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RiverKings have late push, fall in double OT to Pensacola

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - The Mississippi RiverKings tied the game with less than a minute to go in regulation to force overtime, but Brandon Zurn tallied the game-winner in the second overtime to push the Pensacola Ice Flyers past the RiverKings 6-5 and take the best-of-three series 2-0.

It was the Ice Flyers who jumped on the board first. Corey Banfield's wrist shot from the slot beat goaltender Peter Di Salvo to put the Ice Flyers up 1-0.

The RiverKings tied the game at one late in the first. Sam Higgins, on the power play, had his shot slip past Ice Flyers' netminder Matt Zenzola with just under four minutes to play in the first.

Just over a minute later Pensacola regained the lead. Banfield notched his second of the game on a setup from Joe Caveney to put the Ice Flyers up 2-1 going into the first intermission.

In the second, it was the Ice Flyers who extended their lead. Joey Holka collected a power play goal just two minutes into the second.

The teams then traded power play goals to close out the period. Cullen Bradshaw brought the RiverKings within one 8:16 into the second before Adam Pawlick notched his first goal of the postseason to put Pensacola ahead by two going into the third period.

In the third, the teams traded goals to start. Todd Hosmer brought the RiverKings within one once again on a wrist shot that beat Zenzola high just five minutes into the third. Then, 12:06 into the third, Ryan Kesti gave the Ice Flyers their two-goal lead once more.

But the RiverKings got two in the final 2:30 of regulation. Devin Mantha collected his first goal of the game to bring the RiverKings within one, before scoring the game-tying goal with the extra attacker on, on the power play, to force overtime.

The teams skated a full 20-minute overtime scoreless before Brandon Zurn's shot found the back of the net 3:13 into the second overtime period to give Pensacola the 6-5 victory as they took the best-of-three series 2-0.

Peter Di Salvo took the loss after stopping 39 of 45 shots against. Matt Zenzola took the win after turning aside 28 of 33 shots.

The RiverKings went 3-6 on the power play, while Pensacola scored twice on seven opportunities with the man-advantage.


RiverKings captain Leo Thomas chases down a puck during the team's Game 2 matchup against Pensacola. The RiverKings fell 6-5 in double overtime. © Mark Mathews

The Mississippi RiverKings open their 25th anniversary season of hockey in the Mid-South in October. For more information on tickets, please call the RiverKings front office at 662-342-1755 or visit riverkings.com. Thank you fans for a great 2015-16 season.

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 RiverKings.com.

Posted by David Schmoll at 10:57 PM

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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
 
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Updated: December 9, 2017