City Times Staff
The Wis. Rapids Riverkings are in championship form with a busy January ahead.
The Riverkings improved to 24-4-1 after winning all four games this past week during the USPHL Chicago Midwest Elite Showcase to stay in first place heading into winter break.
Standout Riverkings goalie, Erik Schuette recorded two shutouts to improve to 14-3 (4 shutouts) on the season as he helped the Riverkings beat Steele County 1-0 on Monday and Forest Lake 6-0 on Wednesday. Atli Valdimarsson looked strong again since coming back from an early season injury as he won his game Tuesday 5-2 versus River Falls and Joey Fratantonio earned his 2nd shutout of the season by beating Detroit 6-0 Wednesday morning.
The Riverkings enter break with 11 days off before returning to play River Falls at home on Saturday, January 7. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
The Riverkings have already secured home ice for the USPHL Midwest Elite division first round in the playoffs by starting off strong, but they have also put together some pretty impressive statistics so far.
The Riverkings have averaged almost 5 goals per-game (4.98 GF) having scored a league high 140 goals in just 26 games, but maybe even more impressive is how stingy the team has been in their own end by allowing a little over one game per-game (1.7GA). The special teams led by league leaders (Ryan Mantz (50 pts), Reed Kaiser (49 pts) and Kevin Van Bokkelen (39 pts) has scored on 22% of the PP opportunities.
The penalty kill (led by PK specialist Tyler Albitz) has killed 88.1% of the opponents odd man chances. Harrison Kohl has shown skill and toughness at both ends of the ice and leads all Midwest Defenseman in scoring for the second straight season with 25 points.
However, what has really excited the coaching staff is how the Riverkings put together Wednesday impressive victory versus Forest Lake. The Lakers have beaten the Riverkings twice this season and only had the one game Wednesday, while the Riverkings had to play a rugged Detroit team that Wednesday morning. Not only did the Riverkings win, they did so with a total team effort have all four lines contributing with at least one goal to help lead a balance scoring attack.
With balanced scoring and continued team chemistry the Riverkings fans should be in for an exciting second half of the season and hopefully a very long and successful playoff run.
The Riverkings wish you a safe holiday and a happy new year.