The Columbus Cottonmouths defeated the Pensacola Ice Flyers 3-2 in game 1 of the best-of-three SPHL finals Thursday night.
Orrin Hergott gave Columbus a quick 1-0 lead at 3:18 of the first period. Pensacola would tie it up with a goal by Matthew Robertson 1:20 into the second. The teams went into the locker rooms tied heading into the third period. Hergott collected his second goal of the night, giving the Snakes a brief 2-1 lead. Less than two minutes later, Penascola would once again even the score.
Just over a minute later, Sam Bowles gave the Snakes their third lead of the night, one they would not relinquish, giving them a game-1 victory and 1-0 lead in the series. Ian Vigier stopped 31 of 33 shots in the victory. Both teams were scoreless on the powerplay.
Game 2 of the series is Saturday night in Pensacola at 8:05 ET. A win by the Snakes would make them the SPHL champions and a win by Pensacola would force a decisive game 3 Sunday, April 15 at 4 pm in Columbus.