Representatives from Alabama’s two biggest cities met tonight in the Roto-Rooster Ice in the Propst Arena for the sixth time this season. The Birmingham Bulls was entering this game with a disadvantage as the Huntsville Havoc have historically been a formidable team against them, especially in home games. This game could go either way, as the Bulls and Havocs have multiple Top 20 players. Their main goalies are also closely matched, with Havoc Nick Latinovich having slightly better statistics than his counterpart, Bulls Austin Lotz. It was a toss-up on which way the game would go before the puck dropped.
Photo Cred: Alabama Baptist
The first period began with the Bulls charging forward into the Havoc defensive line, forcing the Havoc players onto the defensive right off the bat. The Havocs attempted to try and break the momentum, but the Bull’s offense prevented any breakthrough. It took the Bull’s Zac Masson fouling and putting the Havocs on the power play for the Havocs to begin mounting an offensive of their own. Halfway through the period, the Bulls started to flag, and the Havocs scored the first goal 11 minutes into the game.
Photo Cred: Norfolk Admirals
The Bulls quickly regrouped and pushed again, scoring a goal for themselves. Both teams mounted mighty offensives but went scoreless. With 16 seconds to go in the first period, a fight broke out between the Havoc’s Rob Darrar and the Bull’s Scott Donahue, resulting in Darrar going to the penalty box and Donahue’s ejection from the game.
The second period opened with both teams trying to break the tie by playing aggressively, but neither team could find an advantage over the other as the puck flew back and forth across the ice. After several minutes of jockeying, the Havocs committed a fatal mistake as they had too many players on the ice while switching players. This placed the Havocs in a power kill, a position that the Bulls took advantage of to score another point. The Havocs attempted another goal, but their offense could not pierce the Bull’s defense, and the period ended with the Bulls possessing a 2-1 lead.
Photo Cred: Huntsville Havoc
Both teams began to flag as the third period began. Their strength burned from the first two periods. There were multiple goal approaches missed. Each team exchanged players on the ice as the puck moved back and forth. After gaining another power play, the Bulls scored another goal, bringing the score to 3-1, putting the Havocs at a disadvantage. Despite mounting a desperate offensive, a power play, and calling a timeout, the Havocs struggled against the Bull’s defense. In a final effort, the Havocs exchanged their goalie for another player with 1:37 on the clock. This gambit failed to pay off, as the Havocs did not score another point, bringing the final score to 3-1 in favor of the Birmingham Bulls.