Friday November 2, 2012
Augusta, GA--The Augusta RiverHawks enjoyed a record crowd in their home opening game, but had the big night spoiled by the Fayetteville FireAntz, as the visitors took a 4-1 decision. Just under 5,000 fans witnessed the RiverHawks get down early to a FireAntz team that looks nothing like the one that finished last in the Southern Professional Hockey League a season ago.
The loss drops the RiverHawks' record to 0-3 on the season, while the FireAntz have trotted out to 2-0, winning both by the same score.
The FireAntz were the beneficiary of an extremely early power play on a questionable holding call on RiverHawks' Assistant Captain Jason Price. The result of the ensuing man-advantage was a FireAntz' goal just 36-seconds into the game from Derek Elliott who was left completely alone in the slot by the RiverHawks' penalty kill.
Just under two minutes later Elliott was once again the beneficiary of a hole in the RiverHawks defense and a fine cross-slot pass form a teammate, as he buried his second of the game, giving Fayetteville a 2-0 lead before many RiverHawks fans found their seats.
The FireAntz were unable to keep up the torrid pace, as the RiverHawks gradually took over the play during the remainder of the first period, but were unable to beat FireAntz' goaltender Marco Emond. Emond was the game's third star, making 20 saves.
It took over 12 minutes of strong play from the RiverHawks in the second period to finally break through, but they did when Jason Price found a bouncing puck at the side of the net and hammered it in. The play was set up by a determined effort out of the corner by Captain Matt Auffrey, and a well-placed shot from forward Chad Ziegler.