SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - It wasn't the outcome the Mississippi RiverKings (21-14-2) were hoping for when they took on the Macon Mayhem (21-6-5) on Tuesday night in Southaven.
RiverKings goalie Peter Di Salvo came off a huge night Tuesday against the Peoria Rivermen in Peoria, but he struggled to keep the puck out of the net against the Mayhem.
The Mayhem caused havoc right from the start when defenseman Daniel Echevern found a way to slice the puck through RiverKings goalie Peter Di Salvo's legs, taking advantage of a power play.
Echevern's goal gave the Mayhem an early lead, but they didn't hold on to that lead for very long.
In the second period, a deflected shot from Brantley Sherwood sailed past Mayhem goalie Jordan Ruby's glove and found the back of the net. That goal tied the score, but Dillan Fox - who wristed the shot that Sherwood deflected - found a way to put it through again just two minutes later.
Driving off assists from teammates Brant Sherwood and Ryan Marcuz, Fox took the puck to the net and pushed it past Ruby again - giving the RiverKings a 2-1 lead over the Mayhem and picking up his 12th goal of the season in 36 games. Di Salvo worked to ensure the lead was maintained in the 2nd, even snatching the puck out of the air before it found the net.
The RiverKings enjoyed the lead for the second period, but it was a different story in the third. The Mayhem put up three goals in the third period to take them to a victory. With just 13:48 minutes into the third, center Stephen Pierog put the tying shot on the board after taking advantage of miscommunication in the RiverKings zone. Pierog said the shot past Di Salvo to tie the game.
Defenseman Marc Thompson got in on the action and gave the Mayhem the lead after finding a way to navigate the puck through lots of traffic and past Di Salvo's face mask from the blueline.
Behind by a point, the RiverKings fought and were able to take advantage of a power play to put the tying score on the board.
Mike Moran found his 18th goal of the season after he took a shot from the slot and zipped one past Ruby to give the RiverKings the tying score. But, the Mayhem were determined to walk away with the victory and their defense stepped up and shut the RiverKings down from getting the winning point.
The RiverKings pulled Di Salvo to have an extra attacker on hand with .42 left in the game, but it wasn't enough. Macon Mayhem's Jake Tresk put the winning point in with just minutes left to play. Trailing 4-3, the RiverKings were unable to put another one on the board and they fell to the Mayhem.
Despite each team getting 29 shots on goal, Di Salvo (8-3-0) picked up his third loss after letting four get by him - stopping 25 out of 29 shots.
Jordan Ruby (11-3-2) picked up his 11th win after finding a way to stop 26 out of 29 shots on goal by the RiverKings.
Macon remains second in the league, just ahead of the RiverKings who trail by 3 points.
The RiverKings will make their way to Evansville Friday to take on last place Evansville Thunderbolts (10-22-4).
They'll be back at Landers Center for President's Day to take the ice against the Columbus Cottonmouths (11-19-2).