Rivermen Game Notes: Peoria Rivermen at Mississippi RiverKings
SCALE THE CASTLE WALLS
The Rivermen enter tonight's game after a 4-2 win over the RiverKings last night at Landers Center, giving Peoria their third straight win over Mississippi after the Rivermen captured victories last Saturday and Sunday in Peoria, 6-4 and 3-2, respectively. With a win in tonight's rematch, the Rivermen can assure themselves of a top-5 finish in the SPHL standings by mathematically locking Roanoke and Evansville behind them.
ROLLING ON THE RIVER
Tonight's game marks the eighth and final game between Peoria and Mississippi this season, and the third of three games the Rivermen will play at the Landers Center. The RiverKings made their season's first trip to Peoria in late November, taking a 6-2 decision November 24 before the Rivermen prevailed 1-0 the following evening.
The RiverKings earned a 5-1 win in Peoria December 22 before the Rivermen prevailed 5-4 at Landers Center January 5. The Rivermen took a pair of games last Saturday and Sunday in Peoria, 6-4 and 3-2, respectively.
SCOUTING THE RIVERKINGS
The RiverKings enter play tonight 22-22-2 on the season after earning a 4-2 win Wednesday night in Pensacola before last night's loss to the Rivermen. The RiverKings come into tonight's contest tied with Roanoke, one point shy of sixth-place Evansville, and eight points shy of fifth-place Knoxville. In terms of point production, the RiverKings enter this weekend paced by captain Devin Mantha, who leads the team with 19 goals, 28 assists, and 47 total points, including a goal last night. Meanwhile, returning RiverKings winger Ryan Marcuz has notched 14 goals and assisted on 24 others while playing in all 46 RiverKings games this season. In net, the RiverKings are led this season by former Rivermen netminder Tyler Green, who has gone 16-15-2 in goal this season, posting a 3.03 goals- against average and a .899 saves rate in 37 games played.
MASON SAVES THE DAY ... AGAIN
Last night's Rivermen win in Mississippi featured the second straight win in relief for Peoria goaltender Mason Pulde, who stopped all 23 shots he faced after relieving starter Peter Di Salvo at the 12:44 mark of the first period. Last Sunday, Pulde earned his first career SPHL win in goal, stopping all 38 shots faced over the final 48:44 of the contest.
Last night's Rivermen win saw a pair of goals for Rivermen winger Connor Gorman in his first game back from a stint on Injured Reserve, and marking his first multi-goal game since he logged a hat trick at Fayetteville December 2. For the season, Gorman has scored 13 goals and 15 assists in 37 games played, and the Shrewsbury, MA native enters tonight's tilt with a point or more in five straight games.
WHAT A (HAGA)MAN
Last night's Rivermen win also featured a three- assist outburst for Rivermen winger Alec Hagaman, who now leads the team with 51 total points on the season, including a team-best 21 goals. For the season, the Peoria native enters play tonight tied with Roanoke's Steve Mele for fourth in the SPHL with 51 points, and his +31 rating is good for best among all SPHL skaters this season.
WHAT'S ON DECK
After tonight's contest in Southaven, the Rivermen will travel to Pensacola for a pair of games next Friday and Saturday before Peoria returns home for a three-game weekend March 23-25 at Carver Arena, hosting the Macon Mayhem Friday and Saturday night before a Sunday afternoon contest with the Evansville Thunderbolts. The Rivermen will then play a pair of two-game weekends, at Roanoke March 30 & 31, and at home against the Rail Yard Dawgs April 6 & 7, to conclude the regular season.
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