Well, the first game in the SPHL is in the books. The RiverKings came out on top with a 5-3 win over the Pensacola Ice Flyers in the Home Opener on Saturday night at the DCC. It was reported that 6,287 fans were at the Desoto Civic Center. I must be missing something, I think I counted 4001.
The Kings struck first, Mike Tuomi found the twine at 9:48 of the first period. Then the Kings took a 2-0 lead off the stick of Vandenbeld at 13:02 of the first. The Ice Flyers would respond though, as Jeff Topiko scored at 12:43. The Flyers would tie it up on a goal by Jordan Chong at 19:56. I hate those late period goals, they seem to have a habit of coming back to haunt you. It was 2-2 after twenty minutes.
In the second period the RiverKings got in penalty trouble, Mike Carter scored for the Flyers, making it 3-2. That’s the way it would stay for the rest of the period. It was 3-2 Flyers after forty minutes of play.
The Kings came out flying in the third period. They scored three unanswered goals. Rob Sich, Lundale and Stodds found the back of the net. Kings win 5-3. Kings netminder Darling stopped 27 of 30 shots directed his way. The Flyers netminder had a rough night, he stopped only 20 of 25 shots directed his way. Stars of the game: 1st Stoddard, 2nd Vandenbeld, 3rd Tuomi.
The Mississippi RiverKings are on the road on Friday, they have a battle with the Knoxville Ice Bears. 6:35pm is the start time. The game will be broadcasted on America One and on Radio Memphis, with the pre-game show beginning at 6:15pm. Watch it with other Kings fans at the Spot, located at 210 E. Commerce Street in Hernando, Miss. (I DON’T GET THIS ONE, IT’S A HELL OF A DRIVE AFTER A FEW POPS)
The Kings then come home for a Saturday tilt with Columbus at 7:05 p.m. at the DCC. Keenan Slusher will make the call for both game broadcasts. Remember it’s ‘Pink at the Rink” night. All fans are should wear pink to this game. The Kings will be wearing pink and the pink jerseys that will be auctioned off immediately after the game. All proceeds going to support Pink Heals Memphis and Hernando Youth Sports.
Joe Sports thoughts:
• As I said, a couple of articles ago. From the games I watched last year in the SPHL, THIS IS ENTERTAINING HOCKEY.
• This league is slowly growing and the talent level is getting better every year. Remember the franchise fees are lower, salaries are lower and travel is less expensive.
• The powerplay sucked on opening night. We were 0 for 4. We have to be working on that in practice all the time. If we don’t it will be a long season for the Kings and their fans.
That’s the way I see it and I’m Joe Sports.
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Game Sheet for Friday:
• The Mid-South Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) is hosting a Try Hockey For Free event on Saturday, Nov. 5th at the Mid-South Ice House. (10705 Ridgeway Industrial Drive, Olive Branch) This is for boys and girls, ages 4-9, who are new to hockey. Check-in starts at 4 pm, Ice time starts at 5. No cost, gear provided. Please register at www.TryHockeyForFree.com