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RiverKings rally comes up short vs. Rivermen

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – The Mississippi RiverKings (31-19-2) nearly erased a three-goal third period deficit, but came up just short against the Peoria Rivermen (34-16-3) in a 3-2 loss at the Landers Center Friday night. 

After a scoreless first period the Rivermen built a 3-0 lead in the second period. Dan Bremner started the scoring at 4:06 of the second when Matt Summers fed a pass to him down the left wing. Bremner got behind the defense and cut across the goal mouth to beat Adam Courchaine for a 1-0 lead. Later in the second Peoria went to work on the power play to go up 2-0. Summers ended up with the puck at the right circle, dragged the puck past a defender, then spun in the slot and roofed a shot over Courchaine. 

The Rivermen would strike late in the third to make it a 3-0 game. After holding the puck in the offensive zone Matt Whitehead got the puck at the blue line. He tried to send a pass to Reid Campbell at the left point, but Garrett Vermeersch stepped in to intercept the pass and create a breakaway for himself. He faked a shot then went to the backhand to score with 11.9 seconds left in the second period.

The RiverKings tried to mount a comeback against a Rivermen team with a perfect 26-0-0 record when leading after two periods, and they very nearly did. Leo Thomas started the would-be comeback just 2:38 into the third when he buried a pass from Linden Bahm for a 5-on-3 power-play goal, making it 3-1. Just moments later, on the ensuing power play Devin Mantha rang a shot off the crossbar and Mike Hayward was robbed by a Kyle Rank glove save. Then at 9:33 the RiverKings closed the gap to one when Paul Ciarelli finished a scramble near the crease by sliding the puck under Rank's pads to make it 3-2. The Rivermen settled down just enough the rest of the way to hang on for a 3-2 win despite the RiverKings outshooting Peoria, 16-4, in the third period.

The RiverKings are back home for two more games this weekend starting Saturday, Mar. 21 vs. the  Peoria Rivermem. It is College Night with the game starting at 6:05 p.m. Fans with a college ID will get $2 off select tickets. Sunday, the RiverKings face the Huntsville Havoc on Country Night presented by 95.3 The Rebel and fans wearing cowboy hats save $2 on select tickets at the Box OfficeSingle-game tickets can be purchased at riverkings.com/ticketmaster and groups of 15 or more get a discount, with group tickets starting at $8 per ticket, by calling the front office at 662-342-1755. Group packages for playoff games start at $5. For that and other playoff packages, call the RiverKings front office at 662-342-1755.

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 Lukas Favale at 9:54 PM

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Schedule

Standings

TEAM GP W L OT PTS
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