It was the season opener for both teams.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Chris Richards scored in the shootout for the Youngstown SteelHounds, who defeated the Memphis RiverKings, 5-4, in the Central Hockey League season opener for both teams Friday night.
Both teams played very physical in the first period as they combined for 10 penalties. The lone goal came at the 12:55 mark of the period when there was a scramble in front of the Memphis net, and finally Sam Miller poked the puck through RiverKing goalie Larry Sterling for the 1-0 lead.
The second period saw a lot of offense and early. The 'Hounds got two power play goals just two and a half minutes into the second period of play. 'Hounds blueliner Jeff Alcombrack, found teammate Paul Esdale at the top of the right slot for the one-timer that squeaked through the pads of Sterling giving the 'Hounds a 2-0 lead. More than a minute and a half later, Richards backhanded a second rebound chance low glove side for a 3-0 advantage. That lead would not last for long as nine seconds later, Ryan Campbell intercepted the face off for a breakaway chance that backed in through the five hole of Jeremy Symington to cut the 'Hounds lead to 3-1. Memphis forward Travis Banga lit the lamp on the powerplay for the Kings to cut the 'Hounds lead to 3-2. Just 30 seconds later, veteran Louis Dumont fired a one-timer from Mark Cole to tie the knot at 3-3.
Taking the lead
The SteelHounds took the lead quickly in the third period when Jeff Christian redirected Chris Richards' shot from the point, scooting past the skate of Sterling making the score 4-3 in favor of the Hounds. Jason Sessa would tie the contest at 4-4 at the 4:57 mark in the third, blasting a slapshot from the top of the left wing going high top shelf on Symington.
The game went to a shootout after a scoreless overtime period, with Richards producing the game-winning goal on the second chance for the Hounds.
The SteelHounds and RiverKings will play game two of the weekend series tonight with face-off scheduled at 8:05 p.m.
The game will be broadcast on WBBW-AM (1240) and webcast on steelhounds.com.