Series Preview: The Havoc Battle the Rivermen for Shot at the Finals
HUNTSVILLE, AL- The Havoc march forward in their pursuit of the President's Cup with a second-round matchup against the Peoria Rivermen.
First Round Recap The first round saw Huntsville, the number four seed, take on the fifth-seeded Mississippi RiverKings in a best-of-three series.
The Havoc began the postseason last Wednesday in Southaven while recording the game's first goal.
Scott Fellnermayr kicked off the scoring that night as the Havoc registered two in the second and two in the third to build a 4-2 victory. Friday, Huntsville looked for the series sweep with their first playoff game at Huntsville Iceplex since April 2nd, 2014, but Mississippi had other plans. The RiverKings kicked off the scoring in the first period, while the Havoc charged back with two of their own from Nolan Kaiser and Kyle Sharkey in the second. Huntsville's one-goal lead was short-lived though, as Mississippi scored two of their own just two minutes apart from each other. The RiverKings added their fourth of the night in the third period to force a deciding game-three.
With the season on the line the following night, the Havoc remained calm, but saw another battle on their hands. The two evenly matched teams saw a scoreless game heading to the second period for the second time in the last four nights. In the second, Christian Powers scored the game's first goal on a two-on-one break with Sy Nutkevitch. But moments later, the RiverKings came right back to deadlock the game at one heading into the final frame of regulation. In the third, the teams traded goals again while Nolan Kaiser picked up his second of the postseason. With the game coming down to the wire, Huntsville saw a fortuitous powerplay and took advantage of a chasing Mississippi team in their own zone. Stuart Stefan came around the net to throw the puck in front with Powers crashing the net. The Carlisle, Ont. native popped home his second of the night to lift the Havoc into the second round with a 3-2 victory.
Vs. Peoria Huntsville will now move on to the second round to take on the Peoria Rivermen; a team the Havoc haven't faced since December 1st, 2016. The Rivermen knocked off the Knoxville Ice Bears in two games to advance to the second round. With the top two teams in the league remaining in the playoffs, Huntsville will have just one home game at the Von Braun Center for the second round.
The Havoc won the regular season series four games to one while outscoring the Rivermen 22-12.
Huntsville, who has more second period goals than any other team in the postseason, registered over half of their goals against Peoria in the middle frame during the regular season.
Huntsville, who scored first in six of their last eight games including two of the three playoff contests, registered the opening goal in three of the five games against Peoria. The Havoc registered six multiple- goal periods while chasing the Rivermen's starting netminder in three of the five contests.
The Havoc, who have the second best powerplay unit out of the remaining four teams in the playoffs, saw five or more man-advantage opportunities in three of the five contests against the Rivermen while capitalizing on three.
The second round marks the first time in franchise history Huntsville will battle Peoria in the postseason.
The Rivermen advanced to the SPHL finals for the first time in club history last year after knocking off the Fayetteville FireAntz. Meanwhile, the Havoc look to advance to the President's Cup finals for the third time in franchise history and second time in the last five years.
The Rivermen have just five players on the playoff roster who dressed in the first game of the regular season against the Havoc. Meanwhile, Huntsville sees 12 from that opening night roster still in the lineup.
The second round marks the 13th time the Havoc will begin a series on the road. During the regular season, Huntsville registered a six-game road winning streak from December 16th to January 7th, helping them reach 17 victories away from the Von Braun Center. Meanwhile, the Havoc have scored four or more goals in four of their last six contests at the VBC dating back to March 11th.
Broadcast Information The "Voice of the Havoc" Will Wodka will have the call of the game all postseason long on SPHL Live and Mixlr.com/HuntsvilleHavoc.
New Havoc App Stay up to date on the latest news and notes on the Huntsville Havoc by downloading the new Havoc app for iOS or Android here . Begin earning Havoc Rewards points for unforgettable in-game experiences and great swag now by submitting the code 'havocapp' in the 'My Rewards' section.
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Southern Professional Hockey League Stories from April 17, 2017
- Series Preview: The Havoc Battle the Rivermen for Shot at the Finals - Huntsville Havoc
- Mike Moran Wins SPHL Rookie of the Year Award - Mississippi RiverKings
- Mississippi's Mike Moran Named SPHL Rookie Of the Year - SPHL
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