COLUMBUS, GA – After hosting Fayetteville on Friday and then travelling to North Carolina on Saturday, the Columbus Cottonmouths still had work to do on Sunday, February 23 when the Mississippi RiverKings came calling at the Columbus Civic Center. Unfortunately for the Cottonmouths, the RiverKings had more energy then their hosts and turned it into a 4-2 victory.
The opening period was a struggle for Columbus as the Cottonmouths fought to find their skating legs. Mississippi’s offense by contrast was clicking as it put 18 shots on Snakes goalie Curtis Martinu in the period. Martinu held his own, stopping all 18 attempts to keep the game scoreless.
The RiverKings finally broke through with three goals in a span of four minutes late in the second. The first came off the stick of Todd Hosmer during a power play with the assists going to Devin Mantha and Matt Whitehead. Twenty-one seconds later, Matt Harrington and Daniel Sobotka combined forces to get the puck to Sean Jones who beat Martinu to bump the tead to two. Harrington later set up Mantha for a short-handed tally with less than two minutes left before the intermission.
Jones extended the margin to four with his second goal of the game seven minutes into the final frame. Burke Gallimore picked up the assist on the score. Tory Allan finally was able to put Columbus on the board with a power play goal at the 8:58 mark off of assists from Andy Willigar and Preston Shupe. Sam Bowles set up Mike Switzer for a late goal but the Cottonmouths didn’t have enough time to complete a comeback.
Mississippi goalie Matthew Krahn made 37 saves to post the win while Martinu posted 35 saves in suffering the loss.
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