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RiverKings Weekly Report - Jan. 26, 2015 - Vol. 23 Ed. 15

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Event  Day  Date  Time  Location  Broadcast Info 
Game 35 vs. Columbus  Tue.  Jan. 27  10:35 a.m.  Landers Center SPHL Live 
Game 36 vs. Pensacola Fri.  Jan. 30  7:05 p.m.  Landers Center
SPHL Live  
Game 37 vs. Huntsville  Sat.  Jan. 31  7:30 p.m.  Von Braun Center SPHL Live 

TRANSACTIONS

1/23/15 Joey Holka (RW)  ADD Signed contract 

NEED TO KNOW

  • The RiverKings scored two shorthanded goals Jan. 24 against Peoria and now have three on the season.
  • Mississippi hosts its second FaceOff FieldTrip of the season tomorrow morning at 10:35 a.m. against the Columbus Cottonmouths.
  • Saturday's win gives the RiverKings eight victories in January, ensuring a winning record in a month for the first time this season. They had a .500 record in both November (4-4-2) and December (5-5-0). 

WEEK IN REVIEW

Scoring shorties

In their 4-2 win over the Peoria Rivermen Jan. 24 the RiverKings scored two shorthanded goals, one by Leo Thomas and the other by Reid Campbell. That gives the RiverKings three shorthanded goals on the season, which is tied for the most in the league with five other teams.

Mississippi was the last team to score a shorthanded goal this season. Through the first 29 games of the season they had none, but over the last five games they have three. Last season the RiverKings were third in the SPHL with 10 shorthanded goals, behind only Columbus (12) and Pensacola (11).

Professional firsts 

Several RiverKings rookies had professional milestones during the two games against Peoria in Week 14. Joey Holka picked up his first professional point, an assist, in his fifth pro game Jan. 24. Holka made his professional debut with ECHL-Utah Jan. 10 and has played just two games with the RiverKings. He ended with two assists in the game for his first multi-point game.

Holka's two assists came on goals by Paul Ciarelli, his second and third goals of the season. For Ciarelli it was his first multi-goal game as a pro. The final first came on the final goal Jan. 24, scored by Reid Campbell. The rookie defenseman scored shorthanded for his first pro goal in his 27th game. He has seven points (1g, 6a) with a plus-2 rating this season.

Game 33: Rivermen down RiverKings, 4-1

The Peoria Rivermen scored a goal in the first, another in the second and two in the third to beat the RiverKings, 4-1, at the Landers Center last night.

Jake Trask put Peoria ahead 1-0 with a power-play goal just 5:28 into the first period, his third power-play goal in the four-game season series against Mississippi. The Rivermen made it 2-0 in the second period when Christian Weidauer sent a shot from the right point that went through traffic and found the back of the net behind Adam Courcahine at 2:42 of the period.

Mike Gurtler's goal on a breakaway at 9:04 of the third gave Peoria a 3-0 advantage. It stayed that way until the RiverKings got a power play and Matt Whitehead buried a shot from the slot to end Kyle Rank's shut out bid with under six minutes remaining in the third. Alec Hagaman added an empty-net goal to finish off a 4-1 final.

Game 34: Shorthanded goals power RiverKings past Rivermen, 4-2

The RiverKings scored two shorthanded goals and held off a late charge by the Peoria Rivermen to win, 4-2, at the Landers Center Saturday. 

Mississippi got its first shorthanded goal at 12:22 of the first period. Leo Thomas deflected a pass in the defensive zone, picked up the puck and started a 2-on-1 with Paul Ciarelli. Thomas went down the left wing and elected to shoot from the left circle for a 1-0 lead. Ciarelli added two goals in the second period to put the RiverKings up 3-0. On both goal Ciarelli potted rebounds created on shots from Joey Holka and the RiverKings had a three-goal lead at 15:39 of the middle period.

Peoria gained momentum late in the second when Jake Trask scored a power-play goal with 57 seconds left in the period. The Rivermen made it a one-goal game at 8:02 of the third as Jordan Sims buried a rebound to make it 3-2. The RiverKings reclaimed their two-goal lead when Reid Campbell scored the team's second shorthanded goal of the game at 12:16 of the third, making it a 4-2 final. 

Plays of the Week

THE WEEK AHEAD

RiverKings vs. Cottonmouths - Tuesday, Jan. 27 - 10:35 a.m.

The RiverKings open the final week of January with their second FaceOff FieldTrip game of the season Tuesday morning at 10:35 a.m. The RiverKings lost their first one, 1-0, Nov. 25 vs. Louisiana and will face the Columbus Cottonmouths in the second one, just the fourth match of five between the teams in 2014-15. Columbus has won the last two by 3-2 scores.

Columbus split a home-and-home series with Knoxville last week and is 7-3-0 in their last 10 games. At 19-12-0 the Cottonmouths are in fourth place in the SPHL. They are just four points our of first place and also just two points ahead of the RiverKings, who are in sixth.

Matt Gingera is the leading scorer for Columbus with 31 points (19g, 12a) in 29 games. He has a league-high eight power-play goals and is tied for the league's best with five game-winning goals. He has points in just four of the last nine games, but all of those are multi-point games, totaling 10 points (4g, 6a). Bryce Williamson is second with 29 points (13g, 16a) in 29 games and he has 10 power-play points (2g, 8a). Neilsson Arcibal rounds out the top three with 24 points (7g, 17a). 

In net Andrew Loewen and Shannon Szabados have mainly split time, with Loewen appearing in 18 games and Szabados getting in 13 games. Loewen tied an SPHL record for consecutive wins with 12 from Nov. 22-Jan. 18. His streak was broken with a 4-1 loss to Knoxville Jan. 23 and he is 12-6-0 on the season with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. Szabados is 7-6-0 on the season with a 3.36 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage.

RiverKings vs. Ice Flyers - Friday, Jan. 30 - 7:05 p.m.

The RiverKings play their final home game of the month when they host the Pensacola Ice Flyers Friday night on Heroes Night as the RiverKings honor police officers, firefighters and other real life heroes. 

With several key players in the ECHL, the Ice Flyers have slumped from first place to fifth place with four straight losses. They are just 3-7-0 in their last 10 games and at 17-10-4 the Ice Flyers have 38 points. They are two points ahead of the RiverKings, although Pensacola does have three games in hand on the RiverKings. 

Corey Banfield leads the Ice Flyers with 44 points (14g, 30a), which also paces the SPHL. He is tops in the league in assists, which includes a league-best 10 power-play helpers. The former RiverKings forward has five game-winning goals, which is tied for the most in the league, and that includes two against Mississippi. Adam Pawlick is second with 38 points (22g, 16a) and he leads the league with 22 goals. Brett Lutes is third among active players on the team with 26 points (9g, 17a) in 29 games. Cody Ferriero, who is on loan with ECHL-Rapid City, had 31 points (13g, 18a) in 23 games with Pensacola.

It's mainly a one-man show for the Ice Flyers in net, as Max Strang has appeared in 25 of their 31 games. He is 15-7-3 with a 2.15 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. He is tied for the league lead with 15 wins and has a league-best four shutouts, although he doesn't have one since Nov. 29. Over his last six starts Strang is 1-5-0, allowing 16 goals, 2.67 goals-against per game. 

RiverKings vs. Havoc - Saturday, Jan. 31 - 7:30 p.m.

The RiverKings wrap up their 15-game month Saturday night in Huntsville against the Havoc. It's their second trip in two weeks to Huntsville, after the RiverKings beat the Havoc, 2-1, Jan. 21. It's the fifth match of eight between the teams this season; the RiverKings have a 3-1-0 record head-to-head.

Huntsville has lost seven straight games (0-6-1) and the Havoc are 1-8-1 in their last 10, dropping to 5-21-5 on the season. They have just two wins over the last 25 games since Nov. 21 and with 15 points they are in last place in the SPHL. 

Drew Akins is Huntsville's top scorer with 23 points (9g, 14a) in 34 games. He has 12 points (7g, 5a) in 16 games since being acquired from the Ice Flyers. Stuart Stefan is second on the team with 20 points (6g, 14a), which is tied with Andrew Randazzo for third among defensemen. Matt Viola, another mid-season acquisition, is third with 18 points (3g, 15a), with four points (1g, 3a) coming in eight games with Huntsville.

Kevin Genoe and Jesse Kallechy have split time in goal this season. Genoe is 4-10-3 in 17 games and has a 2.84 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. Meanwhile Kallechy is 1-11-2 with a 3.04 goals-against average and an .893 save percentage. He hasn't won since Nov. 15, going 0-9-2 in 11 starts since then. 

Posted by Lukas Favale at 7:24 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

Holiday Luau • Kids' Club Event

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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