RiverKings open weekend series with loss to Ice Flyers

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - The Mississippi RiverKings (27-18-10) scored an early third-period goal, but could not complete the comeback as the Pensacola Ice Flyers (31-20-4) took the first game of the weekend series 5-3 on Friday night in Southaven.

Pensacola got on the board first on Stephen Buco's 17th goal of the year from Joseph Holka and Steve Bergin just 7:49 into the first period.

The RiverKings tied the game just under three minutes later when Reid Campbell's shot from the blueline slipped through traffic, on the power play, to beat Ice Flyer netminder John McLean.

The Ice Flyers reclaimed their lead less than a minute later when Paul Rodrigues' shot found the back of the net to put Pensacola up 2-1 going into the first intermission.

In the second, the Ice Flyers added to their lead. Corey Banfield converted on a shorthanded breakaway opportunity to push the visitors' lead to 3-1.

One minute later, the RiverKings cut their deficit to one once again. Matt Harrington slipped a shot past McLean off a Max Cook setup to bring the RiverKings within one.

Pensacola regained their two goal lead once again at the 11:04 mark of the second on Buco's second of the game as the Ice Flyers took a 4-2 lead into the third.

Once again, the RiverKings battled back. Todd Hosmer's shot beat McLean 80 seconds into the third period to slice the deficit to 4-3. But with Peter Di Salvo on the bench for the extra attacker, Banfield notched his second of the game to give Pensacola the 5-3 victory.

Peter Di Salvo (13-7-5) took the loss after stopping 21 of 25 shots against. John McLean (19-10-3) stopped 29 of 32 shots against in the win.

The RiverKings scored once on three power play opportunities while not taking a penalty.

Devin Mantha takes a slash from Pensacola's Corey Banfield on Friday night in Southaven during the RiverKings' penultimate home game. © Mark Mathews

The RiverKings wrap up their 2015-16 regular season schedule tomorrow night at 7:05 in a rematch against the Pensacola Ice Flyers. The first 500 fans in the building will get t-shirts courtesy of Super Drugs Pharmacy. For ticket information, call 662-342-1755 or visit RiverKings.com.

Posted by David Schmoll at 9:31 PM


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Next Game

Fri, Dec. 15 @ Birmingham - 7:35 PM


RiverKings vs. Ice Flyers
Sat, Dec. 23 - 7:00 PM

Holiday Luau • Kids' Club Event


Planters Bank Ice @ Landers Center



PEN Pensacola 16 12 4 0 24
PEO Peoria 16 11 4 1 23
HUN Huntsville 15 9 4 2 20
MRK RiverKings 16 10 6 0 20
EVV Evansville 16 9 5 2 20
MAC Macon 16 7 5 4 18
KNX Knoxville 15 7 7 1 15
FAY Fayetteville 18 5 9 4 14
RKE Roanoke 15 5 8 2 12
BIR Birmingham 13 3 9 1 7
Full Standings

Updated: December 12, 2017