(HUNTSVILLE) - With 15 games in 31 days this month, Huntsville Havoc coach John Gibson was hoping to vault over some teams in the SPHL. Instead, they're digging themselves in a hole.
The last-place Havoc (12-13) began a stretch of four games in five days with a 6-3 loss to the 6th-place Jacksonville Barracudas, in a rare Tuesday night game, with help from a hat trick by Jim Murphy.
The Barracudas are now three points up on Huntsville.
2,171 were on hand for the rare Tuesday night game, which had to compete for fans with television's return of American Idol.
Matt Carmichael got the start, but gave up three goals in the 1st period on seven shots, and was lifted for newcomer David Beckles, who stopped 13 of 16 shots.
Jeff Valdes got the Havoc off to a 1-0 lead, making a steal and slamming a goal at 2:07 of the opening period, however only seconds after coming out of the penalty box, Tyrone Garner tied the game at 5:36.
Chad Swartzentruber followed with the unassisted go-ahead at 14:40 and Murphy, with the first of his three goals for the night, at 19:01.
After Ryan Webb made it 4-1 at 12:47 of the 2nd period, Mike O'Sullivan cut the lead to 4-2 at the 16-minute mark. The Havoc never got any closer.
Forty seconds later, Murphy's 2nd goal, ricocheting off Beckles' pads, made it 5-2.
The Havoc were 1-for-6 on the power play, that goal coming from James Patterson at 5:39 of the 3rd period against the best penalty-killing team (75.6%) in the league.
Ryan Person stopped 33 shots for the win.
The Havoc will host the Columbus Cottonmouths, Thursday night, at the Von Braun Center.