The Columbus Cottonmouths saluted the large, enthusiastic crowd on Military Appreciation and rewarded them with a 5-2 victory over the Fayetteville at the Columbus Civic Center on Saturday night.
The game was the second of three against the FireAntz. The Snakes took Games 1 and 2 and the final contest will be on Monday night in Fayetteville.
The victory began the Snakes' climb up the SPHL standings, at least temporarily.
Pending the results of the Mississippi Surge-Louisiana contest, the Cottonmouths claimed a share of seventh place, tied with Fayetteville at 28 points.
Knoxville is only a point ahead of the Antz and Snakes.
The victory was the fourth in the Cottonmouths' last five games. It was also goaltender Andrew Loewen's fourth victory in his last five starts.
Loewen's goals-against average is now 3.07 and goals-against average is .901.
The game featured balanced scoring for the Snakes as four different players scored. Leading the charge was Sam Bowles with a pair of goals.
Enforcer Alex Gallant scored his first professional goal and defenseman Jason Gray also lit the lamp. Also with two points was Jordan Draper, who had one goal and an assist.
A season-high crowd of 5,792 was treated to a number of fights.
Gallant led the way with a pair of fights. Chris Bailer and Will Aide also dropped the gloves once.
After shutting out the Antz in Fayetteville on Friday night, the Snakes fell behind 1-0 at the 1:44 mark of the first period. It was the first goal scored by Fayetteville in its last three games.
The Antz suffered back-to-back shutouts to Knoxville
and Columbus entering Saturday night's contest.
But the Snakes came roaring back, scoring four unanswered goals. Fayetteville scored once on the power play in eight tries.
The Snakes failed to convert any of their four chances.
After the Monday night game in Fayetteville ends the long weekend, the Snakes look forward to another three-day weekend on Jan. 24-26.
They travel to Huntsville on Friday and return home for two games against Louisiana.
Game time is 7:30 on Saturday and 4 p.m. Jan. 26.
Fayetteville 1 0 1--2
Columbus 1 2 2--5
First period--1, Fayetteville, Elliott (Tamblyn, Greenside) 1:44; 2, Columbus, Gray (Arcibal, Shupe) 5:49. Penalties--Fayetteville, Tamblyn (elbowing) 7:15; Draper, Columbus (holding) 7:21; Lind, Columbus (elbowing) 9:03; Tamblyn, Fayetteville (checking from behind major, roughing, game misconduct) 11:08; Shupe, Columbus (roughing) 11:08; Gingera, Columbus (slashing) 17:48.
Second period--3, Columbus, Bowles (Gingera) 8:13; 4, Columbus, Draper (Lind) 14:29. Penalties--Craven, Fayetteville (interference) 7:14; Bailer, Columbus (holding) 7:14; Kavanaugh, Fayetteville (high-sticking) 7:57; Aide, Columbus (fighting, instigator) 10:45; Gallant, Columbus (fighting, instigator) 10:45; Recio, Fayetteville (fighting) 10:45; Elliott, Fayetteville (fighting) 10:45; Richardson, Fayetteville (unsportsmanlike conduct) 10:45; Richardson, Fayetteville (game misconduct) 13:53.
Third period--5, Columbus, Gallant (unassisted) 4:48; 6, Fayetteville, Greenside (Clewlow) 7:59 PPG; 7, Columbus, Bowles (Draper) 11:59. Penalties--Gingera, Columbus (slashing, holding) 5:49; Ridley, Fayetteville (holding) 8:29; Gallant, Columbus (instigator, fighting) 18:18; Bailer, Columbus (fighting) 18:53; Craven, Fayetteville (fighting) 18:53.
Shots on goal: Fayetteville 6 7 8--21
Columbus 5 15 8--28
Goaltenders: Loewen (win) 60:00 21 19 2; Skoggard (loss) 60:00 28 23 5.
Power plays: Fayetteville 1 of 8; Columbus 0 of 4
Referee: Anderson. Linesmen: Dioughy, Archambeault.
Time: 2:25. Attendance: 5792