Huntsville, AL (WAFF) - The Huntsville Havoc are still riding a wave of momentum as the SPHL season hits the mid-point.
With the bench still depleted thanks to last week's brawl with the Surge, and subsequent suspensions, the Havoc stayed in a tough game with the Knoxville Ice Bears Thursday night at the Von Braun Center.
The home team fell behind early thanks to a Mark Van Vliet goal in the first period. It would be the only score the Havoc gave up. Goaltender Dan McWhinney, coming off a 3-0 weekend where he was named the SPHL Player of the Week, looked sharp as he stopped 45 out of 46 shows the Ice Bears snapped his way.
While the Havoc looked overpowered by the Ice Bears at times, McWhinney's solid performance kept them within striking distance. The Havoc offense, which had struggled for much of the season, looked noticeably more aggressive, keeping Knoxville's Peter Skoggard on his toes through out the night. After several close calls and barely missed opportunities, the Havoc finally put on in the net when a Kyle Laughlin rebound popped onto the stick of Ian Boots. The New Yorker flung the puck behind a sprawled out Skoggard, tying the game with 16 minutes left in the game.
McWhinney withstood a frenzy of shots from Knoxville late in the period, forcing an overtime. On the first shift of the extra period, Boots stormed into the Knoxville zone, fired off a shot toward Skoggard that bounced around in the crease before Colin Reddin slipped it over the red line, ending the game.
The Havoc have now won 4 in a row, and 5 of their last 7. However, they remain 8th in the Southern League with 23 points. On Friday, they travel to Columbus to take on their other arch-rivals, the Cottonmouths. The snakes are two points ahead of Huntsville in the standings.
Bill Baker, Corey Fulton, Chapen Leblond, and Matt Smyth were in the lineup, still serving suspensions. Same story for head coach Glenn Detulleo, who should return to the bench tonight. Cody Crichton was out with an injury.