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Columbus Cottonmouths
City: Columbus, Georgia, United States
League: Southern Professional Hockey League
Founded: 1996
Home Arena: Columbus Civic Center
Colors: black, blue, gold
Owner(s): Wanda Amos
General Manager: Jerome Bechard
Head Coach: Jerome Bechard
Media: SportsRadio 1580 The Zone (WEAM-AM)
Regular Season Titles: 1997-98 Adams Cup (CHL)
2006-07 Commissioner's Cup (SPHL)
SPHL President's Cup: 2004-05
Playoff Championships: 1997-98 William “Bill” Levins Memorial Cup (CHL)

The Columbus Cottonmouths are a professional ice hockey team based in Columbus, Georgia, United States. The team is nicknamed as the "Snakes", and play their home games at the Columbus Civic Center.



Central Hockey League

In 1996, the Columbus Cottonmouths started play in the Central Hockey League (CHL), 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 Southern Hockey League (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 the Indianapolis Ice and in 2001 before falling to the Oklahoma City Blazers. In the summer of 2001, the CHL merged with the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL) and geographic rivalries in Huntsville and Macon were lost, leading the Cottonmouths to seek and obtain entry into the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).

East Coast Hockey League

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

Since 2004 the Columbus Cottonmouths have played as a member of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). 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.

Current Season Standings

Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) GP W L OTL PTS
Huntsville Havoc 13 9 2 2 20
Knoxville Ice Bears 15 9 6 0 18
Pensacola Ice Flyers 16 8 7 1 17
Mississippi Surge 17 7 7 3 17
Columbus Cottonmouths 14 8 6 0 16
Fayetteville FireAntz 16 8 8 0 16
Louisiana IceGators 17 5 12 0 10
Standings as of December 6, 2009

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 TBD


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

Retired Numbers

# Name Retired
16 Jerome Bechard 1996-2003 2004  
30 Frankie Ouellette 1997-2001 2006  

External links

  • Team website
  • The Southern Professional Hockey League website

Southern Professional Hockey League
Teams: Columbus Cottonmouths (GA) • Fayetteville FireAntz (NC) • Huntsville Havoc (AL) • Knoxville Ice Bears (TN)
Louisiana IceGators (2009) (Lafayette) • Mississippi Surge (Biloxi) • Pensacola Ice Flyers (FL)
Looking to relocate (Suspended Operations for the 2009-10 season): Twin City Cyclones (Winston-Salem, NC)
Former Teams: Macon Trax (GA) • Winston-Salem Polar Twins (NC) • Asheville Aces (NC) • Florida Seals (Orlando)
Jacksonville Barracudas (FL) • Pee Dee Cyclones (Florence, SC) • Richmond Renegades (VA)

Ice hockey in United States
National Hockey League
High Level: American Hockey League
Mid Level: ECHLCentral Hockey LeagueInternational Hockey League
Low Level: Mid-Atlantic Hockey LeagueSouthern Professional Hockey League
Semi-Professional: North Eastern Hockey League
Collegiate: National Collegiate Athletic Association
Men's National TeamWomen's National Team
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Columbus Cottonmouths. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

This article uses material from the "Columbus Cottonmouths" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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