Havoc Win OT Thriller in Home Opener
HUNTSVILLE - On a night when the Havoc celebrated the team's SPHL title in front of a partisan sell-out crowd, it took overtime fireworks for the home team to beat the Pensacola Ice Flyers 3-2.
It was the third consecutive win against Pensacola and fourth overall.
"What an amazing night to be a part of," said Havoc Head Coach Glenn Detulleo. "We got off to a rough start but found our game and eventually turned the momentum. We played a dominant third period and ultimately sent the best fans in the SPHL home happy."
The pre-game ring presentation and banner-raising was accompanied by indoor fireworks, but it was the Ice Flyers who started the game off with a bang, scoring on their first shot a mere six seconds into the contest. The back and forth chirping escalated quickly and less than 20 seconds after the re-start, Pensacola's Chris Lijdsman rang the bell and Huntsville's Connor Schmidt answered it. Both earned major penalties for fighting, but Schmidt was sent to the showers early for coming off the bench for the scrap.
The Havoc would not commit another penalty the rest of the match, but also could not capitalize on four powerplay opportunities - the first game in this young season where they failed to score at least once with the player advantage.
Rookie defenseman Pat Condon broke through for Huntsville (4-1-0) with just under five minutes remaining in the first period, shooting the puck just as he crossed into the Ice Flyer zone. Pensacola goalkeeper Brian Billet slowed the shot, but it still popped out under his arm and bounced into the net to tie the game.
The Ice Flyers (1-4-1) re-took the lead in the second period when Tanner Froese scored his first goal as a professional. It was a lead they kept until deep into the third period when Huntsville pulled netminder Mike DeLaVergne to add an extra attacker. The gamble paid off as Derek Perl flipped in a shot from his knees right in front of the crease to tie the game with just over a minute left in regulation.
Both teams ran out the clock and the game went to a sudden-death overtime. About two minutes in, Kyle Sharkey corralled the puck from behind his own net and delivered a perfect pass to an unguarded Tyler Piacentini at the far blue line. Piacentini went one-on-one with Billet and wristed a shot over the goalie's shoulder to score his first goal of the season and bring 6,122 fans to their feet.
Huntsville outshot the Ice Flyers 36 to 31, holding the visiting team to only five shots on goal in the third period.
These two teams will duke it out for the fourth consecutive game on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Pensacola Bay Center. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m.
The Havoc return to the friendly confines of the VBC on Sunday, Nov. 11, for a Veteran's Day special against the Macon Mayhem. In honor of Veteran's Day on Monday, all American veterans can get $5 tickets to Sunday evening's game. Fans can also enjoy $2 hot dogs, soda and beer. The puck drops at 5 p.m.
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Southern Professional Hockey League Stories from November 10, 2018
- Pensacola Wins against Huntsville, Breaks Losing Streak - Pensacola Ice Flyers
- Thunderbolts Gain Point in OT Loss to Roanoke - Evansville Thunderbolts
- Soper Leads Mayhem to Seventh Straight Win - Macon Mayhem
- Bulls Edge Quad City Again - Birmingham Bulls
- Dawgs Bury ThunderBolts in Overtime, 4-3 - Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs
- Preview: Mayhem vs. Knoxville Ice Bears (Game 8) - Macon Mayhem
- SPHL Announces Suspensions - SPHL
- Rail Yard Dawgs Game Notes: Rail Yard Dawgs (2-3-0) vs ThunderBolts (2-6-0) - 7:05 PM - Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs
- Late Mistakes Ruin Marksmen's Perfect Start, Lose 6-5 in OT - Fayetteville Marksmen
- Havoc Win OT Thriller in Home Opener - Huntsville Havoc
- Rivermen Come Back to Drop Marksmen in OT Friday - Peoria Rivermen
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