The Mississippi RiverKings (14-6-2) dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Knoxville Ice Bears (11-6-2) in Knoxville Tuesday night.
Mississippi recovered from an early 3-0 deficit to score two in the second and force overtime with a goal in the final period. However, it was Berkley Scott’s goal at 3:27 of the extra frame that gave the Ice Bears the victory.
First period goals from Joseph Manno, Luke Sandler and Jake Rivera gave Knoxville a 3-0 cushion after 20 minutes of play.
But Robert Lindores and Dustin Jesseau scored in a six minute span of the middle period to get Mississippi within 3-2 after two periods.
The RiverKings tied the game when Cullen Bradshaw scored unassisted at 3:57 of the third period of play.
Goaltender Brad Barone (6-3-2) took the loss after stopping 24 of 28 shots against. Knoxville’s Brian Billett (4-4-1) stopped 32 of 35 shots against in the win.
The RiverKings were held scoreless on three power play opportunities, while keeping the Ice Bears from scoring on five chances with the man advantage.
With the loss, Mississippi entered weekend play four points behind SPHL-leading Macon and in third place in the league standings.
The RiverKings are four points ahead of fourth-place Peoria, who host Mississippi for two games this weekend, Friday and Saturday.
Off the ice, the RiverKings announced player moves on Tuesday. Forward Mike Moran and defenseman Chris Leone were called up to the ECHL. Moran heads to Atlanta and Leone to Toledo.
Moran, a rookie, has led the SPHL in goals scored with 14 and has 23 points in 19 games with the team.
Leone, who came to the RiverKings by trade from the Pensacola Ice Flyers on Nov. 2 and appeared in 16 games, has scored four goals and has 10 points while playing in Southaven.
The team did acquire some help on defense with the addition of defenseman Steven Hoshaw from Fayetteville (N.C.) in exchange for goaltender Alex Caffi.
This will be the third SPHL team to Hoshaw, who started the season in Evansville before heading to Fayetteville. The Vista, Calif. native has one assist in 19 games.
Caffi, a native of Italy, is playing in North America for the first time after nine pro seasons in Europe. He appeared in two RiverKings games and has a 1-1-0 record, a 2.50 goals-against-average and .915 save percentage.
Bob Bakken is Sports Editor and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.