Hosting the Pensacola Ice Flyers for the first time of 2019, the Mayhem erased a deficit twice but fell just short in a 3-2 overtime result.
Macon found itself on the penalty kill 6:09 into the contest after a Seth Ronsberg slashing penalty. The Mayhem fought off the ensuing Pensacola power play, but the Ice Flyers managed to score shortly afterward.
In the fifteenth minute, Andrew Schmit and Ryan Devine cycled the puck below the goal line in the left corner of the Macon zone. Matt Johnson unleashed a quick snap shot after receiving the pass on the inner edge of the left circle, sneaking the puck past Ian Sylves to open the scoring for the Ice Flyers.
Just 2:28 into the second period, Alexander Taulien cycled the puck to Seth Ronsberg at the right point. Ronsberg, playing as a center on Friday night, teed up a hard slap shot which was deflected past Brian Billett by Vincent Caligiuri. The goal was Caligiuri’s first with the Mayhem and tied the score 1-1.
It only took 55 seconds for Pensacola to respond. Racing back into the offensive zone, Jason Price rifled a slap shot off the right post. Tim Moore re-entered the Macon zone and set up Brett D’Andrea in the mid-slot. D’Andrea snapped a heavy shot through a screen to beat Sylves and regain the Ice Flyers’ lead.
Macon went to a 5-on-3 power play six minutes into the third period when Brett D’Andrea was sent to the penalty box for boarding. After cycling the puck around the Pensacola zone, John Siemer ripped a wrist shot from the slot. Billett fought off the attempt with his glove, but the puck lay loose at the side of his goal. Caleb Cameron spotted the rebound and turned it past Billett while falling. Cameron’s goal was the Mayhem’s first power play strike in four games.
Both teams jostled for a go-ahead goal for the remainder of regulation, but Sylves and Billett held strong. For the first time of 2019, the Mayhem were headed for overtime.
In the 3-on-3 sudden death stanza, the Ice Flyers generated multiple odd-man rush opportunities. Sylves managed to deny a couple, but he was eventually beaten. Robert Lepine probed down the right wing and fired from the right circle, squeaking the puck through Sylves to win the game for Pensacola. The Mayhem fell to 0-4 in extra time games this season, with three of those defeats coming against the Flyers.
Sylves was charged with his first overtime loss of the season, turning aside 33 of Pensacola’s 36 shots. Billett earned his sixth win of the season, halting 27 of 29. The Mayhem will wrap up the home-and-home series tomorrow night at the Pensacola Bay Center.
Photo: Bryan Meeks
Article credit: Macon Mayhem