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RiverKings win come-from-behind thriller over Huntsville

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - Mark Pustin tallied a hat trick as the Mississippi RiverKings (8-2-0) found themselves trailing four times on Tuesday night, but came from behind to knock off the Huntsville Havoc (6-5-0) 6-5 on Tuesday night.

The teams traded goals in the first period. Jason Popek netted his first goal of the night when he collected a pass from Brett Lutes on the power play and beat the glove of Matt Grogen to give the Havoc their first lead of the night 7:24 into the first. But Mark Pustin erased the deficit less than two minutes later with a power play goal of his own when he pushed a Dean Willmott rebound past Kevin Genoe to tie the game at one. Popek found the back of the net for Huntsville again from Lutes at the 12:10 mark, but again, the RiverKings responded with Tim Boyle's first professional goal, a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that beat Genoe to tie the game at two. Will Aide finished the scoring in the first to give Huntsville a 3-2 lead going into the first intermission when he lifted a close range shot over the shoulder of Grogen with under two minutes to play in the first.

The second period saw just as much action as the first. Popek finished the hat trick 3:26 into the second on a shot from the high slot to extend Huntsville's lead to two. Then, the RiverKings answered with two goals. Pustin collected his second goal of the night on a breakaway pass from Linden Bahm and for the second-consecutive game, Ryan Marcuz scored a goal late in the second period as the RiverKings went into the locker room tied at four.

In the third, the Havoc retook the lead for the fourth and final time. Jason Popek notched his fourth goal of the night, a power play goal on a wrap around, to push the Havoc lead to 5-4. Again, the RiverKings fought back. a shot from the blueline bounced off a pair of RiverKings, eventually deflecting off of the skate of Linden Bahm and past a sprawling Genoe to tie the game at five 9:43 into the third. Then, Mark Pustin scored his third goal of the night, on the power play, on a feed from Mantha, over the glove of Genoe as the RiverKings extended their home winning streak to five games.

Matt Grogen (4-0-0) picked up the win after stopping 19 of 24 shots against. Kevin Genoe (5-4-0) turned aside 37 of 43 shots against in the loss. The RiverKings power play went 3-7 while the Havoc were 2-5 with the man advantage.

The RiverKings are back in action on Friday night against the Knoxville Ice Bears in Knoxville at 6:35 p.m. Catch all the action at Old Style Bar-B-Q in Olive Branch for the Official Away Game Watch Party.

The RiverKings return home on Saturday night, November 28 to face the Ice Bears once again for the annual Teddy Bear Toss benefiting Toys for Tots. Fans are encouraged to bring a new, plush toy to throw onto the ice when the RiverKings score their first goal. If the RiverKings collect over 2,000 bears, all fans in attendance will receive a free ticket to a December or January home game.


Mark Pustin scores his second of three goals of the night, beating Huntsville Havoc netminder Kevin Genoe, on a breakaway as the Mississippi RiverKings came from behind to win their fifth straight home game. © Mark Matthews

About the Mississippi RiverKings

The RiverKings are supported by our community partners, season ticket holders, fans, and grants from 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 David Schmoll at 9:50 PM

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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
 
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Updated: December 9, 2017