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RiverKings' Lose 5-2 in Huntsville to End Season

April 15, 2018 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Mississippi RiverKings News Release

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The RiverKings season comes to an end after dropping the final game of the SPHL Challenge Round to the Havoc, 5-2.

For the first time in the series, the RiverKings found themselves in a trailing position, and it wasn't something they could overcome. Huntsville jumped out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when Sy Nutkevitched blocked a Donald Oliveri show springing the Havoc forward free for a shorthanded breakaway that he tucked past Tyler Green. Mississippi had their chances in the first period but couldn't top goaltender Mike DeLaVergne, and the teams headed to the locker room with the RiverKings down 1-0.

During the middle period, the wheels began to fall off the cart when Mississippi allowed three goals to the Havoc who extended their lead to 4-0 heading into the second break. Dylan Hood, Nolan Kaiser, and Tyler Piacentini all scored for the Havoc in the second period.

The RiverKings were able to stop the bleeding in the third when they notched their first goal of the night thanks to Olivieri. The defenseman came into the zone and carried the puck past a Havoc d-man and sniped top corner to beat DeLaVergne and with 12 minutes left to go in the game, Mississippi had life. Huntsville continued to play their shutdown style of defense and added their fifth goal of the night only four minutes after the RiverKings got on the board. With the lead 5-1, Devin Mantha came down on a breakaway and was tripped, getting the opportunity for a penalty shot. His chance was lost when he fired the puck off the top left leg of DeLaVergne, keeping the score at 5-1 in favor of Huntsville. Mississippi would chip away and get a second goal, this time off the stick of Derek Sutliffe, but it proved to be too little, too late, as the Havoc get the 5-2 win and advance to the SPHL Semifinals to take on Macon.

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