Dan McWhinney stopped 46 shots (Photo : Richard Perigo)
Augusta's Jarrett Rush and Aaron McGill scuffle (Photo : Richard Perigo)
Ray Ortiz had a goal and an assist (Photo : Richard Perigo)
A Thanksgiving night rout was just what the doctor ordered for the struggling Huntsville Havoc.
With just two wins in their first nine games, the red and black needed a big night.. and that's just what they got.
A crowd of 3,000 turned out after their Thanksgiving feats to watch the Havoc take on the last-place Augusta Riverhawks. They were treated to what was easily the best performance from the Havoc all year. A 4-0 rout that saw goalie Dan McWhinney make Havoc history. "We played a full 60 minutes tonight and that makes life easy." McWhinney told WAFF Sports after the game. "It's a lot more relaxing, coming out, getting the lead like that. Takes all the weight off everybody's shoulders."
McWhinney has struggled in his return to Huntsville, coming into the game with a 2-4-1 record and a GAA over 3.60. But, when the final horn sounded, McWhinney had stopped all 46 shots fired his way, earning his 5th career shutout with the Havoc. "When you're in the zone, you're in the zone and it seems like nothing could get past you, you could stop a BB that night." McWhinney said. The shutout ties a Havoc record for most in a career. The legendary Matt Carmichael also had 5 during his time in the Rocket City.
Still, the night was hardly perfect for McWhinney. Some luck was involved as well. A second period shot bounced off McWhinney's helmet, then struck a post and flew into the corner. In the third period, a mistake almost gave Augusta an easy goal. "One time I tried to play the puck up to Stu (Stuart Steffan), and it got caught in his feet. (Augusta's Dennis)Sicard turned around and fired it to an empty net, and I was staking too casual back to the net so I had to dive.. It was fun."
McWhinney was backed up by a strong defense, and much more potent offense than the Havoc have seen this year. Ray Ortiz, Mike MacDonald, Corey Fulton and Bryant Doerrsham all scored for the red and black.