Columbus Cottonmouths coach Jerome Bechard gave an unusual intermission speech to his squad after a miserable first period against the Huntsville Havoc at the Columbus Civic Center on Friday night.
"After the first period, Jerome asked us how good it will feel to come back and win after a bad period like that," forward Jordan Draper said.
The Snakes made a prophet out of Bechard as the Snakes posted a 6-5 come-from-behind victory in one of the most stirring comebacks in recent memory. It was the Cottonmouths' first victory of the young season.
The Snakes fell in a 4-0 hole early, yielding three goals in a 3:05 span and giving up a fourth before they lit the lamp. They trailed 4-1 after the first.
"We weren't executing in the first at all," assistant captain Levi Lind said.
"We weren't prepared for their speed. We needed to get our feet moving. Now that we have three games in, we know how much better the speed of these teams is this year."
Lind scored his first points of the season, a pair of goals and one assist. He scored the Snakes' first goal and the game winner on the power play with just 44 seconds left in the third period.
The Snakes' power play produced three of the six goals, but none more important than Lind's second one. The third and fourth goals also came with a man advantage. Tory Allan and Draper scored their first professional goals, one each at regular strength and one on the power play.
After fighting back to tie the game on Allan's power play goal, the Cottonmouths gave up a late goal to trail 5-4 after two periods.
The third period featured quality chances by both teams. Draper tied it up with only 2:26 left in the game, with Tom Maldonado and Allan assisting on the even strength goal. It appeared that the contest was headed to overtime when Huntsville's Rob Florentino was whistled for slashing with 1:43 to play. Allan assisted on Lind's game winner 59 seconds later.
"It is definitely a big win considering the start we had," Allan said. "I was on for two of those goals and both were my fault. We knew we had to bear down. We had lots of time left."
Draper arrived in Columbus last season just in time for the playoffs. This is his first full professional season.
"It was a good first win," Draper said. "Levi Lind was a man among boys out there tonight. As soon as we got the second goal, I knew we were coming back."
Rookie goaltender Travis Bosch survived a case of the jitters in the first period.
Fridat at Columbus Civic Center
Huntsville 4 1 0--5
Columbus 1 3 2--6
First period--1, Huntsville, Gertler (Perry, Bellamy) 5:34; 2, Huntsville, Fox (Cannata) 6:18; 3, Huntsville, Harris (Fox) 8:26; 4, Huntsville, Perry (Gertler) 13:50; 5, Columbus, Lind (Bremner) 14:20. Penalties--Bremner, Columbus (charging) 9:24; Allan, Columbus (slashing) 14:25; Gingera, Columbus (roughing) 18:08; Florentino, Huntsville (roughing) 18:08.
Second period--6, Columbus, Allan (McNulty) 2:27; 7, Columbus, Draper (Gingera) 9:55 PPG; 8, Columbus, Allan (Lind, Maldonado) 15:13 PPG; 9, Huntsville, Perry (Singleton) 18:09. Penalties--Fidler, Huntsville (slashing) 6:45; Fidler, Huntsville (hooking) 8:55; Lind, Columbus (slashing) 11:46; Perry, Huntsville (tripping) 14:28; Harff, Huntsville (cross-checking) 14:34; Braid, Columbus (hooking) 16:00.
Third period--10, Columbus, Draper (Maldonado, Allan) 17:34; 11, Columbus, Lind (Aallan) 19:16 PPG. Penalties--McNulty, Columbus (interference) 3:01; Zalba, Columbus (slashing) 11:05; Florentino, Huntsville (slashing) 18:17; Gingera, Columbus (holding) 19:53.
Shots on goal: Huntsville -- 13-12-10--35; Columbus -- 6-15-11--32
Goaltenders: Bosch (win) 60:00 35-30-5; Kallechy (loss) 60:00 32-26-6.
Power plays: Huntsville 0 of 7; Columbus 3 of 5
Referee: Murphy. Linesmen: D'loughy, Winkler
Time: 2:24. Attendance: 2071