December 27, 2012 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Columbus Cottonmouths
COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Columbus Cottonmouths ran their season-high winning streak to four games last week with a pair of wins, both by 5-2 decisions. The Snakes defeated the Knoxville Ice Bears on the road in Tennessee on Thursday night before returning home to defeat the Mississippi Surge in the Snake Pit on Friday night. This week, the Cottonmouths play a stretch of three games in three nights in three different cities. Columbus again travels to Knoxville for the second straight Thursday night road contest against the Ice Bears, then will head west on I-40 to the Memphis suburb of Southaven, Miss. to face the Mississippi RiverKings. The Cottonmouths return home Saturday night to face the Huntsville Havoc at the Columbus Civic Center. All three games will be broadcast on America One Networks with both a video and audio feed, with a nominal fee for each game. A free audio-only webcast of the games is also available. Details can be found at www.cottonmouths.com.
CURRENT RECORDS AND STATS
Last Week: 2-0-0
Record: 9-8-1, 19 pts (7th, SPHL)
50 GF, 45 GA
13.0% PP (7th, SPHL); 87.7% PK (4th, SPHL)
LAST WEEK\'S TRANSACTIONS
UPCOMING GAMES AND PROMOTIONS
Thursday, December 27 - Columbus at Knoxville, 7:35 PM EST (Season Series vs. KN X: 1-2-1)
The Cottonmouths head to Tennessee on Thursday night for a road game against the Knoxville Ice Bears. The Ice Bears are currently just three points ahead of the Snakes for sixth place in the SPHL standings, and Columbus has two games in hand on them. Knoxville\'s Berkley Scott is in a five-way tie for third in the league in goals (11) and is fourth in points (25) as he continues his red-hot start to the year. The Ice Bears are in the midst of a slump coming into their matchup against the Snakes as they have lost five of their last seven games.
Friday, December 28 - Columbus at Mississippi RiverKings, 8:05 PM EST (Season Series vs. MRK: 0-1-0)
The Snakes will head to Southaven, Miss. just over the state line from Memphis on Friday night to take on the Mississippi RiverKings. The RiverKings are six points ahead of the Snakes in a tie for third but have played the most games in the league with 24 games under their belt; in contrast, the Cottonmouths head into this week having played the fewest number of games in the league at 18. While the \'Kings are ahead of the Snakes in the standings, Columbus actually has a better winning percentage (.528 to .521) currently over them.
Saturday, December 29 - Huntsville at Columbus, 7:30 PM EST (Season Series vs. HSV: 1-0-0)
The Huntsville Havoc will head to the Columbus Civic Center on Saturday night to face off against the Snakes, capping off the week of three games in three nights in three cities for the Cottonmouths. Columbus dominated the Havoc 5-1 in the only other matchup between the two teams so far this season on December 16. Since that game, however, Huntsville has won three of its four games, including a 5-4 home win on Wednesday night against Louisiana. Dan McWhinney has been a workhorse in net for the Havoc, leading the league in minutes played among goaltenders and seeing action in 20 of Huntsville\'s 23 games so far on the year.
PROMOTIONS: Poster Calendars! Get ready for 2013 on Saturday night as the first 1,000 fans will receive a Snakes poster calendar courtesy of Sunshine Banners and Signs. Doors open at 6:30 with $2 beer available at the concession stands until 8:30 this and every Saturday night home game at the Snake Pit.
COTTONMOUTHS WEEK IN REVIEW
Thursday, December 20 - Columbus 5 at Knoxville 2 (Attendance: 2,391)
Matt Gingera notched a pair of goals, including the game-winner, as the Snakes picked up their first win of the season against Knoxville last night with a 5-2 win in Tennessee. Sam Bowles scored the last two goals including an insurance empty-netter in the game\'s final 40 seconds, with Tom Fitzpatrick scoring once as well. Ian Vigier had light work in net, only facing 19 Knoxville shots on goal and stopping 17 of them. The Ice Bears\' Connor Toomey took the loss in net with 17 saves on 21 shots. Columbus was 1 for 4 on the power play while holding Knoxville scoreless in their six chances on the man advantage.
Friday, December 21 - Mississippi Surge 2 at Columbus 5 (Attendance: 2,463)
The Cottonmouths ran their winning streak to four games and their home winning streak to five games on Friday night with a 5-2 victory over the Mississippi Surge at the Snake Pit. Jordan Braid scored a pair of goals for the Snakes as Bret Tyler scored a goal and added two assists to lead all scorers on the night. Levi Lind and Tom Maldonado also scored goals for Columbus. Andrew Loewen stopped 39 of 41 shots on goal for the win in net for Columbus, while the Surge\'s Kiefer Smiley took the loss between the pipes for Mississippi with 23 saves on 28 shots. The Snakes were 2 for 5 on the power play while the Surge were 1 for 6 with the man advantage and also notched a shorthanded goal in the game.
THREE STARS OF THE WEEK
1. D Bret Tyler - Tyler had a goal and four assists over the week and was a combined +5 in two games, including a whopping +4 on Thursday night in Knoxville.
2. F Sam Bowles - Bowles scored two goals on Thursday night in Knoxville and logged a pair of assists on Friday.
3. F Matt Gingera - Gingera scored twice in Thursday\'s game and had a pair of assists Friday against the Surge.