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RiverKings slip to Rivermen, finish in 4th place

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. -- The Peoria Rivermen (36-17-3) scored late in the third period to beat the Mississippi RiverKings (33-21-2), 4-3, at the Landers Center Saturday night.

The Rivermen held four one-goal leads during the game and starting just 1:07 into the first period when Matt Summers snapped a power-play goal past Adam Courchaine for a 1-0 lead. The RiverKings pulled even about five minutes later when Linden Bahm finished a rebound from the left circle after an extended shift in the offensive zone. Dan Delisle and Matt Whitehead were credited with assists on Bahm's 15th goal of the season. 

Peoria jumped ahead to start the second period, as Steve Morra struck just 59 seconds into the frame. Once again the RiverKings answered at 7:36 as Devin Mantha received a pass from Leo Thomas and stick handled into the slot before ripping a shot past Kyle Rank for his 20th goal of the season. The Rivermen grabbed a 3-2 lead near the end of the second as Josh Harris beat Peter Di Salvo on a rebound near the crease with 47 seconds to go in the period.

The RiverKings rallied again early in the third as Leo Thomas broke loose on a breakaway and scored with a backhand shot between the pads of Rank to make it 3-3 at 4:54. The RiverKings knocked on the door the next few minutes, but they never grabbed the lead. Then at 13:52 a dump in by the Rivermen rolled behind the net and got past Di Salvo. Harris was there to pick up the puck and he got in front to stash it into a wide open net to give the Rivermen a 4-3 lead. 

The RiverKings couldn't overcome that and lost, 4-3, to finish in fourth place in the SPHL.

Notes: Devin Mantha's second period goal was his 20th goal of the season, the first 20-goal season of his career... Leo Thomas returned to the lineup and scored his 23rd goal of the season. It's the most goals he's scored in a season since he scored 33 for the Fort Wayne Komets in 2009-10... The RiverKings finish the regular season in fourth place, two points behind Columbus and Pensacola, but their 68 points are still the most the RiverKings have had in a season since joining the SPHL before the 2011-12 season.

The RiverKings will host Game 2 of the First Round of the President's Cup Playoffs against the Pensacola Ice Flyers Friday, April 3 at 7:05 p.m. at the Landers Center. Playoff tickets start at $6 at the Landers Center Box Office or at riverkings.com/ticketmaster. Group packages for groups of 15 or more start at $5 and are available by calling 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 9:38 PM

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Next Game

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

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

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Planters Bank Ice @ Landers Center

Schedule

Standings

TEAM GP W L OT PTS
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