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RiverKings Strike Early and Often; Knock off Knoxville

By: David Schmoll
March 28, 2012

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Mississippi RiverKings came out firing in Game 1 of the SPHL Playoffs as they knocked off the Knoxville Ice Bears 6-3 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum.

The RiverKings got on the board first late in the first period as Jeff Topilko ripped a shot off the faceoff to beat Kyle Rank to get the scoring started as the 'Kings took an early 1-0 lead. Minutes later, Mark Magnowski scored on a rebound to put the visitors up 2-0.

Knoxville came back in the period as Emery Olauson converted on a one-timer to beat David Wilson as the lead was cut to one at the 15:04 mark.

But the RiverKings retook the two goal lead minutes later when Jeff Topilko netted his second goal of the game on a backhander in the slot and the sixth-seeded 'Kings went into the first intermission up two.

The start of the second period was all Ice Bears. Emery Olauson picked up his second goal of the game on the power play to cut the lead to two. With Paul D'Agostino in the box for interference, the Ice Bears struck again, this time David Segal buried one past David Wilson as Knoxville tied the game at three just 3:26 into the middle frame.

Later in the second, the 'Kings took Knoxville out of the game. Matt Whitehead found Darrell Stoddard on a two-on-one and Stoddard buried the puck over the glove of Rank to give the RiverKings the 4-3 lead 12:43 into the final period. The lead increased to two when Deven Stillar crashed the net and slid the puck past Rank to end the Knoxville netminder's night.

Scoring subsided in the third period until the 18:30 mark when Justin MacDonald notched the empty netter and the RiverKings took Game 1, 6-3.

David Wilson (1-0-0) picked up the win stopping 26 of 29 shots against. Kyle Rank (0-1-0) was saddled with the loss after allowing 5 goals on 12 shots. Matt Hache stopped 11 shots in 23:21 minutes in relief of Rank.

The RiverKings return home to play the Ice Bears in Game 2 at the Landers Center at 7:05 on Friday, March 30. David Schmoll and Mark Atnip have the call on the America One network. All tickets at the Landers Center are just $10 and are available by calling 662-342-1755.
Posted by Mississippi RiverKings at 12:51 PM

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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