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Third-Period Comeback Falls Short in Louisiana

By: David Schmoll
david@riverkings.com
January 31, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. – For the second time in as many games in Louisiana, the Mississippi RiverKings (19-13-3) battled back with third-period goals, but could not complete the comeback in a 5-4 loss to the Louisiana IceGators (22-12-3) on Friday night.

The RiverKings got the scoring started in the first period. Just over five minutes in, Brett Valliquette hammered home a Phil Bronner pass past Kiefer Smiley to put the visitors ahead 1-0. The RiverKings took that lead into the later minutes of the period before Shawn McNeil’s shot, on the power play, deflected off of Jeff Grant and past Matt Krahn to tie the game at one going into the first intermission.

The teams traded goals early in the second. Adam Stuart gave Louisiana the lead four minutes into the middle frame to give the ‘Gators a short-lived lead. Twelve seconds later, Matt Harrington pushed a loose puck in the slot past Smiley to tie the game at two.

Then Louisiana opened up the scoring. Kirk Byczynski tallied his fourth goal of the season on a shot through traffic on the power play to give the ‘Gators a 3-2 lead 6:52 into the second. Two minutes later, Jeremy Boyer gave Louisiana a two-goal lead on a breakaway pass and beat Krahn between the legs as the ‘Gators took a 4-2 lead into the second intermission.

The early moments of the third belonged to the IceGators before the RiverKings battled back late. Jordan Braid gave his team a much-needed insurance marker off a rebound on the power play to extend the Louisiana lead to 5-2. But in the waning moments of the period, the RiverKings battled back. With Tyler Lyon and Tyler Barr in the penalty box for Louisiana, the RiverKings capitalized. Matt Whithead got the scoring started with his 16th goal of the season before Patrick Schafer notched his first goal as a RiverKing on a rebound in front to cut the deficit to 5-4. Louisiana then killed off a late RiverKing power play to hold on for the win.

Matt Krahn (9-5-3) stopped 20 of 25 shots against in the loss. Kiefer Smiley (12-6-2) picked up the win after stopping 17 of 21 shots on goal.

The RiverKings return home tomorrow night to take on the Columbus Cottonmouths at 7:05 p.m. Be sure to bring a new or lightly used book to donate to Horn Lake Libraries and receive $2 off any regularly priced adult ticket.

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 David Schmoll at 10:21 PM

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TEAM GP W L OT PTS
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MRK RiverKings 15 10 5 0 20
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