By Thomas Pope, Fayetteville Observer
Only two teams in the Southern Professional Hockey League have beaten the Fayetteville FireAntz more than once this year. One of those is cellar-dwelling Augusta.
The RiverHawks stole that second win Saturday night at the Crown Coliseum, getting the tying goal with less than five minutes to go in regulation and converting an overtime turnover into a goal for a 3-2 victory. Ian Watters made the steal and the unassisted goal at 3:13 of the extra period.
"They played better than us tonight. They wanted it more," Fayetteville coach Mark DeSantis said as his first-place team fell to 17-5-1. "We made costly mistakes - guys in the right position who don't have their head on a swivel.
"We've got two guys in front of the net and they let a guy walk right in between them," he said of Shawn Skelly's game-tying goal. "You've got to want it, and they wanted it more. They went to the hard areas to score and got the two points" for the win.
Fayetteville was positioned to take the RiverHawks down for the sixth time in their seven meetings. Josh McQuade's power-play goal at 18:53 of the second broke a 1-1 tie, and the FireAntz held on to that advantage for more than 15 minutes of the third.
That was before Skelly sliced in between a pair of defenders for a rebound goal that Kyle Rank had no chance of stopping.
"They work hard and they've been turning things around," said Antz captain Bobby Reed, who scored the first goal of the night. "Teams playing their third game in three nights like that are dangerous because they play desperate, and they got the bounces."