MACON, Ga. – With the season in its final week, we resume a look at teams across the league. Next up? A glance toward Rocket City and the Huntsville Havoc.
Record: 18-20-1, 37 points
Post-season Outlook: If you’re a Huntsville fan, this is your favorite time of the year. For the past two SPHL postseasons, it has not mattered where the Havoc were seeded – they won the President’s Cup Playoffs each time. Simply put, Huntsville has a core of players that know how to win big games in the postseason, and that could once again make the Havoc a dangerous team.
What’s ahead: Will the Havoc be seeded third or fourth in the playoffs? The next three games will decide that. Huntsville goes to Birmingham Friday and hosts Macon on Saturday and Pensacola on Sunday. Huntsville trails Pensacola for third by three points, making Sunday’s game possibly all the more bigger. The team finishing third plays Knoxville in the semifinal round to start the postseason with the fourth seed playing Macon.
What’s going right: The way that the Havoc offense works when Rob Darrar is on the ice. He has 39 points, good for third in the league…and 30 of those are via assists. You cannot have a conversation about the best two-way defensemen in the SPHL without talking about Nolan Kaiser. His 23 points, (7 goals, 16 assists), easily lead all defensemen in the league. The Havoc have also done well protecting leads this season, going 11-1-2 when leading after two periods.
What needs work? If Huntsville is to pull another one of its patented postseason upsets, it’ll need to shore up lapses on the defensive end. Before Tuesday night’s 2-1 loss to Macon, the Havoc had lost three of four games, and there was a common thread in each of those losses in that four or more goals were allowed in each outing. The bottom line, however, is this. Goalies Max Milosek and Jason Pawloski have logged plenty of time in net this year and in previous years in Huntsville. If either gets on a hot streak, things could get very interesting to open the postseason.