RiverKings win fourth straight, 4-3 over Oklahoma City
SOUTHAVEN --- Derek Campbell scored a pair of goals to lead the Memphis RiverKings to a 4-3 win over the Oklahoma City Blazers Tuesday night at the DeSotoCivicCenter. It was the RiverKings' fourth straight win as they increased their lead to six points over the idle Youngstown Steelhounds in the Northeast Division. The RiverKings will now play the next seven games on the road starting Friday night at Bossier-Shreveport at 7:05.
The visiting Blazers took the early advantage on a Jared Dumba goal 1:26 into the contest. After that goal, the RiverKings took charge, as they came out and dominated play the rest of the first period. The pressure applied by the RiverKings in the Blazers zone was directly responsible for both of the team's goals in the period.
On the first goal, scored by Rick Kozak at 6:05, fore-checking by Kozak and Ryan Campbell led to Travis Banga taking a shot from the slot that Blazers goalie Sean Connors knocked down with his glove, but could not control. The rebound went to Kozak who deposited it for his sixth of the season and his fifth in the last four games.
The goal that gave the RiverKings the lead was the result of the pressure applied by the line of Tyler McGregor, Ryan Held and Derek Campbell. Held forced a turnover, fed McGregor for a shot in the slot that Connors got most of, but had it sneak underneath and behind him. Campbell reached behind the searching goalie for his sixth of the season.
The RiverKings expanded their lead to 3-1 at 9:57 of the second. Jason Tessier fed a lead pass to the odd-man rushing Phil Aucoin and Travis Banga. Aucoin slipped a pass to Banga with Banga converting the two-on-one for his team-high-tying 12th of the season.
The two teams would exchange goals in the second half of the second period. Gio Flamminio cut the RiverKings' lead to 3-2 at 12:33 only to have Derek Campbell answer for his second of the night and his career high seventh of the season.
With the RiverKings holding the 4-2 advantage in the third, Mike Burgoyne scored the only power play goal of the game at 14:49 to again pull the Blazers within one. Goalie Larry Sterling and the Memphs penalty kill would keep Oklahoma City out of the net the rest of the game, sealing the 4-3 win.
Sterling, making his 17th straight start, won his CHL leading 15th game, denying 27 of 30 shots. Connors lost for the second time this season to the RiverKings after stopping 32 of 36. He fell to 6-3-2 on the season.
The win for the RiverKings gives them a 6-0-1 record in their last seven home games. For the Blazers, it was just their second loss in regulation on the road this season.
Following Friday's game at Bossier-Shreveport, the RiverKings travel to Wichita for a game Saturday, return to Bossier Tuesday and then will head to Youngstown for a pair on December 29 and 30. The seven game road stretch will end with games at Oklahoma City and Tulsa on January 5 and 6, respectively.
######################## RiverKings tickets make great Christmas gifts. Flex Plan packages start at only $88 for 8 Red Level Coupons that can be used for any home game. Ticket Gift Certificates are also available. Call 662-342-1755 for more information.
Don't miss the next Kevin McClelland Show on Tuesday, January 2 LIVE from Beef O' Brady's in Southaven from 6-7 on Sports 56 WHBQ.
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.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: Tuesday, December 19 --- WMC TV Channel 5 CheerStix to first 1,500 fans; Sunday, January 7 --- Post Game Skate with Players; Tuesday, January 9 --- WMC TV Channel 5 CheerStix to first 1,500 fans; Friday, January 12 --- Darrell Stoddard Mini Bobbleheads to the first 1,500 fans; Post Game Skate
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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