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RiverKings Weekly Report - Dec. 30, 2014 - Vol. 23 Ed. 11

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Event  Day  Date  Time  Location  Broadcast Info 
Game 23 vs. Pensacola  Fri.  Jan. 2  7:05 p.m.  Pensacola Bay Center  Sports 56/87.7 FM  
Game 24 vs. Louisiana  Sat.  Jan. 3  7:05 p.m.  Landers Center  SPHL Live 
Game 25 vs. Louisiana  Sun.  Jan. 4  7:05 p.m.  Cajundome  Sports 56/87.7 FM 

NEED TO KNOW

  • The RiverKings won all three games in Week 10, their first three-game winning streak of the season.
  • All three games were decided by one goal and the RiverKings have won their last four one-goal games.
  • It's Elvis Night at the Landers Center Saturday night. The RiverKings will wear Elvis jerseys, which will be auctioned off after the game to benefit the RiverKings ReachOut Fund. The "Ice Sisters" will perform during the game and kids dressed up as a princess or a Disney character will get in for free.
  • Matt Harrington was loaned to ECHL-Wheeling Saturday, becoming the first call up of the season for the RiverKings.

TRANSACTIONS

12/27/14  Paul Clancy (D)  ADD Activated from IR 
12/27/14  Matt Harrington (RW)  DEL Loaned to Wheeling (ECHL)

WEEK IN REVIEW

Matt Harrington Named Player of the Week

It was a busy week for Mississippi RiverKings forward Matt Harrington. In his two games played for the RiverKings he had five points (3g, 2a), including two shootout game-winning goals. He scored the only goal in both shootout wins for the RiverKings this week. That effort earned him the Easton Player of the Week by the SPHL, which was announced Tuesday.

Harrington, who is second on the RiverKings with 17 points (10g, 7a), used the big week to earn a call up to the ECHL's Wheeling Nailers, the first call up to the ECHL for Harrington in his career. He is also the first RiverKings player to move up to the ECHL this season. Harrington made his ECHL debut Saturday for Wheeling and didn't record a point.

Jam-packed January

As the calendar moves to 2015 the RiverKings are about to embark on their busiest month of the season. In the 31 days of January the RiverKings will play 15 games, with eight on the road and seven at home. It starts with a three-in-three this weekend, the first of three consecutive three-in-three weekends for the RiverKings. 

During the month the RiverKings will play six of the seven other teams in the SPHL. The only team they don't face is Knoxville, who they've already played five out of six times this season. The month includes the first matches with both Peoria (Jan. 9-11) and Fayetteville (Jan. 16-17). Mississippi plays a season-high five straight games on the road Jan. 4-11.

Game 20: RiverKings win, 2-1, in a shootout over Huntsville

The Mississippi RiverKings tied the game late in the second then went on to beat the Huntsville Havoc in a shootout, 2-1, Dec. 23 at the Landers Center. It was the first shootout of the season for Mississippi.

Despite a strong first period by the RiverKings the Havoc took a 1-0 lead late in the period. Drew Akins cleared the puck while shorthanded and Luke Greiner scooped it up and started a 2-on-1 shorthanded breakaway. Greiner went to the left circle and elected to shoot, beating Adam Courchaine to the blocker side. After that the RiverKings took charge of the game, but they wouldn't tie it until late in the second.

With under three minutes to play in the second period Matt Harrington forced a turnover behind the Huntsville net. The puck popped in front to Matt Whitehead, who went to the backhand to beat Kevin Genoe and tie the game. The game went to a shootout and Matt Harrington's second-round goal stood as the only tally in the tie-breaker, giving the RiverKings the win. They outshot the Havoc, 49-19, in the game.

Game 21: Matt Harrington gives RiverKings second straight shootout win

The RiverKings won their second straight shootout, 4-3, over the Louisiana IceGators Dec. 26 at the Landers Center. For the second straight game it was Matt Harrington who scored the only goal of the shootout to give the RiverKings a win.

The game was back-and-forth the whole way, with three one-goal leads disappearing during the game. The RiverKings struck first when Linden Bahm finished off a rebound for his first professional goal at 2:22 of the first period. Less than three minutes later Jason Cohen tied the game at one when he wristed a shot past Peter Di Salvo immediately after a faceoff win by Adam Stuart. Mississippi went up by one again in the second when Leo Thomas spun home a shot from the right circle at 8:41. 2:10 later Shawn Skelly scored a 5-on-3 power-play goal to make it 2-2.

The IceGators took their first lead at 2:51 of the third period when Benjamin Rubin scored another power-play goal. However, the RiverKings responded midway through the final period when Matt Harrington whipped home a shot from the left circle with one second remaining on a power play. The game would go to overtime and then a shootout before Harrington scored in round two and Peter Di Salvo stopped all five shots for the win.

Game 22: RiverKings win third straight game with 3-2 win over IceGators

In another back-and-forth game the RiverKings prevailed, 3-2, over the Louisiana IceGators Dec. 27 at the Cajundome. Linden Bahm scored the game-winning goal in the third period to give the RiverKings their first three-game winning streak of the season.

After a scoreless first period the IceGators grabbed a 1-0 lead at 8:20 when Adam Stuart blasted a power-play goal. The lead lasted for just 20 seconds before the RiverKings tied the game at one. Luke Warner sent the puck towards the front from the right circle and Dylan Quaile redirected it past goalie Andrew Flemming. Mississippi got the lead at 14:41 of the second as Sean Jones scored his first goal of the season. While on the power play he took a shot from the bottom of the right circle and it bounced in off an IceGators player. That lead only lasted about 1:20 before Tyler Klein pulled the IceGators into a 2-2 tie.

The RiverKings got the only goal of the third period to get the win. Devin Mantha and Dan Delisle battled for the puck near the left circle and it ended up in front. Bahm swooped around the net, picked it up and roofed a backhand shot to give the RiverKings a 3-2 lead. The RiverKings gave up just five shots in the third period and Adam Courchaine stopped them all for the win.

THE WEEK AHEAD

RiverKings vs. Ice Flyers - Friday, Jan. 2 - 7:05 p.m.

The RiverKings open a three-in-three week and 2015 with their second trip to Pensacola this season to face the Ice Flyers Friday night. It's the sixth match of the season between the teams and Pensacola has won four of the first five. The first four games were decided by one goal, including the RiverKings lone win, 2-1 in overtime, Dec. 12.

With a 15-4-4 record the Ice Flyers have 34 points, which paces the SPHL. They have a four point lead over Peoria and Knoxville for the top spot in the league. They are especially tough at home, where they have a 10-2-1 record. Pensacola split a pair of games in Huntsville to wrap up last week, dropping a 6-1 game Dec. 26 before rebounding with a 3-2 win the next night.

The Ice Flyers have the top three scorers in the SPHL. Corey Banfield leads the way with 34 points (10g, 24a) and he leads the league in assists. Right behind him are Adam Pawlick (20g, 11a) and Cody Ferriero (13g, 18a) who both have 31 points. Pawlick is the league's top goal scorer. Banfield is the top scorer in the season series with the RiverKings, posting six points (3g, 3a) in five games with two game-winning goals.

In net the Ice Flyers currently have just one active goalie after starter Max Strang was loaned to ECHL-Greenville Monday. In 18 games Strang was 13-2-3 for the Ice Flyers with a 2.03 goals-against average and .932 save percentage. The last remaining goalie on the roster is Matt Zenzola, who has just two games played this season. He is 1-0-1 with seven goals allowed and a .881 save percentage.

RiverKings vs. IceGators - Saturday, Jan. 3 | Sunday, Jan. 4 - 7:05 p.m.

The RiverKings continue their stretch of six out of eight games against the Louisiana IceGators with another home-and-home series Saturday and Sunday, starting at the Landers Center. It will be the seventh and eighth matches of the season between the teams out of 11 total that they will play. The RiverKings swept a home-and-home series with the IceGators last week and have four wins in six meetings this season.

The IceGators lost all three games last week, including two against the RiverKings and one to the Ice Flyers. They are now 11-8-3 this season and have 25 points, which puts them in fourth place. They're a point ahead of Columbus and play the Cottonmouths Friday before the series against the RiverKings.

Adam Stuart has points in nine of his last 10 games and leads the IceGators with 24 points (10g, 14a) in 20 games. In the last 10 games he has 16 points (7g, 9a) and only five players have more points in the SPHL than he does. Benjamin Rubin is second on the team with 17 points (5g, 12a) and Chris Wilson is third with 16 points (6g, 10a).

Rookies Marco De Filippo and Andrew Flemming have seen significant time in net for the IceGators. De Filippo is 8-3-2 in 14 appearances, posting a 2.78 goals-against average and .907 save percentage. He's made two starts against the RiverKings and is 1-1-1. Flemming has seen time in four games against the RiverKings, including once in relief. He is going 1-2-0 against Mississippi and in 10 games this season he is 3-5-1 with a 3.09 goals-against average and .905 save percentage.

Posted by Lukas Favale at 3:00 PM

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Tue, Dec. 12 - 10:30 AM

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Schedule

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
 
Full Standings

Updated: December 9, 2017