November 13, 2017 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Mississippi RiverKings
ROANOKE, Virginia - The RiverKings are headed back to Planters Bank Ice at Landers Center winners of two straight after finishing out their back to back games versus Roanoke, knocking off the Rail Yard Dawgs 4-2. Coupled with the overtime win on Friday night, the RiverKings took four of a possible four points away from the Rail Yard Dawgs this weekend. Bryan Arneson tallied two goals, and Ryan Marcuz added his second goal in as many nights to propel the RiverKings to victory.
Saturday night began with a similar tone as Friday did with the RiverKings getting the edge early. Bryan Arneson, playing in only his second game with Mississippi since signing a three-game amateur tryout contract, netted his first professional goal only 5:55 into the game. Great offensive pressure to start the game led to Arneson ripping a shot that beat former RiverKing goaltender Brad Barone five hole, opening the scoring for the RiverKings, 1-0.
Roughly five minutes later, the RiverKings got a golden opportunity when Nick Schneider and Riley Spraggs committed penalties only one minute apart, leaving the Rail Yard Dawgs to fight off a 5-on-3 for sixty seconds. It was during that 5-on-3 that the RiverKings powerplay executed precision passing, Ryan Marcuz running the half boards dropped to his nearest point man, Kristaps Bazevics who connected along the blue line with his fellow defenseman Vytal Cote. Cote, in just his second game back from a stint in the ECHL, unloaded a rocket that tickled the twine and the RiverKings took a 2-0 lead to the first intermission.
While the first period was all RiverKings, the second period was the exact opposite. For the second night in a row, the Rail Yard Dawgs would score less than a minute into a period, this time it was Mitchell Mueller on the power play rifling a shot past RiverKings goalie Tyler Green.
Exactly five minutes later, at the 14:28 mark of the second period, Riley Spraggs extended his point streak to six games he beat Tyler Green with a point blast to tie the game at 2-2. The second period was known for more than just scoring when Rail Yard Dawg defenseman Chris Kravtchouck hit Richard Coyne along the boards and was given a match misconduct for an illegal hit to the head and kicked out of the game. Coye was battling for the puck along the boards with his back to the glass. While digging to get the puck loose, Kravtchouck came across the ice targeting Coyne's head and drawing the game misconduct. The penalty came with only 13 seconds left to go in the period, giving Mississippi 4 minutes and 47 seconds worth of power play time to carry over into the third.
It wouldn't take long for the RiverKings to respond, only 70 seconds after the period began Ryan Marcuz off a feed from Derek Sutliffe buried the puck in the wide-open net and gave the RiverKings the 3-2 lead. Vytal Cote, though not credited with an assist on the goal, started the play with a long lead pass that landed on the stick of Devin Mantha who barely touched it for Sutliffe. The play was executed with such precision that as Sutliffe gained the zone, Marcuz slipped in behind the defense and slammed home the cross-ice feed. It was a lead they would hold onto for the remainder of the game, but not before Bryan Arneson could register his second goal of the game in the waning minutes of the period.
Devin Mantha's assist on the third goal of the game was his fourth assist and 12th point in five career games versus the Rail Yard Dogs. Tyler Green turned away 34 of 36 shots for the win while Roanoke goaltender, and former RiverKing, Brad Barone gets the loss after making 45 saves on 49 shots.
The RiverKings are back in action on Tuesday when the Pensacola comes to Southaven. It's All-You-Can-Eat night at the RiverKings game, where a $28 ticket gets you as much hot dogs, popcorn, chips and cheese, and soft drinks as you can eat. Get your tickets now at www.riverkings.com/allyoucaneat.