Augusta RiverHawks fall in overtime to the Mississippi Surge

Mississippi Surge 2, Augusta RiverHawks 1, overtime

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Augusta goalie Robert Moss and his Mississippi counterpart Kiefer Smiley entered Saturday’s game not having allowed a goal in their past five combined periods. The two proved just as effective facing each other for the second consecutive game.

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Augusta left winger Taylor McReynolds takes a shot on goal during the second period against Mississippi on Saturday.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Augusta left winger Taylor McReynolds takes a shot on goal during the second period against Mississippi on Saturday.

In a tight, defensive struggle, the Mississippi Surge were able to pull out a 2-1 overtime win at James Brown Arena at the end of what was otherwise a strong three-game stretch for the Augusta RiverHawks, winning two of three this week.

“We’ll take this type of play every week,” interim coach Mark Richards said. “It was a disappointing game, but looking at the big picture, with the momentum we’ve built and playing better, I think the guys are buying in.”

Moss entered Saturday on the momentum of a Friday shutout against Mississippi, and he had not allowed a goal in his past four periods dating back to Thursday against Fayetteville. He was a combined 39 for 39 entering Saturday and was 17 for 17 before allowing a goal in the third period.

“He should be player of the week,” Richards said. “He has played phenomenal and given us a chance to win. We’re confident and proud of him.”

Smiley relieved Mississippi goalie Dan Clark for the final period of Friday’s game and did not allow a goal in 12 shot attempts. He took that momentum into his first start since Dec. 1 and shut the RiverHawks out for two periods before also allowing a goal in the third.

The Surge found net 5:43 into the third period to break the scoreless tie. James Isaacs hit a slap shot toward the goal that bounced off RiverHawks defender Ian Jensen and into the net.

Augusta responded with 7:23 left when Dennis Sicard found the puck off a defensive bounce and tied it at 1-1.

In overtime, Moss and Smiley fought and withstood several shot attempts on both sides until Mississippi’s Tommy Lange found net 3:56 into the period for a Surge win.

Moss went 26 for 28 for the RiverHawks, while Smiley went 35 for 36 for the Surge.

“We’re a blue collar team,” Moss said. “We have to work hard every shift, and playing this much takes some energy out of us. We play a demanding, physical brand of hockey. But kudos to the guys for playing as well as they did this week.”


STAR OF THE GAME: Mississippi’s Kiefer Smiley saved 35 of 36 shot attempts to preserve a 2-1 win for the Surge.

KEY PLAY: In overtime, Mississippi’s Tommy Lange scored the game-winning goal, his eighth on the season.

NEXT: Columbus at Augusta, Thursday, 7:35 p.m.

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