The Mississippi Riverkings came into Game Two with their backs against the wall. Lose and go home, or bounce back with a victory to push this first-round series to a winner-take-all Game Three. After a loss in the first game of the series, where every mistake that they made was taken advantage of by the Mavericks, it was important for Mississippi to come out strong in Game Two, and that’s exactly what they did.
Mississippi dominated play in the opening session. Kyle McNulty would get the start for the Riverkings between the pipes, even after a shaky performance in Game One. However, the Mavericks will never know if McNulty was nervous at the start of Game Two, as the Missouri team did not register a shot on goal until ten minutes into the first period. Feeding off their defensive dominance, the Riverkings would strike first. Kevin Truelson ripped a shot from the point that beat Mavs goalie Charlie Effinger for the first tally of the game at the 6:57 mark, giving the Riverkings a lead that they would never relinquish. Mississippi would take that lead into the first intermission.
The Riverkings would extend their lead at the 6:47 mark of the second period, when Bobby Chaumont ripped a slapshot from just inside the Mavericks blue line that deflected off the stick of a Mavericks defenseman and snuck past Effinger. Chaumont’s marker would prove to be the game winner. The Mavericks would cut the lead in half, only 36 seconds later, when McNulty would make a similar mistake that he made in Game One. McNulty left his crease to corral a puck behind the net, where he became tangled with Mavs veteran forward Jeff Christian. Christian would wrestle the puck away from McNulty and feed Jeff MacDermid for an easy goal into the vacated net. Outside of that minor fiasco, McNulty was dominant, stopping 22 of 23 Maverick shots, including a penalty shot by Mavericks forward Derek Pallardy late in the second period. The Mavericks would throw everything they had at McNulty and the Riverkings’ defensive unit for the remainder of the game, but to no avail. As impressive as his counterpart’s effort (Effinger) was in Game One, McNulty’s was even better, especially given the situation that his team was facing.
These two teams will meet again Thursday night for the rubber match of the best-of-three series at the DeSoto Civic Center. The goalies stole the show in each team’s victory, and it will be no surprise to see that trend continue.
The Mavericks will again hold a Watch Party for all fans. The Watch Party will take place at the IEC on Thursday night. Admission is free and concessions will be available for purchase. The doors will open at 6:30pm for all fans to come watch the game on the video boards.
Originally posted on ProHockeyNews.com