Snakes sweep Havoc to advance to SPHL Finals

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Jordan Draper scored the go-ahead goal with less than nine minutes remaining in regulation as the Columbus Cottonmouths beat the Huntsville Havoc 4-2 on Thursday night at the Columbus Civic Center.

With the victory, the Cottonmouths sweep the best-of-3 second round playoff series in two straight and advance to the SPHL Finals.

Andrew Loewen had 29 saves to pick up his fourth victory in five playoff games.

Huntsville opened the scoring with a Leland Fidler goal at the 9:38 mark of the first period.

The Cottonmouths tied the game six minutes later on a slapshot from Kyle Johnson. The Snakes then took the lead on a second period goal by Mike Switzer.

Stuart Stefan of the Havoc tied the game at the 5:39 mark of the third period, but Draper gave the Cottonmouths the lead for good with his goal at 11:43 of the period, with Matt Gingera adding an empty net goal with seven seconds left to complete the scoring. Gingera also had two assists on the night.

The Cottonmouths will play either Pensacola or Knoxville for the title. Knoxville won the first game of that playoff series on Thursday night, defeating the Ice Flyers 2-0 in Pensacola, as Bryan Hince stopped all 51 shots.

The Ice Bears will host game two on Saturday night, while the Ice Flyers will try to force a deciding game three in Pensacola on Sunday.