HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (huntsvillehavoc.com) - The Havoc score two in the third to register the 3-2 victory to knock off the Mississippi RiverKings in the first round.
“It was a hard-fought series overall,” said Tyler Steel. “It came down to the last minute, literally, but, our team came out with a goal in mind and we played a full sixty minutes.”
After a scoreless first period, the Havoc kicked off the scoring for the second time in the three-game series when Christian Powers potted home his first professional postseason goal at 7:56. Ben Kramer banked a pass off the right-wing wall to spring Sy Nutkevitch on a two-on-one break with Powers. After entering the zone, Nutkevitch fed the puck cross-ice for Powers to one-time it home.
Less than three minutes later, the RiverKings tied the contest with a goal of their own at 10:23 to send the game into the third.
“We are a relentless team,” said Powers. “We try to not let teams push us around while dictating the pace of the game.”
In the final frame of regulation, the Havoc took their lead back with Nolan Kaiser scoring his second of the playoffs at 2:09. At the time, Huntsville was pressuring Mississippi in the offensive zone when Tyler French fed a pass to Kaiser on the point. The Calgary, Alta native walked in and from the goal-line banked one of the goaltender’s back.
But Mississippi hung around and continued to pressure as they tied the contest at two just under nine minutes into the third.
In the final two minutes of regulation, the Havoc were awarded a powerplay with an opportunity to nail down game three. Stuart Stefan, who wheeled around the net in the offensive zone, threw the puck out front with Powers right on the doorstep. The Carlisle, Ont. native shot the puck into the back of the net for his second of the night at 18:44.
“That one was just an all-out effort,” said Powers. “I was lucky to have it go off Tyler’s (French) skate and popped right onto my stick.”
Mississippi would bring pressure one last time with the net empty, but Huntsville thwarted the opportunity. Tyler Steel finished the night with his second win of the postseason while stopping 27 of 29 shots faced.
“It’s all about building off the really good season we had,” said Steel.
From the Huntsville Ice Complex, the horn sounded in jubilation as the Havoc knocked off the RiverKings in three games with the 3-2 victory Saturday.