Rookie Leads RiverKings past Ice Flyers
The Pensacola Ice Flyers faced the Mississippi RiverKings for the third time in five games on Thursday night in Southaven, MS. The RiverKings fired everything they could at the Ice Flyers' rookie goaltender, Ross MacKinnon, but he stood tall and helped his team come away with a gutsy 4-2 road victory.
The RiverKings took advantage of the already depleted Ice Flyers' lineup as they were down to only 12 skaters due to an improper line-up sheet and an early injury. Mississippi outshot Pensacola 43-21, but MacKinnon kept his team in the game long enough to give them a chance to steal two points in Southaven.
Ian Finnerty opened the scoring for the RiverKings 8:42 into the first. John Dunbar tied the game with a power play marker with less than five minutes left in the first as he toe-dragged around the RiverKing defenseman, scoring his SPHL rookie-leading and eighth goal of the season.
Near the halfway mark of the second, RiverKings' captain Darrell Stoddard would bang away at a loose puck that was sitting next to MacKinnon and was finally able to sneak it past the Ice Flyers' goalie. With the clock winding down in the second frame, Pensacola's Pat Knowlton forced a turnover and buried the puck past the Mississippi goaltender on the far side.
With the teams tied at two going into the third, the tempo of the game remained high. The RiverKings were called for a tripping penalty four minutes into the third period, and Ice Flyer Brent Clarke went to work, capitalizing on the man advantage to put his team up 3-2.
Pensacola got in penalty trouble late. They ended up killing off a 5-on-3 power play and while still working on getting back to even strength without giving up the game-tying goal to Mississippi, Ron Cramer and Jordan Chong went on the offensive with a 2-on-1 break. Cramer fed the puck to Chong who crashed the net and scored shorthanded with only 2:53 left on the clock.
The game would end 4-2 for the Ice Flyers. They improved to 9-4-2 and the RiverKings dropped to 7-6-2. Pensacola scored twice on three power plays while Mississippi went 0 for 6.
The RiverKings host the Huntsville Havoc Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Pensacola takes on Huntsville the night before, on Friday at 7:05 p.m. on Tom Thumb Ice at the Pensacola Bay Center. The Ice Flyers organization is hosting Pearl Harbor Night. Veterans and their families can purchase center ice tickets at 50% off. Fans are encouraged to wear 1940's style clothing to win prizes and to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the children at the Gulf Coast Kid's House.
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Southern Professional Hockey League Stories from December 7, 2012
- Ice Flyers win 2-1 - Pensacola Ice Flyers
- 'Hawks Blank Surge to Collect Second - Augusta RiverHawks
- IceGators Dominate Knoxville, Win 4-2 - Louisiana IceGators
- Surge lose 4-0 - Mississippi Surge
- Snakes Drop Pair Of Games At Home - Columbus Cottonmouths
- Rookie Leads RiverKings past Ice Flyers - Pensacola Ice Flyers
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