RiverKings Reign Supreme, Topple Rivermen 6-2 Friday

November 24, 2017 7:15 pm

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Photo Credit: Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen

RiverKings Reign Supreme, Topple Rivermen 6-2 Friday

Rivermen fall behind early, can’t regroup in defeat

 

Peoria, IL –  The Peoria Rivermen got off to a slow start, and couldn’t recover Friday night as they fell 6-2 to the Mississippi RiverKings Friday at Carver Arena. With the loss, the Rivermen slip to 6-4-1 on the season, and slip into a fifth-place tie with Knoxville in the SPHL standings, three points behind the first-place RiverKings before a Saturday rematch in Peoria.

 

The RiverKings broke the scoreless tie with a pair of goals early in the opening frame. With the teams skating 4-on-4, RiverKings center Devin Mantha slipped a pass to teammate Vytal Cote in the slot. Cote flicked a wrister over the shoulder of Rivermen netminder Eric Levine at 1:35 of the period for the 1-0 lead. Mississippi doubled their lead minutes later when winger Derek Sutliffe fed a pass from the right-wing boards to the doorstep, where teammate Daniel Tedesco slipped the puck under Levine’s pads at 4:19 for the 2-0 RiverKings advantage, chasing Levine from the contest.

 

The Rivermen got on the board past the midway point of the second period. Peoria defenseman Dave Pszenyczny sent a long pass from deep in his own zone, through neutral ice, to a waiting Dakota Klecha. Klecha received the pass at the RiverKings blue line, skated down the left wing boards, cut across the left circle, and slipped a shot past the outstretched left leg of RiverKings goaltender Tyler Green to cut the RiverKings edge to 2-1 at 13:29 of the second.

 

The RiverKings built their lead to a three-goal advantage with a pair of tallies in the final minute of the middle stanza. It started when RiverKings defenseman Don Oliveri collected a lose puck and sent a pass to Sutliffe in the high slot. Sutliffe then snapped a shot over the blocker of new Rivermen goaltender Tyler Parks for a 3-1 lead at 19:00 of the period. Mississippi added another goal just 30 seconds later when RiverKings defenseman Kristaps Bazevics took a feed from Brantley Sherwood and flicked the puck past Parks for the 4-1 RiverKings lead.

 

The Rivermen cut into the lead early in the third period, while on the power play. With Oliveri in the sin bin for interference, Rivermen winger Alec Hagaman controlled the puck in the right circle, deked a defender, and put a shot on goal that was turned aside by Green. The ensuing rebound kicked out to Rivermen winger Mike Gurtler, who slipped the puck between Green’s legs to cut the Mississippi advantage to 4-2 at 1:38 of the third.

 

The RiverKings regained a three-goal advantage early in the third while shorthanded. With Richard Coyne in the box for interference, Sutliffe picked up the puck and raced down the left-wing boards of the Rivermen zone before firing a wrister that eluded Parks for a 5-2 RiverKings lead at 2:14 of the third.

 

Mississippi added a goal late in the final frame while on the power play. With Rivermen winger Will Smith serving a roughing penalty for Hagaman, RiverKings center Dylan Fox stationed himself outside the left circle, took a cross-ice feed from teammate Jamie Hill, and flipped a wrister past Parks’ glove for the eventual 6-2 final score at 19:03.

 

Levine did not take a decision, stopping four of six shots faced before departing. Parks suffered the loss in goal, stopping 30 of 34 shots faced in his first action of the season.

 

Notes:  Pszenyczny assisted on Klecha’s goal and has notched six points in his last five games, all assists….With a goal in the second period, Klecha has a three-game point streak dating back to 11/17…Tonight was the first action Parks has seen since April 7, 2017 at Mississippi, a span of 231 days… The Rivermen return to action tomorrow night at Carver Arena when they rematch the RiverKings at 7:15…Saturday is Peoria’s annual CityLink Stuff-A-Bus night, with the first 1,000 fans to donate a nonperishable food item receiving a Rivermen t-shirt…Saturday is also Chicago Blackhawks night, with a special appearance from the Blackhawks Ice Crew…Tickets can be purchased through the Rivermen office at (309)-676-1040…The broadcast of the game can be heard, starting with the pre-game show, at 6:55 p.m. at http://mixlr.com/peoria-rivermen/

 

Group, single game, and season tickets for Peoria's 35th season of professional hockey presented by Midwest Orthopaedic Center are on sale at the Toyota Box Office in the Peoria Civic Center, or by phone at the Rivermen office, located at 201 S.W. Jefferson Street, or over the phone at (309) 676-1040. For the latest Rivermen news and notes, follow online at www.rivermen.net or through Facebook (www.facebook.com/PeoriaRivermen) - Twitter(https://twitter.com/Peoria_Rivermen)