By Kathy Gierer, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Photo by Robin Trimarchi)
The Columbus Cottonmouths fell one comeback short as they dropped a 4-3 decision to Pensacola in a shootout thriller at the Snake Pit on Thursday night.
The Snakes still see room for improvement.
"We need to come out and play hard early," defenseman Tom Maldonado said. "It seems like we've been coming back the last couple of games."
Maldonado and his Middlebury College teammate John Sullivan combined on the Snakes' tying goal late in regulation. Down 3-2 with 1:29 to play, coach Jerome Bechard pulled goaltender Ian Vigier for the extra attacker and Maldonado and Sullivan went to work.
"We knew we had quite a bit of time," Maldonado said. "They had a lot of guys in front. I tried to get the puck to John. He got off a quick, clean shot."
After the Snakes tied it with 53 seconds to play, neither team could score in the three-on-three, five-minute overtime period.
The Ice Flyers forced the Snakes to mount yet another comeback when their first shooter, Ron Cramer, put the puck by Vigier. Sullivan was the Snakes' second shooter and he beat goalie Ross MacKinnon, tying the shootout 1-1. Each team's next three shooters missed before Mike MacIntyre scored the game winner.