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Three-goal third sparks RiverKings comeback

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Mississippi RiverKings (26-17-2) scored three goals in the third period to erase a 3-1 deficit and defeat the Knoxville Ice Bears (26-17-3), 4-3, Saturday night at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. 

After a scoreless first period the RiverKings took the lead early in the second. Just moments after an Ice Bears power play ended the RiverKings had a two-on-one, started with a clear by Sean Jones. Devin Mantha raced down the puck and sent a pass across to Dmitry Peremikin, fresh out of the penalty box. He couldn't get a shot away, but the puck tipped back to Mantha, who spun a shot past Bryan Hince for a 1-0 lead at 1:21 of the second. From there the Ice Bears scored three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead. Jake Johnson got the first on the power play at 7:48. Josh Cousineau collected the next two, the latter of which came shorthanded at 13:34, making it 3-1.

The RiverKings started their rally less than two minutes into the third. The RiverKings got an early power play, but the Ice Bears took the puck and had a three-on-one shorthanded. Eric Satim barely missed finishing a pass across and on the ensuing rush Matt Whitehead went in on a breakaway for the RiverKings. He faked a shot and deked to the backhead to roof a shot under the crossbar for a 3-2 game at 1:07 of the third. It stayed that way for over 10 minutes, until Whitehead struck again. The RiverKings had possession in the offensive zone and the puck bounced in front to him right in front of the crease. He beat Hince at 12:34 to tie the game.

Both sides had chances over the next five minutes, but and Daniel Sobotka and Dennis Sicard dropped the gloves at 13:18, but the final goal of the game came at 17:39. The RiverKings started a rush from their defensive zone with a pass from Andrew Randazzo to Whitehead, who went down the left wing. He went to the left circle and fired a shot on goal, which created a rebound in the slot. Leo Thomas found it and fired in a shot from the high slot to put the RiverKings back on top 4-3. That would hold as the final score.

Notes: The RiverKings improved to 4-15-1 when trailing after two periods, matching Knoxville (4-15-0) for the most wins when trailing after two. The Ice Bears dropped to 17-2-0 when leading after two periods... With three points (2g, 1a) Matt Whitehead had his second three-point game of the week and he finished the week with seven points (3g, 4a).

The RiverKings are back home Tuesday, Mar. 3 against the Huntsville Havoc for the Bieber Birthday Bash. Fans with a March birthday, like Justin Bieber, will get a free red-level ticket at the Box Office. Because of Bieber's modeling career the team is holding a new underwear and sock drive to benefit the Memphis Union Mission. Fans who bring a new, sealed pack of underwear or socks will save $3 on their tickets at the Box Office. 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 9:57 PM

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Next Game

Fri, Dec. 15 @ Birmingham - 7:35 PM

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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