February 18, 2003

RiverBlades Shutdown Fish, 5-4
Baton Rouge Kingfish Press Release

Jason Norrie’s career best 20th goal wasn’t enough as the Arkansas RiverBlades used goals from five different players and former NHL goaltender Scott Fankhouser made 27 saves in the RiverBlades 5-4 victory over the Kingfish.

Damon Whitten and Mike Cirillo hooked up with Dean Stork four minutes into the first period to give Arkansas an early 1-0 lead. Stork’s rising snapshot from the right faceoff circle rose over Blair’s head for the goal.

The Kingfish battled back and took advantage of an Arkansas penalty to tie the game at one. Joe Guenther beat Fankhauser on the power play as he slid the puck past the Arkansas netminder with less than ten minutes remaining in the first period. Mike Kiesman and Sam Paquet added the assists on the goal.

Arkansas rattled off the first two goals in the second period to take a commanding 3-1 lead late in the second period.

Mike Sandbeck threw a puck at Jeff Blair that beat the Kingfish netminder through the five-hole. Sandbeck was being pushed into the corner and was trying to get rid of the puck at the 13:03 mark of the second period. Dean Stock and Maxim Linnik picked up the helpers on the goal.

Less than two minutes later, Terry Marchant flipped the puck out of a crowd and past Blair to give the RiverBlades a 3-1 lead. Ryan Coole picked up an assist on the play.

With 38 seconds remaining in the second, the Kingfish cut the Arkansas lead back to one goal as Paquet picked up a rebound and slid it under Fankhauser. Dan Sullivan and Garnet Jacobson picked up the assists on the goal to cut the Arkansas lead to 3-2 after two periods.

In the third period, Buddy Smith regained the two-goal lead for the RiverBlades as his shot found the back of the net at the 5:44 mark of the period. Matt Pagnutti added the assists on the goal.

In his first game with the Kingfish, Chris Bell cut into the Arkansas lead as he beat Fankhauser at the 8:36 mark of the third period. Jason Norrie and Dwayne Blais added the assists.

With 4:35 remaining, Eric Long pushed the Arkansas lead back to two with his game winning, power play goal. Matt Paguntti and Buddy Smith added the assists on the marker.

The Kingfish could not score on a 5-on-3 man advantage late in the third period, but did capitalize with an extra attacker and Jeff Blair pulled at the opposite end of the ice. Jason Norrie tallied his career best 20th goal with four seconds left in the third. Bell and Marquis Mathieu added the assists on the Kingfish’s fourth goal.

Reserve your season tickets now. Call the Kingfish office at 336-4625 to place your refundable $25 dollar deposit on your seats! Season tickets start at just $198 per seat!

Blades Win, Snap Losing Streak
RiverBlades Press Release

February 18, 2003 - Matt Pagnutti tallied two assists, and 5 different RiverBlades found the net, as Arkansas defeated the Baton Rouge Kingfish 5-3 Tuesday, snapping their 5-game losing streak.

Scott Fankhouser made 27 saves to earn his first win as a RiverBlade, and Terry Marchant tied his career-high with his 17th goal of the year in the victory.

Dean Stork opened up the scoring at 4:02 of the first, just as a RiverBlade power play expired. Mike Cirillo and Damon Whitten assisted on Stork's goal, his 11th of the year.

Baton Rouge would then tie it at 10:54, as Joe Guenther tallied his 11th of the campaign from Mike Kiesman and Sam Paquet on the power-play.

In the second, Mike Sandbeck lit the lamp, notching his 11th from Dean Stock and Maxim Linnik at 13:03.

Then, just over a minute and a half later, Marchant found the back of the net, with his 17th of the season to tie his career-high. Ryan Coole got a helper on the play.

However, the Kingfish would make it 3-2 just before the second intermission, as Sam Paquet found the net with his 9th of the season, assisted by Dan Sullivan and Garnet Jacobson.

Buddy Smith extended the RiverBlades' lead at 5:44 of the third, notching his 23rd goal on the power-play set up by Matt Pagnutti.

Baton Rouge came right back, though, as the newest member of the Kingfish, Chris Bell, tallied his 16th of the year from Jason Norrie and Jeff Blair at 8:36.

The Blades would extend their lead to two once again at 15:24, as Eric Long got his 10th of the year from Matt Pagnutti and Jason Bermingham.

Jason Norrie would add his 20th of the year at 19:56 of the third for Baton Rouge, but the Blades would hold on for the victory.

For the game, Arkansas outshot Baton Rouge 37-31, and was 2-for-5 on the power-play. The Kingfish were 2-for-7.

DATE - 02/18/03     Arkansas ( 5) AT Baton Rouge ( 4)

Arkansas                   1  2  2--5  
Baton Rouge                1  1  2--4  

FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Arkansas-Stork 11 (Cirillo; Whitten) 
4:02. 2, Baton Rouge-Guenther 11 (power play) (Kiesman; Paquet) 
10:54. Penalties: Bell, BR (Tripping), 1:54. Linnik, ARK (Hooking), 
10:40. Whitten, ARK (High sticking), 15:08. 

SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: 3, Arkansas-Sandbeck 11 (Stock; Linnik) 
13:03. 4, Arkansas-Marchant 17 (Coole) 14:42. 5, Baton Rouge-Paquet 9 
(Sullivan; Jacobson) 19:23. Penalties: Blais, BR (Hooking), 0:59. 
Bermingham, ARK (Hooking), 1:27. Pagnutti, ARK (Holding), 16:18. 

THIRD PERIOD -- Scoring: 6, Arkansas-Smith 23 (power play) (Pagnutti) 
5:44. 7, Baton Rouge-Bell 1 (Norrie; Blais) 8:36. 8, Arkansas-Long 10 
(game winner) (power play) (Pagnutti; Smith) 15:25. 9, Baton Rouge-
Norrie 20 (power play) (Bell; Mathieu) 19:56. Penalties: Tucker, BR 
(Roughing), 2:09. Cirillo, ARK (Roughing), 2:09. Paquet, BR 
(Holding stick), 5:17. Paquet, BR (Elbowing), 11:00. Stock, ARK 
(Holding stick), 12:03. Paquet, BR (Cross checking), 13:35. Coole, 
ARK (Hooking), 17:24. Whitten, ARK (Hooking), 18:00. 

Arkansas                  11 14 12--37 
Baton Rouge                9  6 16--31 

Power Play Conversions: Arkansas - 2 of 5, Baton Rouge - 2 of 6.
Goalies: Arkansas-Fankhouser (31 shots, 27 saves; record: 1-0-0). 
Baton Rouge-Blair (37 shots, 32 saves; record: 5-18-5). 
A: 1136.  Referee: Britt. Linesmen: ; Jones.