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The Mississippi RiverKings SPHL hockey team will be busy around the Christmas holiday with a pair of games before Christmas and a trip to Florida the day following. 

The week starts Friday when the RiverKings travel to Peoria, Ill. to meet the Rivermen at the Peoria Civic Center.

It’ll be the third meeting of the season between the clubs, with each team claiming a victory against the other.

Mississippi quickly comes back to Southaven after the game for a Saturday evening encounter with the Pensacola Ice Flyers in a 7 p.m. start at the Landers Center.

The RiverKings will get back into action on Tuesday, Dec. 26, when the team heads to Pensacola for a rematch with the Ice Flyers.

Saturday’s contest is also the third meeting between the teams this season and both the ‘Kings and Ice Flyers have a win against the other.

All three upcoming games will be important for the RiverKings in trying to move up the SPHL standings. Entering the week, Pensacola led the league with a record of 13-4-1 for 27 points, two points more than second-place Peoria, which has a record of 12-5-1 for 25 standing points.

Mississippi is tied with Huntsville for fourth place in the SPHL. The RiverKings have a 11-7-0 mark for 22 points.

This past weekend, Mississippi lost Friday to Birmingham 5-2, but came back to win at Roanoke 6-2.

Shane Bennett scored both RiverKings’ goals in Friday’s loss in Birmingham, Ala. Dillan Fox scored twice and added an assist in the win Saturday at Roanoke, Va.

Devin Mantha leads the RiverKings in scoring with six goals for 18 points. Dillan Fox has been the team’s top goal scorer with 10 goals for 15 points.

Between the pipes, Tyler Green remains Mississippi’s top goaltender with a 9-5-0 record, a goals-against-average of 2.90 and a save percentage of .902.

Bob Bakken is Sports Editor and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.

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