Mississippi RiverKings at Louisiana IceGators – 7:05pm CT

In the SPHL, getting players called up to the ECHL is a way of life. Recently, the Mississippi RiverKings’ roster has been particularly depleted, and they have struggled on both ends of the ice. Since the call-up of goaltender Pete Di Salvo (Colorado Eagles, later traded to the Fort Wayne Komets), defenseman Reid Campbell (Greenville Swamp Rabbits), and center Devin Mantha (Norfolk Admirals); the RiverKings have won only one game in their last seven – scoring only eight goals during that span.

The Louisiana IceGators, no strangers themselves to having their best players spending time in the ECHL, have spent most of the season with at least one player assigned in the AA-level hockey league. The Gators got a bit of relief this week, despite losing winger Blake Hietala to the Elmira Jackals, when goalie Adam Courchaine’s stint with the Norfolk Admirals ended and blueliner Jordan Ciccarello returned from the Florida Everblades.

Courchaine’s return was short-lived, however, as he was knocked out of his second start since his return last Saturday game against the RiverKings in Southaven. Courchaine took a puck from a slap shot to the chin, and was eventually carted off to an area hospital for observation. Courchaine was released later in the evening and returned to Louisiana for additional treatment. Matt Cooper, who attended training camp with the IceGators in October and has been playing with the FHL Danville Dashers, will act as an emergency backup for Brad Barone while Courchaine recovers from an apparent concussion.

Game Notes

  • Fourth meeting between the teams this season. The IceGators have won all three previous meetings, the last on January 2nd in Southaven.
  • The RiverKings have lost their last five games. Their last five game losing streak was 11/28/15-12/7/15.
  • The IceGators, winners of their last two games, have yet to win three games in a row this season.
  • The last time the IceGators and RiverKings met in the Cajundome, the game, a 1-0 Louisiana victory, was decided in a SPHL-record 15-round shootout – prompting the SPHL to change their shootout procedures to resemble IIHF/Olympic rules.
  • The friendly confines of the Cajundome has not been hospitable to the IceGators. The Gators have lost four of six games when tied or leading after two periods, and their 3-7-3 home record is last in the league.

Tomorrow’s SPHL Games

  • Peoria at Fayetteville – 7:05 ET
  • Knoxville at Macon – 7:30 ET
  • Columbus at Louisiana – 7:05 CT
  • Mississippi at Pensacola – 7:05 CT

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