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The Mississippi RiverKings have righted the ship and now have won four SPHL hockey games in a row, after Saturday’s 6-4 victory over the Evansville Thunderbolts at the Landers Center in Southaven.

Saturday’s home win came on the heels of Friday’s 2-1 victory over the Thunderbolts in Evansville, Ind. to complete a weekend sweep.

Mississippi had gone 0-3-1 in four games before the current win streak and 2-6-2 in 10 games before an 8-3 victory at Macon, Ga. on Saturday, Feb. 3.

Even with the recent victories, however, Mississippi remained in seventh place in the Southern Professional Hockey League standings with a 19-17-2 record for 40 standings points. The RiverKings are three points behind the sixth-place Thunderbolts and seven points in front of eighth-place Roanoke entering this week’s play.

Saturday night, veteran forward Ryan Marcuz broke open a 4-4 contest with his 11th goal of the season for a 5-4 Mississippi lead at 16:00 of the final period. Koba Jass added an insurance tally with 1:13 remaining for the final outcome.

Donald Olivieri led the RiverKings’ offense with three assists as six different players scored goals.

Meanwhile, netminder Jared Rutledge made 27 saves for Mississippi as he improved his season record to 6-5-0.

Friday in Evansville, Jake Schultz scored the game winner for Mississippi at 6:39 of the final period. Bryan Arneson also scored for the RiverKings as Rutledge made 35 saves between the pipes.

Tonight (Tuesday), the RiverKings host Huntsville in a 7 p.m. game at the Landers Center, a team that entered the week tied for fourth in the SPHL standings with a 21-12-4 mark for 46 points.

Mississippi also plays a weekend road series at league-leading Pensacola, Fla. Friday and Saturday.

Bob Bakken: sports@desototimestribune.com

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