Augusta RiverHawks shock Huntsville Havoc goalie in win

RiverHawks 5, Havoc 3

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The Augusta RiverHawks were tasked with facing one of the hottest goalies in the SPHL in what was essentially a must-win game Friday night.

The RiverHawks exposed Huntsville Havoc goalie Dan McWhinney for four goals, beating the Havoc 5-3 at Augusta Ice Sports Center.

McWhinney stopped 50 shots in 50 attempts in Huntsville’s 1-0 win over Columbus the previous night. But Augusta (17-27-4) flipped the script on the goaltender, doubling his average goals allowed for the night.

“He has a high save percentage and battles, but we got to him early on the breakaway, and that helped our confidence,” coach Mark Richards said. “I thought it was a solid game for us.”

RiverHawks captain Matt Auffrey recorded two goals, giving him 14 on the season.

“We switched lines in the third period (Thursday), putting (Alex) Morton, (Kyle) Watson and Auffrey together,” Richards said. “They played well together. They puck-protect well, and they work well with their skill sets.”

The win kept the RiverHawks alive for a playoff spot, sitting six points behind the Havoc with eight games left.

The scoring started 8 minutes into the game when Augusta’s Marcus Pryde deked McWhinney for an unassisted goal. The RiverHawks added a second goal in the period when Auffrey found the puck off a block from McWhinney and laced it past him, giving Augusta an early 2-0 lead.

Huntsville (19-24-6) climbed back to within one early in the second period on a goal by Ian Boots. But the RiverHawks regained a two-goal lead with 4 minutes left in the period when Watson took advantage of a 5-minute boarding penalty by Huntsville’s Corey Fulton, scoring a power-play goal within the final minute of the advantage.

After Auffrey’s second goal to begin the third period, Huntsville tacked on consecutive goals to bring the Havoc back to within one at 4-3. But Augusta gained breathing room before time expired, as Jason Price scored on an empty net.

RiverHawks goalie Robert Moss stopped 32 of 35 shots, limiting the Havoc to just one goal through the first two periods.

RiverHawks 5, Havoc 3

Star of the game: Augusta captain Matt Auffrey scored two goals to lead the RiverHawks.

Key play: Auffrey’s second goal early in the third period gave the RiverHawks a three-goal advantage at the time.

Next: Knoxville at Augusta, Sunday, 5:35 p.m.

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hockeymann 03/09/13 - 11:10 am
It was a great win for the

It was a great win for the RHawks..The loss the night before in a shootout
got us a point too in one of the hardest fought games I've seen in several
years..The guys are trying hard, and still do have a chance.
I fear we may be seeing our last hockey here this month at the Ice Sports
Center...The JB Arena is reportedly balking at the cost of making the needed ice repairs, now rumored to be somewhat over a million dollars(?)...Where does that leave us for next season even? The racially
charged Richmond Commission will never spend this much to fix the ice,
since it isn't needed for hip-hop music...Richmond County is too racial
to ever approve a new arena to replace this 35 yr. old aging facility that
has never gotten good maintenance like those older arenas in Knoxville,
Fayetteville, & Pensacola have been given...The RHawks' ownership, I feel, wants hockey here, but isn't getting the needed crowds, and it will,
I think, cave in to some deal offered by Global Spectrum, to just hang
up the skates next season, and our RHawks will be gone, in a similar way
to that of Columbia the past several seasons, although different in the
reason, as the U. Of SC caused them to have no place to play there too.
Those of us that love hockey will probably have to go to Gwinnett Arena
or Charleston, to see hockey...Sad, especially since the RHawks are still
selling tickets for next year, probably knowing it wont happen. I think the
owners now are responsible enough to give refunds, but I also think the
Global Spectrum folks and our owner, should be talking straight to the
fans about this. The owner should be suing the JB Arena & the city for
allowing the Cutting Horse thing to destroy the arena ice again (3rd time)
and the past scoreboard that was ruined by the JB Arena people after a
previous Cutting Horse event. The arena should owe the hockey team big time for inconvenience to the team, the fans, and for the future value
of the franchise, and last, but not least, for the loss to the Augusta-Rich-
mond taxpayers for allowing the facility to be damaged like this by an event, without any apparent way of recovering that cost. I'm fed up with
the whole thing. Columbia County and Ron Cross and his commission
dropped the ball by not going ahead with a new arena at the Grovetown
I-20 exit, where we could enjoy the shows and ice events, including hoc-
key, like most other similar sized cities have right now. It was approved
on a straw vote two years back, at a Republican primary(which covers
most voters in Columbia County, and then Cross dropped it with no real
explanation as to why(??)..It's not too late for that though. May be in Richmond County, but it still could and should be in Columbia County.

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