By Brett Bachelor
The Birmingham Bulls fell to the Huntsville Havoc in the first of ten matchups between the two this season. Birmingham welcomed 1,383 fans in a socially-distanced, masked crowd at the Pelham Civic Complex.
Both squads struggled to find the net in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. day game for the Bulls. Birmingham was able to fire off eleven shots to Huntsville’s eight, however, neither team was able to find the twine and headed into the first intermission knotted at zero.
The 2nd period had much more action than the first. Just two minutes and thirty-two seconds into the period, the Havoc netted their first goal of the game from Nolan Kaiser with an assist from Joey Strada. Exactly four minutes later, Huntsville scored their second goal of the afternoon, this time from Sy Nutkevitch with Kyle Rhoades sending him the pass. However, Birmingham would not go away. CJ Hayes would find the back of the net for the first time this season off of a pass from Tyler Penner at the 13:34 mark to cut the Havoc lead to one. Two minutes and one second later, the game was tied at two. Tyler Penner picked up his second point of the game, this time scoring the goal with an assist from Mike Davis. The second period was closing and looked like the second intermission was going to be tied at two between the two teams. However, just thirty-four seconds left in the period, Huntsville took the lead once again. John Schiavo put in his third goal of the season with Rob Darrar and Nolan Kaiser on the assist. The Havoc would go into the second break with a 3-2 lead.
The third and final period got off to a quick start for Birmingham as they came out firing. Just two minutes and twenty seconds into the third, Jared Legien once again propelled the Bulls to a tie with Huntsville on a pass from Cole Stallard. After Legien’s goal, the next fifteen minutes were pretty quiet from both sides. In what looked like a game that was headed for a possible overtime, and would’ve been Birmingham’s fourth overtime game of the season, the Havoc’s Rob Darrar found the back twine for the second time this season after receiving a pass from Mathieu Newcomb. Birmingham would fire off a few shots in the closing seconds, but none of them were able to get by Jason Pawloski in Huntsville’s net, and the Bulls fell 4-3 to the Huntsville Havoc.