December 17, 2017 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Mississippi RiverKings
SOUTHAVEN, Miss - Dillan Fox netted two goals, but the RiverKings fell to the Havoc 4-2 on the first Face-Off Field Trip of the season.
Before a crowd of over six thousand rowdy school children at Planters Bank Ice at Landers Center, the RiverKings fell into an early hole on Tuesday Morning. With both teams coming into the game looking to shake a two-game skid, it was the Havoc who scored first. It was Shawn Bates who broke the scoreless tie with a wrist shot from the high slot that beat RiverKings goalie Tyler Green above the blocker and the Havoc commanded the game early, 1-0.
It would be Huntsville who would score the next three goals, jumping out to a 4-0 lead over the RiverKings. Shawn Bates wasn't done after one, with the score already 2-0 in favor of the visitors, Bates blasted a shot from the point and netted his second of the game and his second in the first period.
After emerging from the locker room with the score 3-0, the RiverKings tightened up for the middle frame. Even with the more fundamental play, the RiverKings couldn't shake the bad bounces, however. While on the power play, a hopping puck handcuffed RiverKings defenseman Kristaps Bazevics. While he struggled to control the bouncing biscuit, Shawn Bates rushed the point and skated away with a shorthanded breakaway. Bates would make three dekes and beat Green five-hole for the shorthanded, and hat-trick, goal.
The RiverKings wouldn't give up and came roaring back. Another power play opportunity for the RiverKings, this time a 5-on-3 situation, paid off when Dillan Fox was finally able to solve Havoc netminder Keegan Asmundson.
With the score now 4-1 in favor of the Havoc, almost the entire third period went past without any more cracks in the goaltenders' armor. With one and a half minutes to go, Dillan Fox would get his second goal of the night and give the RiverKings life in the waning minutes of the game. Charging the net hard, Fox stumbled and got a backhanded push shot off which fooled Asmundson and squeaked between his legs and across the goal line. It would be Fox's second goal of the game and his seventh on the season. Even with the momentum and the tally, it proved to be too little, too late as the RiverKings fell to the Havoc by a score of 4-2.
The RiverKings next three games are on the road, this Friday vs. Birmingham and this Saturday vs. Roanoke, before traveling to Peoria on Friday, December 22. The next home game for the RiverKings is December 23 vs. Pensacola. Tickets for that game are on sale now at www.riverkings.com/ticketmaster or by calling the RiverKings front office at 662-342-1755.