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RiverKings Hold off Thunderbolts Comeback, Win 6-4

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - The RiverKings hold on late to defeat the Evansville Thunderbolts 6-4 at Planters Bank Ice at Landers Center. Ryan Marcuz broke a 4-4 tie late in the third to propel the RiverKings to their fourth straight win while handing Evansville their eighth straight loss. The RiverKings started the game with three first period goals, and four unanswered to start but the Thunderbolts came roaring back. 

Brantley Sherwood scored a shorthanded goal to open up the scoring for the RiverKings just over two minutes into the first period. Less than a minute later, Ryan Salkeld found Matt Harrington who calmly put the puck past Thunderbolts goaltender, Matt Leon to double the Mississippi lead.

The RiverKings weren't finished yet, and Devin Mantha ended the first period in style with a top-shelf goal from the high slot, and the RiverKings rode a comfortable 3-0 lead to the locker room at the first intermission.

Out of the break, the RiverKings carried the momentum into the start of the second. Bryan Arneson scored on the power play, the second goal with the man advantage for the RiverKings on the game, to boost the RiverKings to a 4-0 lead. It was at that point that Evansville swapped goaltenders, pulling Matt Leon in favor of Jonah Imoo.

The change must have stirred the Thunderbolts into action as they would score the games next four goals, starting with a Nick Lazorko power-play goal for their first of the game. The RiverKings rode the three-goal lead to the locker room for the second intermission. 

In the third, it was all Evansville to start. John Scorcia set up Frank Schumacher who pulled the Thunderbolts within two goals just two minutes into the third period, and the rally was on. The RiverKings seemed to be fading in the third period as Scorcia scored with 11 minutes left and RiverKings’ lead was cut to one goal.

The Mississippi goaltender, Jared Rutledge, almost saved the equalizing goal but Mike Fazio’s shot had too much power, as it went up and over Rutledge off his blocker. 

With the score now 4-4, Mississippi did not give in. Captain Devin Mantha found Ryan Marcuz in front of the net who put the RiverKings up for good, 5-4. Just for good measure, Donald Olivieri added his third assist of the game when he set up Koba Jass for the ensuring sixth goal of the game for the black and gold. Jared Rutledge and the RiverKings held out for the remainder of the period and won the game 6-4.

The RiverKings return home to Planters Bank Ice at Landers Center, this Tuesday night versus the Huntsville Havoc. It's Turnt Tuesday which means fans have the opportunity to win some great prizes with in-game trivia, $2 sodas, $2 popcorn, $2 hot dogs and $2 chips and cheese. Check out Riverkings.com/turnt for more information.

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 10:21 PM

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Schedule

Standings

TEAM GP W L OT PTS
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
 
Full Standings

Updated: April 8, 2018

x-Clinched Playoff Berth
y-Clinched Regular Season Title