Saturday, October 27, 2012
After coming off of a tough 5-4 loss last night against the RiverKings, the RiverHawks would hit the ice Saturday night for the final matchup between the two teams in the two-game opening series. The RiverHawks hoped to come out with as much zest as they showed in the later minutes of last night's contest.
The first period was witness to only two penalties, a holding penalty on Augusta's William LaCasse and a charging penalty on Aaron McGill, thus allowing the period to move at a faster pace than normal. Depsite only showing seven shots on goal, the RiverHawks produced some quality chances, but were turned away by RiverKings' rookie netminder Matthew Krahn. Not to be outdone, RiverHawks' newcomer Robbie Moss also stood strong in net, denying all of Mississippi's 16 shots, including two power play opportunities.
The battle of the netminders contined through the second period. Shortly into the stanza, the RiverKings found themselves on yet another power play resulting from a slashing penalty on 'Hawks captain, Matt Auffrey. Although a fury of shots would fire at Moss, Mississippi's hopes of converting on their man-advantage were dashed. The level of physicality would continue to escalate, when shortly after, Augusta would get its chance on the power play, but would also be left wanting. Late in the second, the RiverKings would receive a great scoring opportunity, going on the five-on-three for a few seconds. However, Augusta's penalty kill would prove to be solid and the teams would head into the final period of regulation still scoreless.
With both teams hungry to break the goal drought, Daniel Barczuk of the RiverKings would be the one to strike first with a rush down the ice, sneaking one past Moss at just over two minutes into the final period. On a four-on-four, Barczuk would record his second goal of the night as he took advantage of a loose puck in the slot, putting Mississippi up by two with ten minutes remaining in regulation. Aspiring to relive the last minute heroics of last night's contest, McGill would skate in on Krahn but before the puck could go in, McGill was unable to slow his pace and crashed into the net. With 1:57 remaining in the third, Branden Kosolofsky took a high-sticking penalty giving the RiverKings a power play for the remainder of regulation.
Both teams struggled on the powerplay (Augusta 0-3, Mississippi 0-9), but Moss was impressive in net, turning away 38 of 40 shots.
The RiverHawks' next game will come this Friday, November 2, as they make their debut on home ice this season for Opening Night against the Fayetteville FireAntz. Tickets are still available, but fans are encouraged to purchase in advance by calling the RiverHawks' Front Office at 706 993 2645.