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The Columbus Cottonmouths are a professional ice hockey team based in Columbus, Georgiamarker. The team is nicknamed the "Snakes", and play their home games at the Columbus Civic Centermarker.

Central Hockey League (CHL): 1996-2001

In 1996, the Columbus Cottonmouths started play in the Central Hockey League, joining the Macon Whoopee and Nashville Nighthawks as expansion entries that were originally slated to be in the Southern Hockey League before its demise in the summer of 1996. Along with the Memphis RiverKings, an established CHL franchise, and the Huntsville Channel Cats, the SHL champion in 1996 and the lone surviving franchise from that league, Columbus and the other two expansion SHL teams formed the new Eastern Division of the CHL in the 1996-97 season. In 1998, the team won the CHL championship, defeating the Wichita Thunder in a four-game sweep. The Cottonmouths were in the CHL playoffs each of their five seasons in the league, making it to the league finals in 2000 before losing to Indianapolis and in 2001 before falling to the Oklahoma City Blazers. In the summer of 2001, the CHL merged with the Western Professional Hockey League and geographic rivalries in Huntsville and Macon were lost, leading the Cottonmouths to seek and obtain entry into the East Coast Hockey League. DVA Sports, composed of owners Salvador Diaz-Verson and Shelby Amos, purchased the defunct Hampton Roads Admirals ECHL franchise, relocating it to Columbus under the Cottonmouths name and logo.

East Coast Hockey League (ECHL): 2001-2004

From 2001-2004 the Columbus Cottonmouths played in the ECHL, bringing with them their long time Captain Jerome "Boom-Boom" Bechard and Head Coach Bruce Garber. In the three seasons that Columbus spent in the ECHL, they failed to make the playoffs. Mid-way through their second season in the ECHL, Garber, the only coach in team history, resigned. General Manager Phil Roberto took over for the remainder of the season. Their best season in the ECHL was their last. Prior to the 2003-04 season the team announced the signing of their new Coach, former NHL tough guy Brian Curran. They finished with a 37-27-8 record, tied with the Greensboro Generals for the best record by a non-playoff team that season. In April 2004, the Cottonmouths management announced their intentions to move their ECHL franchise to the Bradenton-Sarasota area in Florida. The team, which was later named the Gulf Coast Swords, would never come to fruition as financial setbacks delayed the construction of their to-be home arena. Finally, after foreclosure on the arena property and numerous delays, the ECHL revoked the Swords franchise in the league in the summer of 2006.

Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL): since 2004

Since 2004 the Columbus Cottonmouths have played as a member of the Southern Professional Hockey League. Led by first year Coach, and Columbus hockey legend Jerome Bechard, the team won the inaugural SPHL championship in April 2005 by first winning a one game playoff against the Fayetteville FireAntz by a 4-2 score. They next swept the regular season champion Knoxville Ice Bears to advance to the league finals, which they won against the Macon Trax with two straight victories, ending with a 3-2 overtime win. The Snakes' victory capped an undefeated postseason in which they won five games without losing a single contest.

In 2006, the Cottonmouths finished with the second-best regular season record in the league but were ousted in the first round of the playoffs two games to one by the Huntsville Havoc.

In 2007 the Columbus team won the SPHL Commissioner's Cup as the team with the best season record, but was ousted in the first round of playoffs by the Jacksonville Barracudas, who won three games to the Cottonmouths' one victory.

In 2008, the Cottonmouths ironically relied on the team that would oust them from the playoffs to get them into the playoffs. On the last day of the regular season, the Knoxville Ice Bears defeated the Huntsville Havoc to give the Snakes the sixth and final playoff berth, which would pit them against first-place Knoxville. The home team won every contest of the best-of-five series with Columbus recovering from an 0-2 deficit with a pair of home wins before losing the deciding contest in Knoxville. The Snakes' 22-24-6 regular-season record was a Columbus hockey team's first losing record since 2002-03 and the first one by a non-ECHL Cottonmouths squad.

Year-by-year record

Central Hockey League

Year GP W L RT PTS Finish Playoffs
1996-97 66 32 28 6 70 4th, East Lost in Quarter Finals
1997-98 70 51 13 6 108 1st, East Won Levins Cup
1998-99 70 42 21 7 91 2nd, East Lost in Division Finals
1999-00 70 39 20 11 89 2nd, East Lost Miron Cup Finals
2000-01 70 41 21 8 90 2nd, East Lost Miron Cup Finals

East Coast Hockey League

Year GP W L RT PTS Finish Playoffs
2001-02 72 24 37 11 59 8th, Southeast Out of playoffs
2002-03 72 25 39 8 58 7th, Southeast Out of playoffs
2003-04 72 41 21 8 82 5th, Central Out of playoffs

Southern Professional Hockey League

Year GP W L RT PTS Finish Playoffs
2004-05 56 30 26 - 60 5th Won President's Cup
2005-06 56 34 16 6 74 2nd Lost Quarter Finals
2006-07 56 36 18 2 74 1st Lost Semi-Finals
2007-08 52 22 24 6 50 6th Lost Semi-Finals
2008-09 60 31 22 7 69 2nd Lost Semi-Finals


2008-09 Roster

Goaltenders
# align=left Player Catches Date of Birth Place of Birth Note
33 Ian Vigier L Nov 23, 1982 Notre Dame de Lourdes, MBmarker
38 Chad Rycroft L Sep 7, 1978 Beaverlodge, ABmarker


Defensemen
# align=left Player Shoots Date of Birth Place of Birth Note

5 Matt Ponto R Mar 11, 1983 Galahad, ABmarker
12 Roman Marakhovski (A) R Feb 22, 1978 Kharkov, Ukrainemarker Signed Nov. 24.
15 Tyler Johnson R Jan 23, 1982 Calgary, ABmarker
17 Shayne Baylis R Sep 8, 1983 St. Catharines, ONmarker Signed Dec. 30.
22 Kyle Lundale R Nov 1, 1986 Eriksdale, MBmarker Signed Dec. 2.
42 Wil Barlow R Sep 20, 1982 Oakville, ONmarker
44 Jason Schulz L Aug 18, 1981 Albuquerque, NMmarker
55 Andrew Dwyer R Jun 28, 1984 Burlington, ONmarker


Forwards
# align=left Player Shoots Date of Birth Place of Birth Note
7 Brad Patterson L Oct 20, 1980 Cranbrook, BCmarker
9 Lorne Misita R Jun 1, 1981 Niagara Falls, ONmarker
10 Tim Green (A) L Sep 22 1981 Camrose, ABmarker
11 Orrin Hergott L Jun 15, 1982 Humboldt, SKmarker Placed on 30 day IR Jan. 12.
14 Steve Jensen Oct 29, 1982 Grand Rapids, MImarker Signed Nov. 19.
20 Michael George L Mar 12, 1985 Battleford, SKmarker
21 Ryan Rutz L Aug 15, 1979 Red Deer, ABmarker
23 Dan Leslie R Oct 8, 1986 Portage la Prairie, MBmarker
24 Sam Bowles R Jan 25, 1985 Davidsonville, MD Signed Dec. 9.
32 Craig Stahl (C) R Mar 19, 1977 Cranbrook, BCmarker
84 Ryan McCarthy R May 3, 1982 Brampton, ONmarker
No Longer on Roster
# align=left Player Pos. Date of Birth Place of Birth Note
6 Mark Stockdale F Sep 20, 1985 Brantford, ONmarker Waived Nov. 17.
19 Daryl Moor F May 28 1979 Kettleby, ONmarker Signed Nov. 1. Waived Nov. 24.
17 Chris Stubel D Feb 10, 1984 Estevan, SKmarker Waved Dec. 10.


Championships

Year League Trophy
2006-2007 SPHL Commissioner's Cup (Regular season Champion)
2004-2005 SPHL President's Cup
2000-2001 CHL Eastern Division Champions
1999-2000 CHL Eastern Division Champions
1997-1998 CHL William “Bill” Levins Memorial Cup
1997-1998 CHL Adams Cup (Regular season Champion)
1997-1998 CHL Eastern Division Champions


External links




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