(HUNTSVILLE) - Knoxville scored three power play goals on 11 opportunites in a penalty-filled game for Huntsville that cost them their 6-game win streak in a 5-1 loss at the Von Braun Center, Friday night in front of an announced crowd of 3,076.
Art Mnatsakanov's power play goal from the top of the slot at 2:27 of the 2nd period became the deciding goal as the Havoc spent most of the 1st half of that period in the penalty box. The Ice Bear defenseman took a centering feed from Bobby Joe Pelkey, seconds after Travis Kauffeldt received a seven-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and fighting, and slapped in past goalie Steve Briere for a 2-0 Knoxville lead.
Edan Welch shoved in a deflection in the crease past Knoxville goalie Kirk Irving at 16:51 later in the period to close the gap at 2-1, but penalties would put the Havoc at a constant disadvantage again in the 3rd period. Most of the penalty time was served by Dan Buccella, who received at two-minute penalty for instigating, a five-minute major for an altercation at the center face-off circle with Ice Bears forward Phil Cherneski, and a 10-minute misconduct.
Knoxville got insurance from Tim Vitek, who got the hat trick in the 3rd period, scoring from the crease at 5:13, then again at 13:49, and again on the power play at 16:21.
Steve Briere stopped 23 of 28 shots for the Havoc, while Irving recorded 31 saves for Knoxville.
Columbus, which was tied with Huntsville in last place going into tonight's game, put some distance between them and the Havoc in the standings with a 5-0 shutout over Richmond tonight.
The Havoc fall to 19-21 while 1st place Knoxville goes to 26-12, four points ahead of 2nd place Jacksonville, which beat Twin City, 6-2, Friday night.
Huntsville's next home game is Saturday night against Richmond.