HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The 2018 Huntsville Havoc are just one win away from clinching the second ever President's Cup for the city.
It's been eight years since the 2010 team skated off the ice as champions.
We decided to reach out to some of the old guys and see what advice they have for this new iteration of the red & black.
Captain Travis Kauffeldt has been retired from the game for some years. He's doing well, living in Canada with his wife and two young sons.
He has nothing but fond memories of that championship run. "I can basically remember everything from that night," Kauffeldt told WAFF 48 on Thursday morning. "It was a special night, I had my fiancée there, we went back into the locker room, drinking out of the cup, we took a dip in the pond (in the Big Spring between the arena and Embassy Suites). I remember Brett Liscomb there with his skates on the concrete jumping in the pond. I remember Mike MacDonald scoring that goal to put us up 3-1."
Ray Ortiz spent 7 years wearing red & black. He remembers that no one expected the Havoc to beat Pensacola. "Well, I know with us we were the underdogs. We obviously believed we could win, but I think we played with a certain looseness that helped us win. So to the boys, I'd keep it simple. Enjoy it and leave everything on the ice."
Mike MacDonald scored the winning goal that night. "The pressure is all on them," MacDonald says of Peoria. "Enjoy the moment. There is nothing better than raising the cup at the VBC"
Kauffeldt says that's his main piece of advice to the team, win or lose: cherish the memories. "Sometimes it feels like it was forever ago, and sometimes when you get to this time of the year, it seems like it was just yesterday."
In the regular season, Peoria seemed to have Huntsville's number, beating them five times and losing only three. Kauffeldt says forget about the regular season because it's all about the here and now. "A lot of teams and coaches will go right into 'Well, this is what we did in the regular season, we beat them this many times'. At the end of the day, that doesn't matter. The playoffs are where it really matters."
Ortiz says there's a definite advantage to playing the game in Huntsville. "I'm sure the VBC will be rocking like always." He told WAFF Thursday night. "Battle like you guys have done all year and things will work out."
One last piece of advice for Ortiz – "Winning at home is a lot more fun. Just saying."
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