(COLUMBUS, GA.) - Craig Bushey's tie-breaking goal with 4:56 left in the game handed the Huntsville Havoc a win on the road, their 4th straight overall, as they come back into town tonight to face the 1st-place Knoxville Ice Bears.
The Columbus Cottonmouths fought back from an early two-goal deficit before losing 4-2 at Columbus Civic Center.
The Havoc took advantage of a penalty-filled 1st period, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. Justin Keller scored on a power play at 6:24 with assists from Jason deGuehery and Mike O'Sullivan and then scored again at 10:32 after a 5-minute major for fighting on Will Barlow, after an exchange with Justin Schmit.
Columbus cut the lead to 2-1 at 14:52 of the period on Ryan McCarthy's 5th goal in 10 games.
The 2nd-place Cottonmouths tied the contest in the 2nd period on a power play goal by Ryan Rutz, with assists from Daryl Moor and Lorne Misita. The Snakes entered the game with the SPHL's 5th best power play (18.7%), and were 1-for-6 with the extra attacker.
With the score 2-2 and overtime looming, Craig Bushey was just inside the blue line when he fired a slap shot that found its way past goalie Ian Vigier.
Columbus turned up the heat in an effort to tie it again, but missed numerous chances as the puck dinged the post and got all around the net, but not in it.
They had to play the closing minutes on the penalty kill. Ryan Rutz was whistled for roughing with 2:21 left and Snakes coach Jerome Bechard pulled goaltender Ian Vigier with 1:06 left for the extra attacker, but James Patterson found the empty net for the insurance goal with :44 left in the game, his 14th of the season.
Matt Carmichael stopped 26 of 28 shots for the win. Huntsville was 2-for-7 on the power play. For the season, they are 2nd as a team with the man advantage with a scoring pct. of 25.6%.
Game time tonight against Knoxville is at 7:30 pm.