Saturday, February 16, 2013
Augusta, GA--The Augusta RiverHawks played with heavy hearts Saturday night at the James Brown Arena, as they defeated the Pensacola Ice Flyers 4-1 in their first game at home since early January. The win combined with the Huntsville Havoc Saturday night loss puts the RiverHawks just two points from a playoff spot.
The RiverHawks found out earlier in the day that the one-month old son of Captain Matt Auffrey and his wife Whitney passed away. Matt and Whitney, who attended the game joined by numerous family members and friends, were named the game's First Star.
The RiverHawks got off to a great start in the first period. Forward Taylor Larsen sent a puck up to Jesse Echternach who snuck behind the Ice Flyers defense for a breakaway. Echternach broke in alone and fired a shot between Gerry Festa's pads for the 1-0 lead.
The RiverHawks were able to extend their lead to two goals just as a 5-on-3 power play expired. A scramble in front of the net created by a shot from Luke Frey resulted in the puck finding it's way to Casey Minone's stick. He was able to slide it through the Ice Flyers' crease to Taylor McReynolds who fired it in.
The Ice Flyers were able to narrow the RiverHawks' lead to one goal, as Justin MacDonald led a rush down the ice firing a shot on RiverHawks' net-minder Robby Moss. The rebound went to Jeremiah Ketts whose initial attempt was stopped by Moss, but Moss' momentum took the puck over the goal line making the score 2-1.
The two teams played at that score for most of the second period, but the RiverHawks were finally able to extend the lead late in the frame on the power play. Casey Mignone won a puck battle down-low in the Ice Flyers zone. The then found Kyle Watson all alone at the side of the goal who made no mistake putting it over the goal line making the score 3-1.
The first half of the third period was played largely in the RiverHawks' end as the Ice Flyers attempted to narrow the lead, but Moss was up to the task each time, allowing his club to expand the lead. Echternach scored his second goal when he intercepted a pass, fired off a snap shot that was stopped, but followed up the play and converted his own rebound for the 4-1 win.
The 'Hawks will be back in action again tomorrow afternoon for the third annual Patriots and Pucks game. Puck drop is set for 4:35PM.