City Times Staff
Coon Rapids, Minn. — The Riverkings split their series with the Minnesota Blue Ox this weekend.
On Friday night, Wisconsin Rapids fell to the Blue Ox 2-1, though Rapids started off the evening with a 1-0 lead. Early in the first quarter, Austyn Quarters started the game off with a goal to put the Riverkings up by a goal.
However, in what would be a defensive battle, the Blue Ox would put up goals in the second and third period, both by Oskari Halme, to go up 2-1. Seven penalties were shared during the game, and goalie Erik Shuette slapped away 17 of 19 shots on the night.
It was a different story on Saturday night, as the Riverkings put up five goals in a 5-2 victory over the Blue Ox. The first period saw the Riverkings fall behind early 1-0 as the Ox struck just 29 seconds into the game. Late in the first period the Riverkings struck on the power-play to even the game at 1-1 as Raymond Fleming buried a slap shot off of feeds from Austyn Quarters and Adam Peterson.
With less than a minute to go in the first frame Jesse Edwards found the back of the net to make it 2-1 in favor of the Riverkings with Brett DeLaat and Peterson picking up the helpers.
Special teams would be a factor all game as in the second period Jacob Gaydos put the Riverkings up 3-1 scoring off of a feed from Ryan Mantz. It was the Riverkings second power-play tally of the game. With under three minutes to go in the second, Matyas Kacirek made it 4-1, as he scored during a net front scramble with Cole Creger and Mantz picking up the helpers.
With a three-goal lead entering the second period the Riverkings power-play struck again as Mantz converted scoring off of feeds from Kacirek and Kreger to make it 5-1. Goaltender Eric Schuette was strong all night in the blue paint as he picked up the win recording 21 saves. The Riverkings special teams was the story of the game as the power-play went 3-6 on the Saturday and the penalty-kill was a perfect folding the Blue Ox to 0-for-8 on man advantage for the night including two 5-3 kills.
The Riverkings conclude the 2017 calendar year and sport a 17-7 record as they head to Chicago for the USPHL showcase with games December 21-23 before they enter Christmas break.