|Game 3 at Columbus
||Columbus Civic Center
||SPHL Live/Stretch Internet
|Noah's Gift 5K Run/Walk/Skate
NEED TO KNOW
- The RiverKings opened their 24th season in the Mid-South with their home opener against the Louisiana IceGators Oct. 23 at the Landers Center.
- The RiverKings won their first game of the season Saturday night in Macon, Georgia, in their first head-to-head meeting with the new Macon Mayhem.
- The entire RiverKings team, including players and staff, will be at the Noah's Gift Memorial 5K Run-Walk-Skate on Saturday, Oct. 31 at Maddox Foundation. Show your support by registering for the race via the race registration page.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Game 1: RiverKings shut down by former goalie Courchaine
The Mississippi RiverKings opened their 24th season at home against the Louisiana IceGators on Oct. 23 in a matchup of the 2014-15 RiverKings goalies.
Peter Di Salvo started for the RiverKings while Adam Courchaine, who was traded from the RiverKings to the IceGators in the offseason, started for Louisiana. Both goalies were in control for the first two periods. Courchaine stopped 17 shots in the first period and another 10 in the second period while Di Salvo made seven saves in the first and 10 in the second to keep the game deadlocked at zero after two periods.
In the third, Louisiana jumped ahead at 1:58 as Blake Hietala took advantage of a RiverKings defensive zone turnover and giving the IceGators a 1-0 lead. Later in the period, Jake Hauswirth snapped a shot off of a left circle faceoff win and the puck rolled off the arm of Di Salvo and skittered over the goal line for a 2-0 Louisiana lead at 7:23. The RiverKings ended with four shots in the third period as Courchaine made 31 saves for his first SPHL shutout.
Game 2: RiverKings jump on Mayhem, win first meeting 4-1
The RiverKings jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the halfway point of the second period and cruised to a 4-1 win over the Macon Mayhem Oct. 24, in the first match between the RiverKings and Mayhem.
The RiverKings took a 1-0 lead late in the first period when Ben Rubin redirected a pass from Michael Beaudry in the slot with 3:19 left in the first. About a minute later Rubin picked up his second point on an assist as he twirled a backhand pass to Reid Campbell in the slot, where Campbell fired in his first of the season for a 2-0 lead after the first period.
In the second period, the RiverKings went up 3-0 after Leo Thomas deposited a rebound in the slot at 10:37. Macon would pull back within two on a goal from Mark McGowen at 14:45 of the second, closing the gap to 3-1 after two. Mark Pustin gave the RiverKings a 4-1 lead at 1:24 of the third on a power-play goal, his first pro goal and Matt Grogan made that hold up for his first win with the RiverKings.
THE WEEK AHEAD
RiverKings vs. Cottonmouths - Friday, October 30, 6:30 p.m. - Columbus Civic Center
The RiverKings return to Georgia for the second week in a row as they face the Columbus Cottonmouths for the first time this season. The teams will meet four times in the regular season, twice in Columbus and twice at the Landers Center.
The Cottonmouths began the regular season with back-to-back losses last weekend, dropping a 4-3 decision in a shootout to Huntsville on opening night and a 4-2 game in Knoxville on Saturday. They are 0-1-1 and have 1 point, which puts them in eighth place in the SPHL after the opening week. Last year Columbus opened the season with seven straight regulation losses before reeling off 10 straight wins.
Columbus had four goal scorers on opening weekend, led by Tyler Henry's two goals and three total points, most on the team. The Cottonmouths also got goals from Ben O'Quinn, Louis Belisle and Chris Rial, all of who finished with two points (1g, 1a) last week. Eight different players picked up at least one point in their two games.
In net Shannon Szabados was named the opening night starter for the Cottonmouths and she played in one of the two games last week. She took the shootout loss against Huntsville, allowing three goals on 50 shots, good for a .940 save percentage. Joel Danyluk played in the second game for Columbus and also allowed three goals on 37 shots for a .919 save percentage.