Rivermen end RiverKings winning streak at four

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – The Peoria Rivermen (19-10-3) scored once in the first, once in the second and twice in the third while Kyle Rank turned aside 41 shots to beat the Mississippi RiverKings (16-15-2), 4-1, at the Landers Center Friday night. The loss snapped a season-high four-game winning streak for the RiverKings.

Jake Trask staked the Rivermen to a 1-0 lead just 5:28 into the first period with a power-play goal. Alex Hudson got the puck in front of the net and Trask jammed in the rebound to give the Rivermen the advantage. Neither team would score the rest of the first period, despite the RiverKings getting a pair of power plays.

Peoria doubled its lead 2:42 into the second period. Directly off a right circle faceoff win by Josh Harris, Christian Weidauer sent a point shot which found its way through traffic and past Adam Courchaine for a 2-0 lead. Again that would hold as the only goal of the frame so Peoria had a 2-0 lead entering the third.

The RiverKings upped their pressure in the final period but goalie Kyle Rank stood firm. After making a flurry of saves the Rivermen cleared the puck to Mike Gurtler, who snuck behind the defense for a breakaway. He slid a shot between Courchaine's pads at 9:04 to up the Peoria lead to three. Mississippi ended Rank's shutout bid with 5:49 remaining in the third. Matt Whitehead scored his 14th goal of the season with a power-play goal between the circles. He received a pass from Leo Thomas and lifted a shot past a sprawling Rank to make it 3-1. The RiverKings would go right back to the power play with a chance to pull within one, but Rank made a few stops and a few minutes later Alec Hagaman scored an empty-net goal with 1:51 remaining to secure a 4-1 Rivermen win.

Notes: Matt Whitehead's third period power-play goal was his first power-play goal of the season, despite leading the team with 14 goals... Leo Thomas extended his scoring streak to four games (3g, 5a) with his assist on Whitehead's goal. Thomas was named Easton Player of the Week for his seven points (3g, 4a) in three games last weekend.

The RiverKings are back home Friday, Jan. 23 for Sci-Fi Night against the Peoria Rivermen. Fans dressed in Sci-Fi costume get a half-priced ticket at the Landers Center Box Office. The 501st will be at the game and take part in the ceremonial puck drop. Single-game tickets can be purchased at riverkings.com/ticketmaster and groups of 15 or more get a discount, with group tickets starting at $8 per ticket, by calling the front office at 662-342-1755.

About the Mississippi RiverKings

The Mississippi RiverKings are supported by their community partners, season ticket holders, fans, and by program-related investments of 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 Lukas Favale at 9:39 PM


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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