Where to begin? How do you describe a total domination? Statistically and every other way, the Snakes mauled Fayetteville 8-3 to complete a dazzling 4-1 road trip.
This game was over in a 4:44 span of the first period. This was when you knew it was going to be a great night for Columbus and a very long one for the Antz. Two straight PPG got things started. This time frame also launched banner nights for Sam Bowles, Jordan Braid and Bret Tyler.
Sam finished with 5 points, best night ever in his 5 years as a Cottonmouth. Jordan scored a career-high 4 points. Bret also chipped in 4 points, tops in his two seasons as a Snake.
The power play was (sit down if you are easily shocked)...6 of 7. The Snakes now have the SPHL's top PP and PK at 20.93% and 88.43%, respectively. If there was ever a time when the Snakes scored 6 times on the power play, I sure can't remember it. Unbelievable.
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Consistency has been the trademark of this team. The old Bobby Cox theory in managing the Braves...never get too high or too low. How's this for smooth sailing...The Snakes are 17-8-2 at home and 17-8-3 on the road.
In addition to the three players mentioned above, Tom Maldonado had a pair of assists and six other players had one point. Consistency, sharing the wealth, everyone contributing. Call it what you will, but this was a definite TEAM win.
Andrew Loewen got the win in net and almost grabbed his second shutout in a week's time. Andrew faced only 8 shots in 35:28, which is a ridiculously low number. He had time time to eat a sandwich, read a book...you name it. That much inactivity isn't good for a goalie. They get into the rhythm of a game much better when they see quality shots early. Not in this game.
The Antz scored on their 9th SOG late in the second period. By this time, the Snakes had a 6-0 lead.
I know they didn't make the playoffs. I know the Snakes are a much more talented team. But, for heaven's sake, when you put on that uniform, shouldn't there be pride and professionalism involved? Fayetteville had been playing pretty decent hockey lately and were riding a three-game winning streak, posting wins over Knoxville and Pensacola twice. But tonight, they mailed in this effort. Looked like they wanted to be anywhere else. Sad.
Knoxville thumped Augusta 5-1, so the Snakes remain one point ahead of the Ice Bears going into tomorrow night's regular season finale. Pensacola beat Louisiana and clinched that all-important fourth slot.
The Snakes clinch second with a win or tie against Augusta tomorrow night at the Snake Pit. As we speak, the MSRK are going into OT vs Huntsville. Breaking news...no, the RK just beat Huntsville only 15 seconds into OT. Sooooo, going into game 56:
- Augusta 79
- Columbus 73
- Knoxville 72
- Pensacola 62
- Surge 59
- RiverKings 53
- Louisiana 53
- Huntsville 50 *season complete
As you can see, the Snakes' first-round opponent is yet to be determined as the MSRK and LA are slugging it out for sixth place. Per the league's facebook page, here are the tiebreakers:
If two teams finish with the same number of points, the tie-breakers are as follows:
1. Wins, regular season
2. Points, head-to-head
3. Wins, head-to-head
4. Goal differential, head-to-head
5. Goals for, regular season
6. Goals against, regular season
7. Coin toss
Right now, the RiverKings have 25 wins and LA has 24. Tomorrow night, MSRK