February 23, 2003

Fish knock off ‘Blades, 4-3
Guenther has game winner in the shootout


The Kingfish used a shorthanded goal and a power play goal and a 36 save performance from Niklas Sundberg to down the Arkansas RiverBlades in a shootout, 4-3.

Arkansas took a 1-0 lead on the power play as Buddy Smith added another assist to his league leading assist mark as he set up Eric Long at the right point. Long’s slapshot beat Niklas Sundberg over the shoulder at the 6:37 mark of the first period.
Arkansas had numerous chances in the first period to push their lead to two goals but the stellar net minding of Sundberg kept the RiverBlades up by just a goal for much of the first period.

After going 0-7 yesterday on the power play, the Kingfish capitalized on the man advantage with just one second left in the power play. Mike Kiesman was able to keep his concentration as he was dumped in front of the Arkansas net but was able to take Jason Norrie’s centering pass and push it past Scott Fankhouser. Chris Bell also added an assist on the goal at the 17:52 mark of the period.
The Kingfish took a 2-1 lead on a weird goal at the 6:58 mark of the second period. Fankhouser got caught out of his net and couldn’t clear or cover the puck as Mathieu threw the loose puck to the slot. An Arkansas defenseman tried to glove the puck down but instead threw the puck into his own net as Mathieu got credit for the goal.

Two minutes later on the penalty kill, Sam Paquet fired a one timer past Fankhouser off a pass from Mathieu to give the Kingfish a 3-1 lead.

Arkansas battled back as Terry Marchant slipped the puck past Sundberg at the 14:26 mark of the middle stanza. Marchant used an outlet pass from Smith to set up the goal.

Matt Pagnutti’s slap shot from the point at the 18:38 mark of the period tied the game at three. Long and Smith hooked up to find Pagnutti at the point for the power play goal.

In the third period, the Kingfish and the RiverBlades exchange scoring chances in the third period and in overtime as Sundberg continued to make stellar saves to keep the game tied at three.

Joe Guenther scored the deciding goal in the shootout in the sixth round. Mike Martiniello and Mike Cirillo exchanged shootout goals in the first five rounds.

Niklas Sundberg made 36 saves in the win while improving to 14-14-2 on the season.

The Kingfish are back in action on Wednesday as they host the Arkansas RiverBlades. Catch all the action on Baton Rouge’s Best R & B, 104.5 WZRB beginning with the Kingfish pre-game show beginning at 6:50 p.m.

Blades Fall in Shootout
RiverBlades Press Release

February 23, 2003 - Buddy Smith racked up three assists, and Eric Long added a goal and an assist, but the Arkansas RiverBlades fell 4-3 in a shootout to the Baton Rouge Kingfish Sunday at Alltel Arena.

Smith's three points gives him 81 on the year, tying the RiverBlades' team record for most points in a season, set by Mark Cadotte in 2000-2001.

Team captain Eric Long opened up the scoring at 6:37 of the first, assisted by Smith on the power-play.

Baton Rouge would later tie it on the man advantage, as Mike Kiesman snuck in his 6th of the season from Chris Bell and Jason Norrie just as Mike Cirillo's roughing penalty was expiring.

In the second, in a strange turn of events, Marquis Mathieu was credited with a goal at 6:58 to give Baton Rouge a 2-1 lead. Terry Marchant was down in front of the crease, and with goalie Scott Fankhouser lunging at the puck, Marchant attempted to play the puck with his hand, but instead, the plan backfired and the puck wound up in the net.

Moments later, Marquis Mathieu struck again, this time setting up Sam Paquet for his 11th of the year on a 2-on-1 break shorthanded.

However, Terry Marchant made amends at 14:26, as he lit the lamp with his 18th of the campaign assisted by Buddy Smith to cut the lead to 3-2.

Then, late in the period, Matt Pagnutti boomed home a laser from the point on the power-play to tie it 3-3 at 18:38. Eric Long and Buddy Smith had helpers on Pagnutti's 13th of the season.

There was no scoring in the third period or in the sudden-death overtime, so that led to a shootout. In the shootout, Mike Cirillo scored for Arkansas, but both Mike Martinello and Joe Guenther scored for Baton Rouge, giving the Kingfish the win in their last visit to the Alltel Arena this season.

Scott Fankhouser made 30 saves, and stopped 4 of 6 in the shootout, but got the tough loss. Niklas Sundberg stopped 36 RiverBlade shots and 5 of 6 in the shootout to clinch the victory.

Arkansas outshot Baton Rouge 39-33 for the game, and was 2-for-5 on the power-play. The Kingfish were 1-for-4.

The same two teams meet in Baton Rouge Wednesday, and then the RiverBlades return home Thursday to host the Pensacola Ice Pilots on "'70's College Night" at the Alltel Arena. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m.

DATE - 02/23/03     Baton Rouge ( 4) AT Arkansas ( 3)  SO

Baton Rouge                1  2  0  1--4  
Arkansas                   1  2  0  0--3  

FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Arkansas-Long 11 (power play) (Smith) 
6:37. 2, Baton Rouge-Kiesman 6 (power play) (Bell; Norrie) 17:52. 
Penalties: Paquet, BR (Tripping), 5:45. Stock, ARK (Holding stick), 
8:20. Linnik, ARK (Roughing), 10:45. Jacobson, BR (Roughing), 10:45. 
Linnik, ARK (Unsportsmanlike Cond), 15:00. Paquet, BR (Hooking), 
15:00. Cirillo, ARK (Roughing), 15:53. Mathieu, BR (Roughing), 
15:53. Pagnutti, ARK (Roughing), 15:53. Fraser, BR (Holding stick), 

SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: 3, Baton Rouge-Mathieu 14 (unassisted) 
6:58. 4, Baton Rouge-Paquet 11 (short handed) (Mathieu) 8:47. 5, 
Arkansas-Marchant 18 (Smith) 14:30. 6, Arkansas-Pagnutti 13 
(power play) (Long; Smith) 18:38. Penalties: Sundberg, BR served by 
Norrie (Tripping), 7:55. Marchant, ARK (Holding stick), 11:58. 
Blais, BR (Hooking), 18:12. 

THIRD PERIOD -- Scoring: None. Penalties: Linnik, ARK (Hooking), 
1:21. Fraser, BR (Holding), 4:36. Coole, ARK (Roughing), 10:23. 
Norrie, BR (Roughing), 10:23. 

OVERTIME -- Scoring: None. Penalties: None.

Baton Rouge               12 10  5  6--33 
Arkansas                  13 14 11  1--39 

Power Play Conversions: Baton Rouge - 1 of 3, Arkansas - 2 of 5.
Goalies: Baton Rouge-Sundberg (39 shots, 36 saves; record: 6-8-2). 
Arkansas-Fankhouser (33 shots, 30 saves; record: 2-0-1). 
A: 2217.  Referee: Koharski. Linesmen: Sotak; Jones.