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RiverKings Host Tulsa for Two this Weekend

February 4, 2011 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Mississippi RiverKings News Release

SOUTHAVEN, MS --- The Mississippi RiverKings of the Central Hockey League begin a two-game home stand against Berry Conference rival Tulsa Oilers at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven. Game time for tonight and tomorrow night's contests is at 7:05 PM.

The RiverKings come into tonight's action with a record of 21-20-2 after they finished a week-long series with the Bloomington PrairieThunder last Saturday night in a 4-3 overtime loss at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven. Patrik Levesque, Matt Summers, and Darrell Stoddard were the goal scorers for the RiverKings, and goaltender Larry Sterling made 19 saves on 23 shots on net. Mississippi had a 2-1 lead after one period, but needed Summers' third period power play to tie the game and send it to overtime. Bloomington out shot the RiverKings 23-20 for the game and each team scored one power play goal. For the week, Mississippi was 1-1-1 for three points against the P'Thunder.

The Oilers make their second visit of the season to the DeSoto Civic Center tonight, and their first of four this month. After this weekend's set of games, Tulsa returns for another set of back-to-back games on February 25th and 26th. This is only the fourth meeting of nine games between these two teams. Tulsa has won two, including a 12 round shootout 5-4 on December 3rd. Tulsa is 2-1-0 in the head to head series, while the RiverKings are 1-1-1.

One week after signing to a professional tryout contract with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, goaltender Alexander Pechurskiy was returned to the RiverKings' active roster last Sunday. Pechurskiy did not appear with WB/S during his week's stint in Pennsylvania.

Of note, Patrik Levesque and Matt Summers have each scored goals in their last two games and have three points in their last two contests. Levesque's nine penalty minutes Saturday night were the most he's taken in a game since being tagged with a personal season-high 22 in the January 2nd victory over Bossier-Shreveport. Darrell Stoddard has scored goals in his last two games and has a four-game point streak (2 goals, 2 assists). Louis Dumont has a two-game point streak (1 goal, 1 assist). Brennan Sarazin has assisted on goals in his last two contests.

Russell Smith plays in his 200th career professional game in tonight's contest against the Oilers. Prior to tonight, 54 appearances have been in the Central Hockey League (11 in New Mexico) and 43 have been in a RiverKings' sweater. R.G. Flath is expected to hit career professional contest number 200 tomorrow night against Tulsa.

Goaltender Larry Sterling's 5-0 shut out of Bloomington last Friday night was his second of the season and first since blanking the Mavericks in Missouri exactly two weeks before last Friday, on January 14th. The RiverKings' record for goaltender shut outs is three, last set by current Texas Brahmas' goalie Kevin Beech two seasons ago.

Mississippi ended Saturday night with a 7-5-1 record for 15 points in January, the most points earned in one month of the 2010-11 regular season. However, the RiverKings are still looking for a three-game winning streak, as it has earned two-game win streaks six times this year. The RiverKings' longest losing streak has been three, last set December 22nd-29th.

Tonight's contest will be heard on the Flagship Station for RiverKings hockey, Sports 56, WHBQ-AM. Pre-game coverage tonight will begin at 6:50 PM with veteran broadcaster Bob Bakken on the call.

Tomorrow night's contest will be aired on 87.7 FM, The Pig, WPGF Radio, with pre-game coverage again starting at 6:50 PM.

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