RiverKings come up short, downed by Bulls 3-1

Shane Bennett scored in his RiverKings debut, but Mississippi falls to the Bulls 3-1 at Planters Bank Ice at Landers Center. Coming into the game, the RiverKings were 9-0 when scoring first, and things looked good as one of the newest RiverKings, Shane Bennett broke open the scoring in the first period. Assisted by Ralfs Grinbergs, Bennett sniped a shot that beat Bulls netminder Maveric Parks and put the RiverKings in the lead for the first, and only, time of the evening.
Birmingham wouldn’t wait long to retaliate, as only two minutes and nine seconds elapsed before the Bulls got on the scoreboard. It was Josh Harris on the power, who beat goaltender Jared Rutledge and pulled the Bulls even at 1-1. It was Harris’ third goal against the RiverKings in two games this season.
The first period would conclude in the tie, but Birmingham and Keegan Bruce would take the lead 5:13 into the second period. Assisted by Sean Gammage and Evan Schultz, Bruce took a shot immediately off the face-off and snuck one past Rutledge for the 2-1 Bulls lead.
The RiverKings best opportunity to tie the game came in the third period when Shane Bennett’s high shot slot rang off the outside post and even hit goalie Parks in the back. Birmingham’s defense jumped on the loose puck and cleared the zone, ending the RiverKings hopes of tying the game.
The Bulls would tack on the insurance goal only moments later, when Craig Simchuk found Alexander Tauline all alone to the right of Jared Rutledge in a mini two-on-one. The pace glanced off Tauline’s stick and hopped over the shoulder of Rutledge, who couldn’t get across in time, and the Bulls scored their third unanswered goal of the evening and left Southaven with the W.
The RiverKings are back in action tomorrow night when the team travels north to take on the Evansville Thunderbolts. The last time the two teams met, Donald Olivieri sent Evansville home unhappy with an overtime winner in front of the home crowd at Planters Bank Ice at Landers Center.
Game Notes: Coming into tonight, RiverKings goal Jared Rutledge had beaten the Bulls in the previous two matchups. With the loss, Rutledge goes to 2-2-0 on the season. Bulls goalie Maveric Parks notched his first win of the season moving to 1-7-1. RiverKings forward Shane Bennett scored his fourth goal of the season and his first as a RiverKing in his first game with the club. Ralfs Grinbergs’ assist in the first period was his fifth point against the Bulls this season. He has one goal and four assists in the teams’ three meetings. The Bulls have scored 18 goals this season with seven coming at the expense of the RiverKings. Goals against Mississippi account for 39% of Birmingham’s total goals this season.
About the Mississippi RiverKings
The RiverKings are supported by our community partners, season ticket holders, fans, and grants from Maddox Foundation, an independent private foundation based in Hernando, Miss. To find out more about the RiverKings, call 662-342-1755 or visit RiverKings.com.
Posted by Mississippi RiverKings at 10:01 PM

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PEO y-Peoria 56 38 13 5 81
MAC x-Macon 56 33 16 7 73
PEN x-Pensacola 56 33 16 7 73
HUN x-Huntsville 56 30 16 10 70
KNX x-Knoxville 56 30 20 6 66
EVV x-Evansville 56 27 20 9 63
MRK x-RiverKings 56 29 25 2 60
RKE x-Roanoke 56 26 26 4 56
BIR Birmingham 56 22 28 6 50
FAY Fayetteville 56 12 38 6 30
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Updated: April 8, 2018

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