HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s been four years since the Huntsville Havoc won back-to-back SPHL President’s Cup Championships and now this year, with a mix of veterans who went on that run and new guys, this team is ready to get back to the top.
“We have the personalities for sure, that’s why it’s so fun but we have guys that have been here a really long time that have won, we have experience, we have goaltending, have good defense, good scoring, good checking lines, I think we have it all,” Havoc defenseman Dominick Procopio said.
“We felt like we left a little bit on the table last year and we had a lot of guys come back. I think there’s certain times where it’s not the coach that’s talking but it’s players just saying hey, the way we’re playing right now just isn’t going to get it done in April and it means a lot coming from guys that have done it before. And then I think there’s some confidence in the locker room when you’re a younger player and you look around and guys have been there, done that and you can see how calm they are in big moments,” Havoc head coach Glenn Detulleo added.
And there’s even more motivation for this year’s team as it is the final playoff run for longtime head coach Glenn Detulleo as he will transition to the front office when the season comes to an end.
“Glenn’s been great to all of us, he’s a great human, great coach so we’re all pushing for him,” Havoc forward Kyle Clarke said.
“He’s been great to us all year, him and Stu, the whole staff, the organization’s been amazing to us so to bring one home for him in his last year would be extra special,” Procopio added.
The Havoc’s first-round opponent is the Knoxville Ice Bears. The series went in Huntsville’s favor this season, winning 5-2, but the Ice Bears pose a threat offensively, scoring more goals than any other team in the league.
“They’re very offensive, they score a lot of goals, they can score goals in bunches. They like to play physical, a really aggressive team,” Detulleo said.
“I think if we play our structure and play the way we want to play, it’s really going to hinder their opportunities. I think they want to run and gun a bit, they’re a hard team, they play hard, they’re physical, they’re skilled so it’s going to be a good matchup,” Procopio added.
But the Havoc are staying focused on their own play and taking it one game at a time, as they ultimately look to hang another banner in the rafters.
“You can get caught up in the playoffs sometimes trying to do more than you need to do. We’ve got a certain way that we want to play, every guy in our locker room knows exactly how he wants to play or needs to play. We’ve just got to show up and play our best game, we don’t need anybody to come out here and reinvent the wheel, just play the best Havoc game we can play and we’ll be in good shape, Detulleo said.
Puck drop for game one of the best-of-three series between the Havoc and Ice Bears is set for Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the Huntsville Ice Sports Center. The series will shift to Knoxville on Friday and return to Sunday for a game three, if necessary. That game would also be played at 7:00 p.m. at the Huntsville Ice Sports Center.