By Shawn Bednard | Macon Mayhem
Winners of eight-straight games thanks to a home-win on Tuesday Night, the Macon Mayhem welcomed the Pensacola Ice Flyers back into the Macon Coliseum for a Friday Night battle, looking to continue their success of four-straight wins against the Florida foe. Thanks to a 3-2 win on Tuesday against this same team, the Mayhem continued their dominance at the top of the Southern Professional Hockey League standings.
A great period of hockey greeted the fans on a Friday Night, as a rowdy contingent of fans came out to see the first-place Mayhem. With low-shots, but end-to-end offensive action, the teams got their legs quickly under them. As we approached the late stages of the first frame, Connor Sanvido would sneak a puck high stick-side of Jake Theut to give the Pensacola Ice Flyers a 1-0 lead with 7:52 to go. Brian Bowen wasn't all too happy about that, and would race from his high defensive end down to the net of Jake Kupsky, and flick a wrister high for his fifth of the season, and knot the game up 1-1 with 5:59 to go. Both teams would have power play opportunities off of tripping penalties, but both would be fruitless in their efforts. With an 8-7 shot advantage for Pensacola, the first period would end 1-1.
The second frame of the game would feel eerily similar in terms of action, time of scoring, and responses. A mostly clean-sheet period, Macon went to box early on for a tripping penalty that was quickly and easily killed off. It would be a quick, back and forth game with no scoring until Max Cook would sneak across the blue line, body his way through Pensacola defenders, and slip one past Kupsky to give the Mayhem a 2-1 lead. All good things come to an end, and they did quickly. 28 seconds after Cook's goal, Frederic Letourneau and Jordan Ernst would each beat Jake Theut within a minute of each other to quickly give Pensacola a 3-2 lead that would hold through the period. Pensacola would take a lead into the locker room, down in shots 19-18.
In the final period, down by a goal, the Mayhem would waste no time in knotting it up, as Logan Coomes would secure his second goal in as many games with 17:31 to go in the game. What would ensue in the final 17 minutes of the period would be an all-out brawl to find that final goal, take the lead, and put the game away. That opportunity would not find its way in regulation, as Theut and Kupsky would hold strong in the final period, and we'd head to OT.
With Overtime forced, Pensacola temporarily held sole-possession of second place in the SPHL. Just 19 seconds into the extra frame, they'd ensure they left the night at least still tied for it, as Jordan Ernst would find a wide open net and end the Mayhem streak with his second goal of the night. Macon, while still securing a point, would see its impressive winning-streak snapped at eight-straight. They continue to hold a six-point lead over the second-place Ice Flyers, and will look to increase that separation tomorrow night in the series finale in Macon.