By Kathy Gierer, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
The Columbus Cottonmouths struggled out of the gate against the visiting Knoxville Ice Bears at the Columbus Civic Center Friday night.
After taking an early lead, the Ice Bears held on for a 3-1 victory, their second straight over the Snakes.
In two consecutive home contests against Knoxville, the Cottonmouths have managed only 2 goals. Their offense has yet to get on track. Friday night, the only Snakes goal was scored by defenseman Tom Maldonado. The Snakes had a number of quality scoring chances.
"We had 3 breakaways," Cottonmouths coach Jerome Bechard said. "It seems as though we're working too hard at the wrong times and not hard enough at the right times."
The Snakes were outshot 32-24 and managed only 5 shots in the third period.
"We had opportunities, but we're not coming out of the corners and winning the battles. Twenty-four shots is not enough," Bechard said.
The Snakes have played a ragged SPHL schedule with long stretches between games. They'll make up for that with
four games in a six-day stretch. Their last contest was a week ago in Mississippi, a 3-2 victory over the Surge.
"I thought we played fairly well in Mississippi," Bechard said. "I changed things up and we came out flat again for whatever reason. I'm still tinkering with the lines."