RiverKings Fall in Wild Playoff Opener

By: David Schmoll
March 27, 2013

LAFAYETTE, La. -- The Mississippi RiverKings jumped out to an early lead, but the Louisiana IceGators managed to regroup and take Game 1 from the visitors 7-5 in a wild opener to the 2013 playoffs.

The RiverKings wasted little time finding the back of the net. Mike Hayward's shot beat Breton Lindoff just 51 seconds into play to put the visitors ahead by one. The 'Gators responded with a goal of their own a minute later when Jeremy Boyer's shot beat Matt Krahn high to tie the game at one. But the RiverKings retook the lead when Matt Harrington took a Matt Whitehead pass and beat Lindoff with a one-timer to put the RiverKings ahead 2-1 going into the first intermission.

The IceGators responded in the second with a pair of goals of their own. Troy O'Fukany's shot off the face off deflected up and over the glove of Krahn to tie the game at two 11:17 into the second. The 'Gators took the lead when the RiverKings failed to clear the zone and the puck ended up on the stick of Josh Duplantis in the slot and he put it through the legs of Krahn to put the 'Gators ahead 3-2 heading into the third.

The two teams combined for seven goals in the final 20 minutes of play as the teams exchanged scoring chances. After Louisiana extended their lead to three goals, David Wilson replaced Matt Krahn and the RiverKings began chipping away as Kyle Lundale's shot from the slot brought the visitors within two midway through the third. But the IceGators came right back. Matt Robertson's shot from the high slot beat Wilson high, glove side to give the 'Gators the 6-3 lead.

But the RiverKings fought back late. Dan Barczuk bounced a puck in past Lindoff from a bad angle to cut the deficit to 6-4 with just over five minutes remaining. Three minutes later, the RiverKings struck again. Darrell Stoddard shoved the puck to the back of the net to bring the RiverKings within one on the power play with just over two minutes left.

Seconds later, the RiverKings were handed a penalty and the IceGators tallied the insurance goal as Rob Short converted on a three-on-none break to give the 'Gators the 7-5 victory in Game 1.

Matt Krahn (0-1-0) took the loss in his first playoff game as a professional. Breton Lindoff (1-0-0) picked up the victory after stopping 26 of 31 shots against.

The RiverKings return to the Landers Center for Game 2 on Friday night as they look for revenge against the IceGators. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. with all the action airing live on the America One Sports Network. Tickets start at just $5 and are available online at ticketmaster.com. For the latest updates on all things RiverKings, including playoff information, “like” us on Facebook (facebook.com/mississippiriverkings) and “follow” us on Twitter (twitter.com/riverkings). 

About the Mississippi RiverKings
The Mississippi RiverKings are supported by their community partners, season ticket holders, fans, and by program-related investments of 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 10:13 PM

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MAC x-Macon 56 33 16 7 73
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