The Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings hockey club punched their ticket to the USPHL National Tournament in Boston by defeating the Minnesota Blue Ox Friday night by a score of 4-0. Thursday night saw the Riverkings win a 2-1 contest, and Friday in front of 617 fans at the South Wood County Recreation Center, the Riverkings completed the sweep.
Al Mcphee opened the scoring for the Riverkings in the 1st period scoring 9:16 into the game with Dylan Nurse and Tom Mcmanus grabbing the assists. Just a few minutes laters goaltender Erik Schuette turned away a breakaway attempt from the Blue Ox and the Riverkings transitioned the other way. Matyas Kacirek buried the shot to put the Riverkings up 2-0 with Schuette picking up the assist. With a little under two minutes left in the 1st period it was Brooks Hatfield making it 3-0 as Kacirek and Ryan Mantz picked up the assists.
The 2nd period was a scoreless one as Schuette turned away 12 Blue Ox attempts. In the 3rd period Adam Peterson iced the game with an empty net goal with Raymond Fleming picking up the lone assist. Schuette turned aside 36 shots picking up his second shut-out of the playoffs. The Riverkings penalty-kill was perfect on the night killing all four Blue Ox attempts.
By defeating the Ironwood Fighting Yoopers in the 1st round, and the Minnesota Blue Ox in the 2nd round the Riverkings advance to Boston and the USPHL National Tournament for the second consecutive season. The tournament runs March 7-10th and all Riverking games can be seen on www.fasthockey.com as they continue their quest to becoming USPHL National Champions.
The Riverkings games will also be broadcast at Hoozels, on HWY 54, the old Bull Dogs. You can get all your Riverkings playoff schedule and updates at www.usphl.com under premier division playoff Info.
Riverkings are ready for the playoffs!
USPHL Midwest West first Round:
Best of three format.
#2 ranked Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings Vs #7 ranked Ironwood Fighting Yoopers
Friday February 23rd, 2018 - 7:30pm at South Wood County Recreation Center
Saturday February 24th, 2018 - 7:30pm at South Wood County Recreation Center
Game Three: *if necessary*
Sunday February 25th, 2018 - 7:00pm at South Wood County Recreation Center
The weather kept the Riverkings away from the showcase in Boston Massachusettes. Therefore, they will be making up the 4 games that they missed. On Sunday, January 28 at 7:00pm, the Riverkings will be playing against the Dells Ducks at the South Wood County Rec Center in Wisconsin Rapids. They will take on the Ducks again at the SWCRC on Tuesday, January 30 at 1:00pm.
After another set of home games on February 2 and 3, the Riverkings will travel to Forest Lake Minnesota. They will take on the Mullets on February 5th at 2:00pm and on the 6th at noon. Watch them on Hockey TV!
Having to make up these 4 games comes at the busy time of the schedule as the Riverkings look to make a late season push heading into playoffs. The Riverkings will play a grinding schedule of 8 games in eleven days. However, the Riverkings staff has added several new player in the recent weeks as they are trying to gain home ice in the playoffs. The added depth comes at the perfect time and the addition of Czech import forward Matyas Kacirek (who came from the NAHL) the Riverkings have gone 10-1-1 since his arrival after Thanksgiving break. The Riverkings have also added the two veteran 20 year olds with Power-forward Al McPhee from the Chicago Cougars and an original Riverking Brooks Hatfield who is a skilled center. These additions have added more skill, experience and depth to an already balanced roster.
With just 14 games to play before playoffs the Riverkings feel this is the time of the season when all the hard work with on and off ice training starts to pay off. Coach Quarters said: “This is time of the season when every game means something and because of that we need to be dialed in, and our staff feels good about this teams focus, leadership, and intensity. We have a veteran team that is excited to work hard and get after it”.