Surge 3, Cottonmouths 2: Snakes fall to Surge at home

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerDecember 21, 2013 

Columbus Cottonmouths coach Jerome Bechard watched the Snakes from the stands, hoping to see his team pull off a second straight victory over the Mississippi Surge.

The strategy backfired as the Surge pulled out a 3-2 win.

Bechard was suspended for Friday night's contest in Biloxi and assistant coach Brad Prefontaine guided the team to a 5-3 win. Superstition put Bechard in the stands as his team tried to post a victory and reclaim home ice advantage. Instead, the Snakes' frustrations keep mounting.

They've won three straight road games in which they've lit up goaltenders for a healthy 18 goals. They're stuck in a three-game home losing streak in which they've scored a total of 3 goals.

Despite outshooting the Surge 50-20 and failing on 10 power play chances, Bechard was pleased with what he saw.

"I can't ask for any more," Bechard said. "We had plenty of chances. We missed three open nets in the first period alone and then a couple more. We had a couple of unexecuted plays, two-on-ones, and the shorthanded goal. Our transition game was good."

Bechard told a somber locker room not to dwell on the outcome.

"I don't want anybody to like losing," Bechard said. "I told them that they could worry about this for an hour, but when they leave the rink to put it behind them. Tomorrow we'll come out and give it another go."

Rookie goaltender Travis Bosch took the loss, his fourth in a row.

"I know Travis probably feels that this was his game," Bechard said. He's pretty frustrated. I'm sure he'd like to have that third one back. He dug himself an early hole."

Mississippi led 1-0 after one period, but added to the lead with a power play early in the second. The Snakes finally solved goalie Dan Clarke on

Braid's goal at the 8:01 mark of the second. While the Cottonmouths were desperately trying to get the equalizer, a shorthanded goal by Chapen LeBlond just over two minutes later gave Mississippi a two-goal cushion.

The Snakes' last win at home came in a shootout over Fayetteville on Nov. 22. Bosch was in net that night. It was his first professional shootout.

Since then, the team has lost at home to the Mississippi RiverKings, 2-1, Knoxville 4-0 and Saturday night's 3-2 loss to the Surge.

Jordan Braid and Tory Allan lit the lamp for the Snakes.

Allan moved atop the list of Snakes scoring leaders with 19 points. Braid is third with 16.

The Snakes complete the weekend's action today at 4 against Louisiana.

Saturday at Columbus Civic Center

Mississippi Surge 1 2 0--3

Columbus 0 2 0--2

First period--1, Mississippi, Lange (LeBlond, Lysyj) 6:20. Penalties--Gallant, Columbus (fighting) 3:00; Fletcher, Mississippi (fighting) 3:00; Gallant, Columbus (fighting, unsportsmanlike conduct) 8:07; LeBlond, Mississippi (fighting) 8:07; Baker, Mississippi (cross-checking) 11:39; Columbus (bench minor, too many men on the ice) 12:34; Kuqali, Mississippi (hooking) 12:50; Allan, Columbus (goaltender interference) 16:58; Thorburn, Mississippi (roughing) 16:58; Baker, Mississippi (roughing) 16:58; Bremner, Columbus (roughing) 16:58.

Second period--2, Mississippi, Janosz (Lysyj, LeBlond) 4:06 PPG; 3, Columbus, Braid (unassisted) 8:01; 4, Mississippi, LeBlond (MacDonald) 10:18 SHG; 5, Columbus, Allan (Gallant) 14:03. Penalties--Willigar, Columbus (illegal check to the head) 2:35; Kuquali, Mississippi (tripping) 6:09; Sallander, Mississippi (interference) 9:48; Bremner, Columbus (slashing) 14:21; Leppanen, Mississippi (15:25; Kuqali, Mississippi (tripping) 15:25.

Third period--None. Penalties-- Mississippi (bench minor, too many men on the ice) 3:05; Gallant, Columbus (tripping) 5:50; LeBlond, Mississippi (boarding) 11:15; Kudroch, Mississippi (unsportsmanlike conduct) 17:04; Arcibal, Columbus (unsportsmanlike conduct) 17:04.

Shots on goal:

Mississippi 6 10 4 --20

Columbus 21 15 14 --50

Goaltenders: Bosch (loss) 59:08 20 17 3; Clarke (win) 60:00 50 48 2.

Clark. Power plays: Columbus 0 of 10; Mississippi 1 of 3. Time: 2:35. Attendance: 3064.

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