Mississippi RiverKings 3, Louisiana IceGators 1
Last night, Linden Bahm of the Mississippi RiverKings scored with less than a minute to play, breaking a 1-1 tie with a seeing-eye puck that trickled past Louisiana IceGators’ goalie Brad Barone. Bahm added an empty-net goal with 15 seconds remaining to ice the game as the RiverKings won their first of the season against the IceGators, 3-1. The RiverKings’ Ryan Marcuz scored on a breakaway out of the penalty box, and Louisiana’s Luke Sandler scored in his second straight game with his first power-play goal of the season. Mississippi’s Garrett Sheehan notched his first professional win as he stopped 18 of 19 IceGator shots.
Peoria Rivermen (15-5-2) at Fayetteville FireAntz (14-7-2)
- First meeting between the teams this season. Fayetteville and Peoria split last season’s series with identical 4-3-1 records.
- The Rivermen have won their last five games, outscoring opponents 24-6.
- Fayetteville’s Sean Bonar has won his last three starts, allowing only four goals on 81 shots.
- The Rivermen have scored first in a league high 17 of their 22 games this season, winning 13 of them.
Knoxville Ice Bears (9-15-3) at Macon Mayhem (10-12-3)
- Fourth game between these teams. Knoxville has won two of the three previous meetings. Macon won the most recent game, 4-2, on December 29th.
- Mayhem winger John Schiavo has returned to the team from an ECHL stint with the Missouri Mavericks. Schiavo appeared in five games with the ECHL’s top team, getting one assist.
- Knoxville’s newest acquisition is John Clewlow, picked up in a trade with the Pensacola Ice Flyers. The Ice Bears is Clewlow’s third team this season, beginning the season with Fayetteville before being traded to Pensacola.
- Macon’s Shawn Skelly, who began the season in Knoxville, is second in the league in scoring with 27 points (10G/17A).
Columbus Cottonmouths (10-10-5) at Louisiana IceGators (9-12-3)
- Second meeting between the teams this season. Louisiana won the previous game in Columbus, 5-0, on 11/27/15.
- Tonight’s game marks the return of Cottonmouths’ coach Jerome Bechard, who served a six-game suspension in the aftermath of Craig Simchuk’s hit on Peoria goaltender Kyle Rank on 12/19/15. Columbus went 4-1-1 with Boom Boom away from the bench.
- The Snakes have the league’s best road penalty kill with a 94.6% success rate. Louisiana’s power play in the Cajundome is a league-low 4.7%.
- The IceGators have dropped their last four games in the Cajundome – the last three in regulation. Both streaks are tied for the longest to date this season.
Mississippi RiverKings (14-7-3) at Pensacola Ice Flyers (14-8-1)
- Third match between the teams this season. Pensacola has won both previous games, the most recent being a 3-2 shootout win on 12/26/15.
- Pensacola’s Adam Pawlick has scored six goals in his last five games.
- The RiverKings are the league’s least penalized team, averaging only 14 penalty minutes per game.
- The Ice Flyers’ Corey Banfield continues to lead the league in goals with 15 and scoring with 28 points.
- Peoria at Fayetteville, 7:05 ET
- Huntsville at Columbus, 7:30 ET
- Macon at Knoxville, 7:35 ET
- Pensacola at Louisiana, 7:05 CT
Photo credit: Louisiana IceGators