AUGUSTA, GA – The Augusta RiverHawks dominated the game in every aspect but on the scoreboard on Friday, November 30th at the James Brown Arena, and as a result they fell 2-1 to the Huntsville Havoc in a shootout.
The RiverHawks threw everything they had at Havoc netminder Jonathan LaRose, firing off 46 shots and getting turned aside on 45 of them. By comparison the RiverHawks held the Havoc to just 25 shots on their goaltender BJ O’Brien.
The RiverHawks got off to a great start early, taking the play to the Havoc immediately and cashing in just 4 minutes into the first period. RiverHawks’ forward Chad Ziegler took the puck across center ice into Huntsville territory and found Dennis Sicard. Sicard quickly moved the puck to forward Matt Atsoff, who punched his first goal of the season.
Augusta really turned up the heat on the Havoc in the second period, getting off 17 shots compared to just 4 for Huntsville. However, the highlight of the period for the team was a fight by Sicard, who took on the much larger Bill Baker and got the better of the match-up. Despite all of the positive energy for the RiverHawks, both teams went scoreless and the score remained 1-0.
If there was one area of the game where the Havoc got the better of the RiverHawks, it was on special teams as the Havoc killed all six of the RiverHawks’ opportunities. To make matters worse for the RiverHawks, early in the third period the Havoc was able to find a weak spot in Augusta’s power play. Ian Boots went across the slot to Matt Smyth on a short-handed rush four minutes into the period, and he fired it into the net past O’Brien to tie up the game at one a piece.
Neither team was able to score in overtime despite a handful of great chances for the RiverHawks, and one main chance for the Havoc who fored O’Brien to make a big save. The game then moved to a five-player shootout. The first three RiverHawks in line for the shootout were turned away by LaRose. Huntsville’s Ian Boots was the first to push it past O’Brien to give the Havoc the advantage, followed by Jeremiah Ketts who put the Havoc up by two. RiverHawks’ Captain Matt Auffrey answered right back to keep his team in it with a highlight reel goal, but it would be former RiverHawk Aaron McGill that would end the game firing a puck past O’Brien to secure the win for Huntsville.
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