Cottonmouths 4, Ice Bears 1: Snakes avenge controversial loss

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerFebruary 14, 2014 

The Columbus Cottonmouths came home after losing three one-goal games on the road last weekend.

Returning to the friendly confines of the Columbus Civic Center was just what the Snakes needed.

The Snakes avenged their controversial loss to Knoxville eight days ago, earning a solid 4-1 victory over the Ice Bears before 2,541 happy fans.

After falling behind early, the Snakes scored four unanswered goals to earn an important two points in the Southern Professional Hockey League standings. The win gives Columbus sole possession of seventh place among the league's 10 teams, with eight teams advancing to the playoffs. With just 17 regular-season games left, the standings remain crowded. Only five points separate the bottom four teams.

The win over the Ice Bears was just the second for the Snakes in nine games between the two teams this season.

"Every time we've made mistakes, they've capitalized," forward Jordan Draper said. "They've got a good goalie (Bryan Hince) but the last couple of games we've put pressure on him."

The pressure was on the Snakes early as the Ice Bears took a 1-0 first-period lead.

"I let in a weak goal," Snakes goaltender Andrew Loewen said. "They were on the power play and it developed into an odd-man rush. (Berkley) Scott put it in the far side. He put it where he had to put it. But our team bounced back and scored four."

Neilsson Arcibal scored two of the team's four goals, including the tying goal at the 15:40 mark of the first period.

"Honestly, I didn't know it went in until everybody started coming toward me," Arcibal said. "Our line has really been clicking. We have a knack for each other. We talk a lot out there. We hang out a lot off the ice and get along really well."

The Arcibal-Preston Shupe-Tory Allan scored three goals and chipped in three assists.

The score remained tied 1-1 after a scoreless second. Early in the third period, the Snakes tallied an important power play goal. The power play struggled in the three games last weekend, scoring only once in 15 chances.

Draper took a pass from Sam Bowles and flipped it past Hince for a 2-1 Cottonmouths lead at the 4:50 mark of the third period.

"The power play has been clicking," Draper said. "Last weekend we only scored one. We had chances but were just not finishing it off."

Arcibal struck just 1:25 later to give the Snakes a little breathing room and a 3-1 lead. Shupe ended the scoring with a wraparound at the 15:25 mark.

Loewen earned the win in net breaking a three-game losing streak.

He and the Snakes were able to put last weekend's disappointment behind them.

"Over the course of the season, you get good breaks and then you get a few bad ones," Loewen said. "Last weekend the calls didn't go our way and we lost three close games.

"Our travel schedule has been difficult. We had the game with Louisiana postponed when we were on a roll and then added the Knoxville game at the beginning of the trip to Peoria."

The Snakes complete their two-game homestand tonight when second-place Louisiana comes to town. Game time is 7:30.

Friday at the Civic Center

Knoxville 1 0 0--1

Columbus 1 0 3--4

First period--1, Knoxville, Scott (unassisted) 4:26 PPG; 2, Columbus, Arcibal (Shupe)15:40. Penalties--Aide, Columbus (charging) 3:55; Bailer, Columbus (cross-checking) 16:19; Segal, Knoxville (hooking) 19:06.

Second period--None. Penalties--Vandenberk, Knoxville (hooking) 5:36; Hill, Knoxville (slashing) 10:37; Bremner, Columbus (hooking) 13:36; Columbus (bench minor-too many men on the ice) 15:28.

Third period--3, Columbus, Draper (Bowles) 4:50; 4, Columbus, Arcibal (unassisted) 6:15; 5, Shupe (Arcibal, Allan) 15:25.

Shots on goal: Knoxville 4 10 13 --27. Columbus 15 8 14 --37

Goaltenders: Loewen (win) 60:00 27 26 1; Hince (loss) 60:00 37 33 4.

Power plays: Knoxville 1 of 6; Columbus 1 of 5.

Referee: Howard. Linesmen: Meacham, Rawn.

Time: 2:10

Attendance: 2,541

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