Photo: Bryan Meeks
In a wild Friday night tilt, the Mayhem overcame a deficit on three occasions to snap a five-game losing streak with a 5-4 triumph over the Quad City Storm.
The Mayhem generated a handful of close calls early on Friday night. Stephen Pierog ripped a shot off the inside of the right post with a wrist shot from the right circle, but the puck took a Quad City bounce and stayed out of the net. Minutes later, Josh Cousineau set up Stepan Timofeev with a cross-crease pass. Timofeev tapped a quick shot on net, which was kicked away by the left pad of Ryan Mulder.
Kevin Entmaa made a number of quality saves with his pads, as well. The Macon net-minder kept the Storm off the scoresheet for a good chunk of the first period, but the visitors tallied a shorthanded goal at 12:09. Connor Fries raced down the right wing and attempted a wraparound, which Entmaa denied with his pad. However, the puck caromed right to Stephen Gaul, who jammed the rebound into the net to give the Storm a 1-0 lead.
Penalties were far more prevalent in the second period. Jimmy Soper and former Mayhem defenseman Kristaps Nimanis were penalized for off-setting roughing minors just 38 seconds into period two. The 4-on-4 yielded no result on the score sheet, but it helped the Mayhem establish a rhythm in the middle stanza. Eleven minutes into the second, Jarret Kup dropped the gloves with ex-Mayhem winger Dakota Klecha.
Kup’s fight sparked a momentum surge for the Mayhem, who dominated the tempo of play in the closing minutes of the middle frame. Just 2:20 after the scrap took place, the Mayhem leveled the score. Soper rattled a pass to himself off the left half-boards and created a 2-on-1 rush. He then fed Shawn Lynch a cross-crease pass, and the Macon rookie tapped the puck past Mulder for his second goal of the season.
A wild third period took the Macon Centreplex by storm. Mathias Åhman ripped a shot from the blue line to regain Quad City’s lead, which was extended on a fluky goal scored by Junior Harris from the left half wall. Just a minute later, however, the Mayhem responded with a pair of goals within a 21-second window. Stathis Soumelidis scored his fourth goal of the season off a rebound, and then set up Josh Cousineau for a rocket of a slap shot in the mid slot to re-tie the game 3-3.
Gaul took advantage of a turnover in the Macon zone, putting the Storm back in front 4-3 immediately after Dave Pszenyczny used his timeout. In response, the Mayhem mustered their third and final comeback of the game. Soper knocked in 5-on-3 power play goal to tie the game, and Danny Cesarz redirected a Cousineau point shot just 3:08 later to give the Mayhem their first lead of the game. They would proceed to hold on for a 5-4 regulation victory.
Entmaa earned the win, stopping 29 of Quad City’s 33 shots on goal. Mulder was handed the defeat, denying 31 of 36. The Mayhem will host the Storm again tomorrow night on December 14th. It will be Peanuts Night, as well as the Teddy Bear Toss. For tickets, click here.