In their first-ever trip to the Quad Cities, the Mayhem were edged by a 3-2 final score in overtime on Friday night.
At 6:53, Jarret Kup cycled the puck below the Quad City net, where John Siemer secured possession and flung it into the right circle. Derek Sutliffe received the pass and ripped a heavy shot over Peter Di Salvo’s shoulder into the top corner of the net. Sutliffe’s goal was his 16th of the season, tying him with Jake Trask for the team-lead.
The Storm had an answer just 2:17 later. They dumped the puck in from center ice, and goaltender Tanner Creel elected not to make a play on it. It took a fortuitous bounce for Quad City, finding sniper Shane Bennett all alone in front of the crease. He deked around Creel and tucked it into the net to tie the game. However, with only 22 seconds remaining in the opening stanza, Trask made a brilliant pass into the Storm slot in his first game back from injury. The puck found Sean Reynolds, who buried his third goal with the Mayhem.
Macon earned ample power play opportunities in period two, going to the man-advantage three times. They moved the puck well, but could not find a hole in a Quad City penalty kill which has ranked near the top of the SPHL all season. 7:19 into the middle frame, Nick Minerva found himself in a donnybrook with Mike Casale.
Seven minutes after Minerva’s fight, the Storm leveled the score. Cody Walsh rifled a one-timer from the right point. The puck was deflected past Creel by Al Graves to tie things up with time winding down in the second period. Dalton Mills nearly gave Quad City its first lead of the night on a power play shot from the left circle, but Creel robbed him with an acrobatic save to keep the score even heading into the second intermission.
An evenly played third period could not determine a victor, as Creel and Di Salvo each held their ground in the closing twenty minutes. The stalemate forced overtime, which has not been friendly to the Mayhem this season. Just 30 seconds into sudden death, on Quad City’s first shot, Walsh whipped the puck over Creel just below the crossbar to end the game.
Creel was handed his first pro overtime defeat, stopping 30 of 33 Quad City shots. Di Salvo denied 24 of 26, earning his 9th victory of the season. The Mayhem will head to the Peoria Civic Center for the first time this season to play the Rivermen tomorrow night. Puck drops at 8:15 pm EST.
Article Credit: Macon Mayhem