Good news from Biloxi, Snakes fans! In a complete turnaround from a less-than-stellar performance on Tuesday, the Snakes went to Mississippi and are headed home with a 3-2 win over the Surge.
In a night of firsts: First...and well deserved...W of the year for Andrew Loewen. Andrew played the other road game against Fayetteville and took the loss. From what I heard, Andrew turned in a solid performance against the FireAntz. He certainly did tonight as well.
With the Snakes leading 1-0 on a Jordan Braid goal and absolutely dominating in all phases of the game, a span of 1:20 in the second test Andrew severely. He gave up a pair of goals, both top shelf, at the 9:35 and 10:55 marks of the second. The first was a rare penalty shot awarded to Tommy Lang. Lang was mugged as he streaked into the Columbus zone. it was a pretty textbook penalty shot call and Lang took full advantage, flipping the puck over Andrew's left shoulder. 1-1.
When everybody, including me, was still taking a deep breath and trying to recover from the penalty shot, disaster struck. In a similar play, the Snakes turned it over and Shawn Skelly came in and scored unassisted in the same place...top left. Now finding yourself down a goal isn't a big deal, but the Snakes were a little unsettled. 2-1
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It took them about 7 minutes to tie it up. Bret Tyler got credit for the goal, but it was a typical Orrin Hergott play. Orrin's hard work and persistence kept the puck in the vicinity of the net and Bret buried it. Great teamwork. 2-2.
The Snakes took a lopsided lead in SOG early, 13-3 after the first. Mississippi more than caught up in that department, peppering Andrew with 19 shots in the second.
In the third period, a costly penalty led to the game-winner by John Sullivan on the power play. Brad Good was called for roughing at the 13:39 mark. John stole the puck and did the honors himself 53 seconds into the PP.
It was a night of firsts: in addition to the first win for Andrew, it was the first point for Orrin, first goal for Jordan and Bret, and first professional point for Jonathan Redlick, who assisted on the game winner.
Jonathan had a goal announced against Fayetteville, but it was wrongly credited to him rather than Sam Bowles.
All four of the SPHL contests tonight were close. Only one had a two-goal margin of victory (Knoxville 4-2 over Augusta). The others were one-goal wins (Louisiana beat MSRK 2-1 and Fayetteville beat Pensacola 4-3 in OT).
The league's two surprise teams continue to be Fayetteville and Augusta. The FireAntz, shut out of the playoffs the past two seasons, are an impressive 4-0 under new head coach Mark Desantis. Augusta, under new coach Rob Miller, continue to struggle at 0-4-1.
The Snakes head home to the friendly confines of the Snake Pit for three straight games. Next weekend features their first back-to-back games: Friday vs Knoxville and Saturday vs Louisiana. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the Snakes host Pensacola.
Alex MacLeod sat out tonight. I talked to Jerome yesterday and he said Alex's injury isn't thought to be serious, but it's still painful. With the luxury of having 19 players, with Jason Yuel on a three-gamer, Alex was given a little more time to heal.
It was a weird night for me. I've gotten a new laptop since last season, so I had to download several programs to watch the webcast. It literally took me over half an hour to get all of them done and the webcast up and running...and it was AWFUL!! Worst I've ever seen. This is going to be hard to describe, but it was so pixillated (probably not a word and definitely not spelled right). Picture little bitty boxes appearing all over the screen. You could see little yellow people and little blue people, but forget numbers or identifying anybody.
Just tried to keep up with whether the yellows or blues were doing anything significant around the net...UGH. I couldn't tell Kyle Johnson from Tom Maldonado...really.
Thanks to I-don't-know-who, the picture was repaired for the start of the second...YAY!! I appreciated it!
The trip home will be a pleasant one for the guys. I'm sure they're all anxious to get home and cheer for my Dawgs tomorrow...or not. Actually, we have a few Georgia fans in the group, and a few on the dark side. :) I need to start noting who bleeds red and black...taking names, guys.
Will close with my two remaining battle cries for the weekend...Go Dawgs and RISE UP!!!