By Kathy Gierer, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
The defending SPHL champion Columbus Cottonmouths opened the season with the goal of capturing back-to-back titles.
Currently, the Snakes are tied for seventh place in the nine-team league.
"I think we had a bit of a championship hangover," defenseman Bret Tyler said. "Every team got players from higher levels because of the lockout. Now any team can win any game, which is good. When they're playing the defending champions, teams give it their all."
The Snakes captured a pair of key home victories over first-place Fayetteville last weekend. Grabbing all four points against a talented team was a huge confidence booster.
"It was a great turnaround," Tyler said. "It was nice to score some goals and our goalies are playing fantastic. We've worked extremely hard. We had to get those four points. I think, at the beginning, we were waiting for other people to do things," Tyler said. "Now people are more confident in themselves."
The Cottonmouths, now 5-8-1, have experienced a roller-coaster season featuring a pair of three-game losing streaks and a two-game winning streak.
The inconsistency that has plagued the Snakes returned in Augusta on Thursday night with a 5-2 loss to the much-improved RiverHawks. After a horrendous start, Augusta fired coach Rob Miller, made a number of personnel changes and is now 3-0-2 in its last 5 games.