January 8, 2018 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Mississippi RiverKings
SOUTHAVEN, Miss - The RiverKings scored three unanswered goals to climb within one but fall short, 5-4, to the Rivermen.
Peoria would score early and often in the first period, netting three goals in the first eight minutes of the game. With the early onslaught, Coach Derek Landmesser opted to pull goaltender Tyler Green in favor of Jared Rutledge. The swap in goalies sparked the RiverKings offense as they scored moments later. Taylor Pryce came hard into the zone crashing the net and was aided by Matt Harrington to found the loose puck and slammed it home to pull the RiverKings within two at 2-1.
The second period proved to be a substantial obstacle for the RiverKings who would give up the next two goals and by the ten-minute mark trailed by a hefty, 5-1 score. The black and gold refused to go quietly as they came roaring back, starting in the waning minutes of the second period. With an offensive zone draw, Ryan Marcuz won it clean back to Cody Walsh who ripped a shot from the point and beat Tyler Parks five-hole to get the RiverKings back on the board and to stop the bleeding once again.
They would carry the 5-2 deficit into the locker room but kept the momentum going into the third. Matt Harrington would get credited with his second goal of the night pulling the RiverKings within one, 5-3. It would be Dillan Fox who sent the building into a tizzy when he scored his league-leading 15th goal, and suddenly with around twelve minutes to go the RiverKings were within one, 5-4.
It would prove to be a mountain that was just out of reach for the RiverKings as they couldn't crack Tyler Parks for a fifth time to even things up, and the Rivermen would escape from Southaven with a 5-4 win.