Let the Good Times Roll: Huntsville Snatches Shootout Win from Pensacola 5-4
HUNTSVILLE, AL - In a Mardi Gras Celebration game Saturday afternoon, the Huntsville Havoc scored three powerplay goals but still needed overtime and a shootout to put away the Pensacola Ice Flyers 5-4.
Laissez les bons temps rouler, indeed.
Huntsville's Stuart Stefan provided the game-winner in the shootout and goalkeeper Mike DeLaVergne sealed the win by stopping all five shootout attempts from the top-ranked Ice Flyers.
"I'm really proud of the team's effort today," said Havoc Head Coach Glenn Detulleo. "They played with a lot of heart to take down the number one team in the SPHL, especially in the final of a three-game stretch in two and a half days. DeLaVergne was huge for us and our special teams came up big."
The skate against Pensacola was Huntsville's third in as many days after playing a pair against the Knoxville Ice Bears on Thursday and Friday. Meanwhile, the Ice Flyers were on fresh legs, last taking the ice in a game on Saturday, Feb. 3.
Things looked dark in the first period as Pensacola mustered two goals in the opening frame to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. The Ice Flyers put up 14 shots on goal to Huntsville's 6.
Christian Powers started Huntsville's scoring on a powerplay just under five minutes into the second period, wristing a cross-slot pass from Tyler Piacentini past Pensacola keeper Gordon Defiel's blocker.
Barely a minute later, Shawn Bates picked up a loose puck and put it past two defenders and the goalie to tie the game at two.
The Havoc took control 100 seconds after Bates' score when Andy Willigar rocketed a slapshot during another powerplay from the far side of the left circle and notched his second goal in three games. The period ended with Huntsville up 3-2.
A determined Ice Flyer squad returned from the break and re-tied the game with a little over seven minutes left on the clock. But Stephen Hrehoriak helped the Havoc re-take the lead against his former team on another powerplay when Bates sent him a no-look pass that Hrehoriak popped into the back of the net.
With less than a minute left and down 4-3, Pensacola pulled goalkeeper Defiel to add an extra attacker on the ice. The gamble paid off as the Ice Flyers scored with less than a minute to play in regulation to tie the game and send it to overtime.
A few close calls and a slashing penalty on Stefan made up all the action in the extra frame, which meant a shootout would determine the winner.
Stefan scored in the fourth round of the shootout and DeLaVergne secured the win by shutting down all five attempts, snatching the last one out of the air and raising his glove triumphantly as he was mobbed by his Havoc teammates. The Havoc keeper made 40 saves in regulation and overtime.
This was Huntsville's fourth win of the regular season against the Ice Flyers. The Havoc finish the regular season series against top-ranked Pensacola with a record of 4-2-2.
It's also the fourth overtime/shootout game at home this season. The Havoc have won all four.
Huntsville did not allow a powerplay goal in Pensacola's three attempts.
The scoring was shared widely among the Havoc roster as 11 different players earned at least a point during the game. Justin Fox and Alex Botten each recorded a pair of assists.
The win puts the Havoc back in to a tie for fourth place in the SPHL standings with the Knoxville Ice Bears.
These are the complete video highlights of today's game, which can be found at the Huntsville Havoc YouTube page.
The Havoc are on the road for three games next week, which includes another three-in-three. They are on the road Tuesday, Feb. 13, against the Mississippi RiverKings before playing a pair in Roanoke, Virginia, against the Rail Yard Dawgs on Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17.
The Havoc will hustle back to Huntsville on Sunday, Feb. 18, for a special 5 p.m. start time against the Evansville Thunderbolts. It will be the last regular season meeting between these two teams. The match is our Fan Appreciation Game with $5 general admission tickets, $5 craft beers for adults, and $5 root beer floats from Purity Dairy for the kids. It's also our last Simple Helix Hockey Night in Huntsville of the regular season. Fans can enjoy $2 beer, soda, and hot dogs.
Tickets are on sale now at ticketmaster.com or at the VBC box office.
• Discuss this story on the Southern Professional Hockey League message board...
Southern Professional Hockey League Stories from February 10, 2018
- Let the Good Times Roll: Huntsville Snatches Shootout Win from Pensacola 5-4 - Huntsville Havoc
- RiverKings Win 4th Straight, Take Down Evansville - Mississippi RiverKings
- Roanoke Blows by Knoxville, 5-1 - Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs
- Valiant Effort Falls Short for Marksmen - Fayetteville Marksmen
- Mayhem Battle to Get Back into Win Column, Defeat Fayetteville 3-2 - Macon Mayhem
- Rivermen Game Notes: Peoria Rivermen (23-10-2) at Birmingham Bulls (12-20-5) - Peoria Rivermen
- Rail Yard Dawgs Game Notes: Rail Yard Dawgs (14-19-3) vs Ice Bears (21-11-4) - Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs
- SPHL Announces Suspensions - SPHL
- Rivermen Fall 3-2 in Birmingham Friday - Peoria Rivermen
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Huntsville Havoc Stories
- Havoc to Hold End of Season Yard Sale
- Come Celebrate SPHL Title with the Havoc Parade & Party on May 1
- Havoc to Celebrate President's Cup Championship with Parade & Party on May 1
- Huntsville Havoc Win 2018 President's Cup Championship
- Havoc Comeback Falls Short, Team Heads to Peoria for Deciding Game