Ice Bears 4, Cottonmouths 0: Snakes fall to Ice Bears

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerDecember 13, 2013 

The Columbus Cottonmouths ended a five-game losing streak with an 8-6 road win over Louisiana on Thursday night.

The Snakes couldn't manage a single goal in a 4-0 loss to Knoxville on Friday night at the Columbus Civic Center.

For the first time in 10 SPHL seasons, the Cottonmouths were shut out on Teddy Bear Toss night. Fans bring stuffed animals which are used by firefighters and in ambulances to comfort sick and injured children. Restless fans held on to the stuffed animals and heaved them on to the ice at the conclusion of the game.

The Cottonmouths had more problems than teddy bears.

After busting loose with a season-high 8 goals against the first-place IceGators, they couldn't solve Knoxville goaltender Bryan Hince.

Hince recorded his seventh straight victory over the Snakes, five this season and back-to-back playoff shutouts a year ago. Knoxville now owns a 5-0 record against Columbus this season.

"We're really disappointed," Snakes forward Jordan Braid said.

"We finally found a way to get some goals last night. We got some decent shots tonight but we need to put the rebounds in.

"We have to figure out how to get more traffic in front of the net. There are not too many positives you can take from this game."

The Snakes entered the game with the league's top power play unit, but failed on all seven of its chances.

Assistant captain Tom Maldonado didn't attribute the loss on the number of penalties the Snakes had to kill, but rather on their failure to capitalize on their own power play chances.

"We can't blame it on the penalties," Maldonado said.

"We didn't take advantage of the power plays we had. We got shots to the net, but we didn't get players crashing the net."

Maldonado couldn't explain the five losses to the Ice Bears this season.

"We don't have the answer," Maldonado said. "They play a hard, tough, aggressive game."

The Snakes are now 5-11-1, with only two of the victories coming at home.

"We should have the advantage at home," Maldonado said.

"We've had a lot more away games, but that's no excuse."

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