RiverKings weekly news and notes
Starting Thursday in Oklahoma City, the RiverKings play three games in three nights to wrap up the regular season. The team then comes home to host Youngstown and Bossier-Shreveport on Friday and Saturday, respectively. One of the games with the Blazers and the Steelhounds will end up being a preview of the RiverKings' first round playoff series. The RiverKings, set at the third seed, will play either the Blazers or the Steelhounds to open the postseason next week. The Blazers and Steelhounds are tied for the fourth seed with 74 points apiece. The regular season finale on Saturday with the Mudbugs is Fan Appreciation Night.
Thursday, March 22
Memphis RiverKings (38-17-6, 82 pts, 2nd NE Div) @ Oklahoma City Blazers (33-20-8, 74 pts, 2nd NW Div) 7:05 CDT
Radio: Sports 56 WHBQ (AM 560)
Friday, March 23
Youngstown Steelhounds (32-19-10, 74 pts, 3rd NE Div) @ Memphis RiverKings (38-17-6, 82 pts, 2nd NE Div) 7:05 CDT
Radio: Sports 56 WHBQ (AM 560)
Promotion: First 1500 fans receive a RiverKings Zamboni Bank. First Regional Libraries Book Drive-bring a new kids book to the RiverKings office this week or to the game on Friday and get a ticket for $5. Post Game Skate. Featured Non Profit: Habitat for Humanity
Saturday, March 24
Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (41-14-6, 88 pts, 1st NE Div) @ Memphis RiverKings (38-17-6, 82 pts, 2nd NE Div) 7:05 CDT
Radio: 96.1 FM WYYL
Promotion: First 1500 fans receive a 15th Anniversary T-Shirt sponsored by Double Deuce Saloon, Backyard Burger, Bounz and the Maddox Foundation. RiverKings White Out-wear white and get a ticket for $5. Post Game Skate with Players. Candace Cameron Bure appearance. (See more below)
Featured Non Profit: American Cancer Society
WEEK IN REVIEW (2-2-0)
Memphis 5 Odessa 3 @ ODE
Phil Aucoin scored two goals, including the game-winner as the RiverKings snapped a four game road winless streak and also dealt a blow to the Jackalopes' playoff hopes. The game was tied at one after one and at two after two. Odessa took a 3-2 lead at 9:15 of the third, but the RiverKings responded with three in a row: Jason Sessa tied the game at 10:17 with Aucoin giving his team the lead for good at 11:46. Ryan Held put the finishing touches on the win with an empty netter. Travis Banga scored the other goal with Louis Dumont also adding two assists. The RiverKings outshot the Jackalopes 21-7 in the first and 37-35 for the game. Larry Sterling made 32 saves in picking up his 30th win of the season.
Memphis 3 Laredo 2 @ LAR
Phil Aucoin scored the winning goal for the second straight game as the RiverKings defeated the top team in the Southern Conference and also secured the home ice advantage in the first round of the Northern Conference playoffs. Travis Banga and Louis Dumont gave the RiverKings a 2-0 first period lead. The RiverKings' forecheck kept the Bucks bottled up in their zone for much of the first period as they outshot Laredo 13-9. The Bucks would finish the game with a 39-31 shots advantage. After a scoreless second period, Laredo tied the game on a pair of Adam Rivet tallies in the third. Aucoin's game-winner was his 18th and came on a feed from Louis Dumont as Aucoin was left alone in front of Bucks' goalie Eric Marvin. Larry Sterling stopped 37 shots to capture his 31st victory.
Rio Grande Valley 6 Memphis 4 @ RGV
The Killer Bees scored four first period goals, snapping the RiverKings' five game unbeaten streak. Steve Makway, Tyler McGregor, Phil Aucoin and Louis Dumont scored for Memphis. Dennis Maxwell and Rob Voltera each had a pair of goals to lead the Rio offense. After the teams exchanged goals for a 1-1 tie during the first period, the Bees scored three straight to take a 4-1 lead. Aucoin's tally at 13:45 made it 4-2 after one. Dumont's goal at 16:35 of the third cut the Bees lead back to one at 5-4, but Voltera scored his second of the night at 18:16 to put the lead back at two. Kevin Schieve started in net for Memphis and was replaced by Larry Sterling after the fourth Rio goal. Sterling ended up taking the loss as he yielded the game winning goal.
Tulsa 6 Memphis 1 @ DCC
The Oilers scored three goals in a span of 1:28 in the second period to break open a scoreless game. Both goaltenders, Tulsa's Bill Ruggiero and the RiverKings' Larry Sterling, played well in the scoreless first period. The Oilers' run of goals in the second began at 7:07 on a Mike Adamek wrist shot from the slot and ended when Bryan Lachapelle scored the first of his two goals to make it 4-0 5:23 later. Ryan Campbell collected the lone RiverKings goal, his 27th, at 17:34 of the second on the power play with the help of a Ryan Held assist. Tulsa scored twice in the third to round out the scoring. Tulsa finished with a 36-32 shots advantage. Bill Ruggiero stopped 31 of 32 shots to pick up the win. Larry Sterling started for Memphis and took the loss after giving up the first four goals. Kevin Schieve replaced Sterling in the second and stopped 13 of the 15 shots he faced.
Northeast Division Standings (Through 3/20/07) TEAM GP W L OTL PTS WPCT GF GA PIM HOME ROAD L-TEN STREAK yBossier-Shreveport 61 41 14 6 88 .721 201 149 1843 25-5-1 16-9-5 8-2-0 7-0-0 xMemphis 61 38 17 6 82 .672 220 200 1572 21-5-4 17-12-2 4-4-2 0-2-0 xYoungstown 61 32 19 10 74 .607 219 188 1685 18-9-5 14-10-5 6-3-1 1-0-0 Tulsa 61 27 26 8 62 .508 219 234 1943 13-13-4 14-13-4 6-3-1 1-0-0 X-clinched playoff y-clinched division
LANDMESSER IS ALL-CHL FOR THIRD STRAIGHT SEASON
RiverKings defenseman and team captain Derek Landmesser was named to the All-CHL Team for the third consecutive season today. The five-time CHL All-Star joins forwards Jeff Christian (YNG); Chris Richards (YNG); and Brent Kelly (ARZ); defenseman Brad Williamson (COL) and goalie John DeCaro (BOS) on the team. Landmesser's 60 points and 48 assists lead the RiverKings and he is second behind Williamson for the CHL defensive scoring lead.
LANDMESSER CLAIMS ANOTHER FRANCHISE RECORD
By stepping on the ice in Tuesday's game with Tulsa at the DCC, defenseman Derek Landmesser passed Don Parsons for the most regular season games played in franchise history. The sixth year RiverKing has now played in 368 regular season games in a RiverKings sweater. In overall games, regular season and playoffs combined, Parsons still holds the franchise mark of 404. Landmesser's combined total is 389.
MAC TAKES HOME COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS
RiverKings Head Coach Kevin McClelland was named CHL Coach of the Year on Tuesday. The award is voted on by all Central Hockey League Coaches. "Mac" is in his second season behind the bench for the RiverKings and has guided the team to a 38-17-6 record and the third best point total in franchise history with three games remaining in the regular season. The RiverKings have also clinched their first appearance in the playoffs since 2003. He is the first RiverKings coach to ever win the award.
RIVERKINGS SET AT NUMBER 3 SEED
The RiverKings are the only team in the Northern Conference that is set with their seed for the upcoming playoffs. The RiverKings are unable to move up or down and will be the third seed when the CHL postseason begins next week. Their first round opponent will be either Oklahoma City or Youngstown. The top six teams in each conference will make the playoffs. The three first round winners in each conference will advance to the Conference semis as well the the highest seeded team among the first round losers. That team will be reseeded as the fourth seed of the four remaining teams. All series will be best of seven.
SATURDAY'S GAME WILL BE ON 96.1 FM
Saturday night's RiverKings game with Bossier-Shreveport at the DCC will be heard on WYYL 96.1 FM due to a conflict with Sports 56's play by play coverage of the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. The face-off will be at 7:05 with the pregame show starting at 6:45. As a result, the usual webcast through the WHBQ website will be unavailable. Web coverage will be available at www.chltv.com or the Mudbugs' site at www.mudbugshockey.com.
RIVERKINGS HERE AND THERE
Including Thursday's game in Oklahoma City, the RiverKings will have played 17 of the last 22 games on the road by the time they return to the DCC on Friday.
Forward Phil Aucoin had his 6 game point streak and career high matching 3 game goal streak snapped last night. Aucoin had 4 goals and 4 assists in the six games. It was the third time in his career that he had scored in 3 straight games. Defenseman Andrew Davis also saw his career high matching 3 game assist and point streaks come to an end on Tuesday. Davis has now had streaks of that length 3 times in his career.
Goalie Larry Sterling appeared in his league leading and career high 50th game last night. He appeared in 49 games last season with the Fort Worth Brahmas. He also becomes the third goalkeeper in RiverKings history to appear in 50 or more games. Antoine Mindjimba appeared in 56 games in the team's inaugural season of 1992-93 while Craig Lindsay played in 53 games in 1997-98. Sterling once played in 52 games in his junior career with Detroit Compuware of the NAHL in 2002-03.
Travis Banga is one goal from tying Bobby Wallwork for third on the RiverKings' All-Time Goals Scored List. Wallwork scored 85 goals for the RiverKings from 1993 to 1995.
Thirty four of Jason Sessa's 57 points this season have come on the power play. The veteran winger leads the team with 14 power play goals. His 20 power play assists are second to Derek Landmesser's 26.
The RiverKings have been involved in 33 one-goal games this season and are 22-5-6 in those games. That total is second only to Oklahoma City's 35 one-goal games. After their shootout win over the Rocky Mountain Rage on Tuesday, the Blazers are 20-7-8 in games decided by one goal.
ALL-TIME TEAM TO BE ANNOUNCED THIS WEEKEND
Voting for the RiverKing's 15th Anniversary All-Time Team closed after the game on Tuesday. The members of the team are being chosen based on fan voting over the past month. The RiverKings will issue a news release regarding the team selections on Saturday with the selections also being announced at the game that night.
FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT AND MORE THIS SATURDAY
Candace Cameron Bure, who played DJ Tanner on TV's Full House, is going to be the featured speaker for Faith and Family and Fan Appreciation Night when the RiverKings host the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs on Saturday, March 24. Candace's testimony, titled "Walk Through Faith" tells of her faith and how it has transformed her life as a person, wife and mother. Her "Walk Through Faith" will take place at 5:30 with the game starting that night at 7:05. Candace has been married to former NHL star Valeri Bure for 10 years. She will be signing autographs during the first intermission and is scheduled to drop the ceremonial first puck. Groups of 20 or more can get tickets for just $5 a ticket for the game. A game ticket will get you in for Candace's presentation at 5:30 as well. Doors will open at 5pm. The RiverKings are also encouraging all fans to wear white for the Fan Appreciation Night White Out. Call the RiverKings office to purchase group tickets or for more information at 662-342-1755.
RIVERKINGS PROGRAMS ARE COLLECTORS ITEMS THIS SEASON
Don't forget to pick up your RiverKings Game Program at every game for $2. Throughout the season, programs will feature different covers, updated player roster photos, team history features and more. The program for this weekend's games will feature defenseman Steve Makway on the cover, a player profile of defenseman Will Bodine and a history article featuring former coach Doug Shedden. Each program also includes a game day insert with game notes and player stats.
HEAD TO BUFFALO WILD WINGS AFTER EVERY HOME GAME
The new Buffalo Wild Wings on Airways Blvd. in Southaven is the "Official Post-Game Hangout of the RiverKings." Fans are invited to the post game party after every RiverKings home game. Grab some great wings, a post game beverage and talk with the players.
PICK A COLOR, ANY COLOR AND HELP THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
Several RiverKings players have committed to dying their hair for the playoffs and the fans can choose the color. Boxes representing the potential colors will be placed at the RiverKings With A Cause table behind section 117 for the remaining regular season home games. To vote, place your money in the bucket representing the color you want the players to dye their hair. On Saturday, March 24, fans will learn the winning color with the money collected being donated to the American Cancer Society.
A RiverKings game is even more fun when you come as a group. Groups of 10 or more save up to 30% on the box office rate, plus every person in the group receives a player mini bobblehead. Call 662-342-1755 for more information.
RiverKings Single-Game Tickets for all 2006-2007 home games are on sale now at the DeSoto Civic Center box office and at all TicketMaster locations and at ticketmaster.com.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: Friday, March 23- First 1500 fans get a RiverKings Zamboni Bank; Post Game Skate; Saturday, March 24-First 1500 fans take home a 15th Anniversary T-Shirt sponsored by Double Deuce, Bounz, Backyard Burger and the Maddox Foundation; Former "Full House" star Candace Cameron Bure to speak at 5:30 about her "Walk Through Faith"; RiverKings White Out-fans wear white and get a ticket for just $5; Groups of 20 or more can get tickets for just $5 each; Post Game Skate with players.
After every RiverKings home game, the party heads to the new Buffalo Wild Wings on Airways in Southaven, the official Post Game Hang-Out of the RiverKings.
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