Columbus Cottonmouths

Huntsville scores three in final period to edge Columbus

Huntsville scored three third-period goals and beat Columbus 4-2 on Saturday night at the Columbus Civic Center.

It was the Cottonmouths' third straight loss. Huntsville had lost three straight entering the game.

Columbus, which returned to the city at 8 a.m. from a Friday night game in Louisiana, got a much needed early 1-0 lead when Ben O'Quinn scored the opening goal 1:39 into the game.

Down to just four true defenseman, the Cottonmouths were forced to make some roster adjustments to the lineup, shifting Louis Belisle and Chris Rial from their normal forward positions to the blue line to help out on defense.

In the first period, the lack of depth on defense showed some early cracks with the Havoc peppering goalie Shannon Szabados with 20 shots on goal. Close to midway through the period, Huntsville broke through when John McGinnis scored his first of two goals, knotting the contest at one.

"I thought we came out hard doing everything we needed to do to get early lead," coach Jerome Bechard said. "Combined with the injuries on defense, maybe the bus legs started to show up once we grabbed the lead."

Following a scoreless second period, Columbus took early control of the third period when Al Graves scored his second goal of the season, the first since making his season debut with the Snakes on Dec. 4, to take the 2-1 lead.

Huntsville's Stuart Stefan quickly answered back tying the game at 2, scoring the Havoc's first of two power play goals in the period.

With less than five minutes remaining, Huntsville's John McGinnis lit the lamp scoring the eventual game-winner, his second goal of the night, ultimately snapping the Havoc's three-game losing streak.

"Some calls and maybe some missed calls had some implications on the game," Bechard said. "It's all judgment out there, but at the end of the day we have to kill the penalties."

In the loss, Columbus goaltender Shannon Szabados turned away 45 shots on 48 attempts and his now lost four out of her last five contests.

Saturday at Columbus Civic Center

Huntsville 1 0 3--4

Columbus 1 0 1--2

First period--1, Columbus, O'Quinn (unassisted) 1:39; 2, Huntsville, McGinnis (Stefan, Brewer) 9:20; Penalties--Graves, Columbus (Cross Checking) 6:54; O'Quinn, Columbus (Fighting-Major) 13:47; Beirnes, Huntsville (Fighting-Major) 13:47; Henegar, Huntsville (Hooking) 19:11.

Second period--Penalties--McGinnis, Huntsville (Tripping) 8:48; Aide, Huntsville (Hooking) 15:33; Rial, Columbus (Cross Checking) 17:51; Bates, Columbus (High Sticking) 18:19.

Third period--3, Columbus, Graves (McCadden) 2:03; 4, Huntsville, PP-Stefan (McGinnis) 8:05; 5, Huntsville, PP-McGinnis (Mele, Josepher) 15:31; 6, Huntsville, Empty Net-Henegar (unassisted) 19:56; Penalties--Belisle, Columbus (Tripping) 6:05; McCadden, Columbus (Tripping) 8:39; Bathgate, Columbus (Cross Checking) 13:42.

Shots on goal: Huntsville 20-9-20; Columbus 12-8-6

Power plays: Huntsville 2 of 6; Columbus 0 of 3

Goaltenders: Huntsville, Genoe (win) 60:00 11 8 19; Columbus, Szabados (loss) 58:51 19 9 17

Referee: Fernandez. Linesman: Duncan, Kuerston

Time: 2:29

Attendance: 3,851