The Augusta RiverHawks ended November still searching for a home win – or any win at this point – after falling to Huntsville, 2-1, in a shootout at James Brown Arena.
Despite taking 46 shots, Augusta (1-11-1) scored just one goal by Matt Atsoff four minutes into the contest before going cold. Havoc goalie Jonathan LaRose saved 45 shots and shut down the RiverHawks in the shootout.
“They won the game,” Augusta interim coach Mark Richards said. “In my opinion, we outplayed them. Their goaltender played a great game.”
After releasing coach Rob Miller earlier in the week, the RiverHawks continued searching for a magical offensive elixir. Augusta went 0 for 6 on power-play chances and failed on its first three opportunities in the shootout until captain Matt Auffrey scored a goal. By then, the damage was done.
RiverHawks goalie BJ O’Brien was solid in the net in regulation, stopping 23 of 24 shots. O’Brien thensaved his first two chances in overtime. On Huntsville’s third try, Ian Boots scored. Jeremiah Ketts followed with another goal before Auffrey struck for Augusta. Then, McGill, a three-year RiverHawk left winger who was traded two games into this season, poked a shot past O’Brien to secure the Huntsville win.
For Augusta, it’s back to the proverbial drawing board yet again. Richards, who took over the team Tuesday, said no decision has been made yet about a future coach.
“If I’m still here next week, we’ll keep going down the same path we’re going down, because we’re going down the right path,” he said. “We’ll try to hold some different scoring drills in practice to boost their confidence. Their confidence is at an all-time low right now.
“The floodgates are going to open some night and we’re going to start getting our confidence. It just seems like it’s Murphy’s Law for us when it comes to scoring goals – whatever can go wrong will go wrong.”