Augusta suffered its first shutout in a month, falling to Huntsville, 3-0, at James Brown Arena. The RiverHawks return to action tonight with a 7:35 contest against Knoxville.
With the loss, Augusta (5-13-3) falls out of solo eighth place in the Southern Professional Hockey League into a tie with the Havoc (6-13-1).
“I still feel like we’re marching to the goal of playing a better game,” interim Augusta coach Mark Richards said. “Even if we don’t get the results, I feel like we’re making progress.”
Augusta failed on 46 shot attempts, 20 of them coming in the first period. The RiverHawks also went 0 for 8 on power-play chances.
Augusta’s best scoring chance came in the second period when Casey Mignone didn’t see a pass crossing in front of the net that would’ve resulted in a game-tying goal. Richards said his team had “15 to 20” quality chances.
“I like the fact we’re getting pucks to the net,” he said. “If we consistently get pucks to the net we’re going to score goals.”
With Huntsville up a goal, the Havoc opened up the contest with a Colin Reddin goal 1:47 into the third period. Eight minutes later, Ian Boots pushed the margin to 3-0.
Frustration soon set in for Augusta. Ian Watters was sent to the locker room late in the game for a 10-minute misconduct. Seconds later, Mignone joined Watters, received a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct. Each player was cited for verbal abuse.
Augusta notched 38 of their 53 penalty minutes in the final period.
“We were really good mentally going into the third period,” Richards said. “They got that quick goal and we veered from our game plan after that.”
Huntsville goalie Dan McWhinney, who’s allowed the most goals in league play this season (50), improved to 3-1 against Augusta this season.