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RiverKings Weekly Report - Mar. 2, 2015 - Vol. 23 Ed. 20

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Event  Day  Date  Time  Location  Broadcast Info 
Coach's Show  Mon.  Mar. 2  7 p.m.  Maria's Cantina  Sports 56/87.7 FM
Game 46 vs. Huntsville  Tue.  Mar. 3  7:05 p.m.  Landers Center SPHL Live 
Game 47 at Peoria  Fri.  Mar. 6  7:05 p.m.  Carver Arena  Sports 56/87.7 FM
Game 48 at Peoria Sat.  Mar. 7  7:05 p.m.  Carver Arena Sports 56/87.7 FM  

TRANSACTIONS

2/27/15 Mark Corbett (D)  ADD Signed 3-game tryout 
2/23/15  Paul Clancy (D)  DEL Traded to Huntsville 

NEED TO KNOW

  • The RiverKings enter the final month of the season in fifth place, just two points behind second place Columbus and Pensacola. The top six teams in the SPHL will make the playoffs.
  • Mississippi makes it final trip to Peoria this weekend to face the first place Rivermen. The teams will play six times in March. 
  • The RiverKings have introduced a "March to the President's Cup" mini plan for March. Plans are for two, three or four RiverKings home games and will save money on walkup prices. Visit riverkings.com/miniplans for more information.

WEEK IN REVIEW

Game 42: RiverKings get second straight shutout with 4-0 win over Ice Flyers

Peter Di Salvo stopped all 39 shots he faced to pace the RiverKings to their ninth straight win, 4-0, Tuesday night against the Pensacola Ice Flyers at the Landers Center. It was Di Salvo's second consecutive shutout win for the RiverKings, after he stopped 26 shots against Huntsville Saturday.

Leo Thomas got the RiverKings on the board early in the first when he deflected an Andrew Randazzo shot past Max Strang for a 1-0 lead at 4:29. Thomas doubled the lead when he stashed in a rebound at the left post at 12:07, giving the RiverKings a 2-0 lead. The Ice Flyers had five power plays in the first period, including a full two-minute 5-on-3, but they came up empty on each one.

The RiverKings, who didn't have a power play in the first, took advantage of both of theirs in the second to go up 4-0. First Sean Jones capitalized on a rebound created from a Dan Delisle one-timer from the slot at 1:52. Then at 19:01 Linden Bahm tapped in a Matt Whitehead pass for his fifth power-play goal of the season, which leads the team. Di Salvo was strong in the third to nail down his second straight shutout.

Game 43: Winning streak snapped in 3-0 loss to IceGators

The Louisiana IceGators scored a goal in all three periods and Marco De Filippo made 26 saves to shut out the RiverKings, 3-0, Thursday night at the Cajundome.

Louisiana went ahead 1-0 about seven minutes into the first period when Bret Peppler had a tap in at the right post. Tyler Klein took the initial shot, which went wide, but Shawn McNeil fed it in front from behind the net and Peppler finished it for the lead. That would hold as the only tally needed for Louisiana, but they added to their lead early in the second when Chris Wilson deflected in a pass from Adam Stuart at 2:23.

The RiverKings had their chances to even the game late in the second, when they hit two posts, and in the third with 13 shots, but De Filippo was up to the task and earned the shutout. Jake Hauswirth added an empty-net goal for Louisiana to make it a 3-0 final.


Game 44: Comeback bid comes up short in Columbus

The Columbus Cottonmouths rolled out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and the RiverKings comeback bid fell just short in a 5-4 loss at the Columbus Civic Coliseum Friday night.

The Cottonmouths got two goals in 20 seconds, one on a power play by Shawn Bates and then on a breakaway by Craig Simchuk, to grab a 2-0 lead at 7:39 of the first period. Matt Whitehead then scored on a penalty shot for the RiverKings, but after a discussion between the referee and linesmen it was waived off after they said he touched the puck twice. Will Aide made made it 3-0 at 17:51 of the first.

Both sides scored twice in the second period. Mississippi got goals from Whitehead and Ryan Marcuz, but both times the RiverKings scored the Cottonmouths answered right back. They got goals from Louis Belisle and Ben O'Quinn in the second.

The RiverKings tried to mount a comeback in the third. Reid Campbell started the third period scoring at 6:21 with a shot from the left circle. Less than two minutes later Marcuz got his second of the game to get the RiverKings within one at 7:56. Moments after that Andrew Randazzo was robbed in front by a sprawling save by Shannon Szabados. She made 21 saves in the third and 48 in the game for the win.

Game 45: Three-goal third period spurs RiverKings to 4-3 win over Ice Bears

The RiverKings salvaged the final game of a three-in-three road trip by scoring three goals in the third period to beat the Knoxville Ice Bears, 4-3, Feb. 28 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum.

The RiverKings took the lead in the opening minutes of the second period, when Devin Mantha spun a shot past Bryan Hince at 1:21. The play started just as the RiverKings killed a Knoxville power play and Dmitry Peremikin joined Mantha on a 2-on-1, which Mantha eventually scored on for a 1-0 lead. The Ice Bears then rolled off three straight goals over a six minute stretch, starting with Jake Johnson's power-play marker at 7:48. Josh Cousineau then scored back-to-back goals, one even strength and one shorthanded at 13:43, to give the Ice Bears the 3-1 lead heading into the third.

Mississippi began the comeback with a goal just 1:07 into the third. Knoxville just barely missed its second shorthanded goal of the game with a 3-on-1 rush and on the ensuing counterattack for the RiverKings Matt Whitehead scored on a breakaway to pull the RiverKings within one at 3-2. Whitehead would add another one to tie the game at 12:34 when he got loose in front of the net and slide the puck past Hince. The comeback was completed when Leo Thomas pounced on a rebound in the slot at 17:39 to fire a shot in for the eventual game-winning goal, giving the RiverKings a 4-3 victory. 

THE WEEK AHEAD

RiverKings vs. Havoc - Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - 7:05 p.m. - Landers Center
Promo: Bieber Birthday Bash - Free red-level ticket if you have a March birthday; Underwear and sock drive - Bring a new, sealed package of underwear or socks and save $3 on walkup ticket prices with the underwear and socks being donated to the Memphis Union Mission.

The RiverKings play their fifth game in eight days when they host the Huntsville Havoc Tuesday night at the Landers Center. It's the seventh of eight matches between the teams in the season series. The RiverKings have won five of the first six, including the last four the teams have played since Dec. 23. Mississippi has won both games at the Landers Center.

The Havoc have lost seven straight games (0-5-2) since Feb. 8, which is their third losing streak of at least seven games this season. Huntsville is 6-30-7 on the season and with just 19 points they are in last place in the SPHL. They were officially eliminated from playoff contention last week.

Drew Akins is the Havoc's leading scorer with 31 points (12g, 19a), including 20 (10g, 10a) in 28 games with Huntsville. Stuart Stefan is second on the team with 24 points (9g, 15a) and a team-high eight power-play goals. Entering Tuesday's game Stefan has goals in back-to-back games for the first time this season. He also is the top scorer for Huntsville against the RiverKings, contributing four points (1g, 3a) in six games. Luke Greiner is third on the team with 22 points (10g, 12a), including a team-high two shorthanded goals.

Huntsville's goalies have mainly split time this season, with Kevin Genoe appearing in 25 games and Jesse Kallechy getting in 19 games. Genoe is 5-15-5 with a 2.81 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage. Kallechy is 1-15-2 with a 3.20 goals-against average and an .888 save percentage. He hasn't won since Nov. 15 vs. Fayetteville.

RiverKings vs. Rivermen - Friday, March 6 & Saturday, March 7 2015 - 7:05 p.m. - Carver Arena

The RiverKings play the first two games of a six-game March series with the Peoria Rivermen as they head to Carver Arena in Peoria Friday and Saturday. The teams have met five times already this season, all in January, with the RiverKings winning three of five. They face each other six times in March, with the final four matches coming in back-to-back weekends at the Landers Center. 

The Rivermen won two out of three games of a three-in-three with Fayetteville last weekend and they are 7-3-0 in their last 10, holding steady in first place in the SPHL with a 31-14-3 record and 65 points. They are nine points ahead of Columbus and Pensacola, who are tied for second place, although both teams have games in hand; the Cottonmouths have four games in hand and the Ice Flyers have three. 

Josh Harris is the Rivermen's leading scorer with 38 points (17g, 21a) in 48 games. He has 14 power-play points (5g, 9a) and he has three game-winning goals, which is tied for most among active players for Peoria. Alex Hudson is second on the team with 37 points (12g, 25a) and a team-high plus-18 rating. He also has three game-winning goals. Garrett Vermeersch is third with 36 points (16g, 20a) and he posted a hat trick in Peoria's 9-2 win over Fayetteville March 1. 

In net Kyle Rank is the clear number one for the Rivermen, having appeared in 36 games. he is 23-9-2 with a 2.34 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage. He is tied with Max Strang with 23 wins while playing two fewer games. He is 2-1-0 in three starts against the RiverKings, allowing just three goals in those starts. He shut out the RiverKings, 1-0, Jan. 10 making 37 saves.

Posted by Lukas Favale at 7:45 AM

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Next Game

RiverKings vs. Havoc
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