Havoc Score Four in the Third Period to Take Game One of SPHL Final
PEORIA, IL - The Peoria Rivermen dominated the first two periods of game one of the SPHL President's Cup Finals, but the Huntsville Havoc roared back to overwhelm the Rivermen in the final stanza.
Huntsville came from three goals down -- scoring five unanswered -- to win game one 6 to 5.
The series now moves to the Rocket City with the Havoc one win away from an SPHL championship.
"Once again, the team dug deep in the third and found a way to battle back," said Havoc Head Coach Glenn Detulleo. "The hardest part is still ahead of us, but we're excited for the challenge on Friday."
The Rivermen struck first on a powerplay three minutes into the contest, but Huntsville tied it back up with a powerplay of their own seven minutes later. Derek Perl took a shot from the top of the right circle that got past Peoria netminder Tyler Parks.
Peoria's Joe Kalisz scored his second of the game when he shrugged off a Havoc defender and put back a rebound off the pads of Huntsville goalie Keegan Asmundson.
The Rivermen recorded their third score on a Ben Oskroba slapshot from the top of the circle that made it 3-1 at the first intermission. Peoria outshot the Havoc 13 to 5 in the opening frame.
The home team threatened to run away with the game when Alec Hagaman scored three minutes into the second period to give the Rivermen a 4-1 lead.
Seven seconds later, the Havoc slowly started to climb back in to the game when Christian Powers teamed up with Tyler Piacentini and Stuart Stefan to score, cutting into the Rivermen lead. Peoria was up by two heading into the second intermission and were outshot 14-8 by the good guys in the second period.
Then Huntsville opened the floodgates.
Christian Powers, who scored five on Peoria in the regular season, recorded his second goal of the night nine minutes into the third period. Tyler Piacentini, who also had scored five on the Rivermen in the regular season, tied the game two minutes later.
The Rivermen were still reeling when, less than a minute after the last score, Sy Nutkevitch gave Huntsville a lead they would not relinquish, putting back a rebound from a shot by Anthony Calabrese.
Justin Fox added an insurance goal with less than three minutes remaining, giving the Havoc a 6-4 lead, and it was a goal the team wound up needing.
Scott Trask put in an empty-net goal, which was waved off due to an offsides call by the officials.
Former Havoc Mike Gurtler, who was traded to Peoria four seasons ago, brought Peoria back within one when his team pulled their goalie for an extra attacker, but the Havoc defense clamped down for the final two minutes as Huntsville escaped with the 6-5 win.
More importantly, the team came away with a win in a three-game series. The Havoc have an opportunity to put away the Rivermen and win it all in front of the home crowd on Friday, April 27, in the Von Braun Center.
Puck drops for game two on Pharmacy First Ice at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at special prices for the President's Cup Finals. Purchase yours at the VBC Box Office, the Havoc front office or at Ticketmaster.com. General admission seats are $5 and Silver Reserved are only $10.
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Southern Professional Hockey League Stories from April 26, 2018
- Rivermen Surrender Four Third-Period Goals in Game 1 Loss to Huntsville - Peoria Rivermen
- Havoc Score Four in the Third Period to Take Game One of SPHL Final - Huntsville Havoc
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