and blasted it through the legs of McGrath to put the Rivermen up by two. Then, with 3:44 left in the opening frame, Dan Bremner redirected a Mark Corbett shot past a screened McGrath to give the home team a 3-0 lead.

The RiverKings got one back at the end of the first. Devin Mantha got past the Rivermen defense on a breakaway and beat Kyle Rank low with 2.4 seconds left in the first to send the RiverKings to the first intermission trailing by two.

In the second, the teams traded goals in the opening seven minutes. Chris Wilson gave Peoria their three-goal lead back with a shorthanded breakaway goal over the left leg of McGrath 2:27 into the second period to push the score to 4-1. The RiverKings cut the lead back down to two on Michael Beaudry's second goal of the year at 7:13 into the second. Late in the second Peoria added an insurance marker when Matt Summers picked up a rebound and put it to the back of the net to give Peoria their first victory over the RiverKings of the season with a 5-2 win.

Dalton McGrath (0-1-0) stopped 28 of 33 shots against in his SPHL debut. Kyle Rank (8-3-1) turned aside 31 of 33 shots against in the win. The RiverKings were 0-5 on the power play while the Rivermen were scoreless on a pair of man advantage opportunities.

The RiverKings and Rivermen square off again tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. from Carver Arena in Peoria.

The RiverKings return to Concorde Career College Ice at the Landers Center on Sunday, December 27 at 3:05 p.m. for the team's first Pay What You Can Night. All seats start at a minimum $2 anywhere in the building and can be purchased by calling 662-342-1755.

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 www.riverkings.com.

Posted by David Schmoll at 7:16 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