To wrap up a home-and-home series with the Pensacola Ice Flyers, the Mayhem forced overtime with a late goal but fell by a 2-1 final score.
The opening period yielded minimal quality scoring chances, but the Ice Flyers mustered a healthy 18 shots on goal. Making his Mayhem debut, Hayden Stewart stopped all of them. He radiated confidence to kick off his first game, but Pensacola net-minder Jake Kupsky also denied all nine shots the Mayhem sent his way in period one.
Early in the second, Stewart made a spectacular point-blank save following a centering pass which found the dangerous Brett D’Andrea right in front of him. Stewart robbed him with the pad to keep the game scoreless. However, the Ice Flyers finally managed to solve him shortly afterward, capitalizing on a 2-on-1 rush. Tanner Froese put the puck on net, and it bounced off Stewart directly to Tommaso Bucci. The Ice Flyers’ top goal-scorer whacked it back into the net, giving the home side a 1-0 lead.
Stepan Timofeev came extremely close to leveling the score in the closing minutes of the second period. He cut to the net on his off-wing and fired the puck over Kupsky’s shoulder. It rattled off the crossbar and shot back out into the neutral zone. Macon outshot Pensacola 12-11 in the middle frame, but entered the second intermission down by a 1-0 margin.
Just 1:43 into the closing period, Zach Urban was found guilty of hooking Patrick Megannety on a breakaway, resulting on a penalty shot for the Ice Flyers forward. However, his shot rang off the post, and the Mayhem stayed within a goal.
The Mayhem found a way to tie the score in the final minutes of play. After entering the attacking zone on the right wing, Stathis Soumelidis bought enough time for a line change to be completed. He then set up Jarret Kup fresh off the bench, who surveyed down the right wing and fed a nice pass to David Powlowski. Powlowski fired the puck past Kupsky with just 4:09 remaining, which ultimately led to overtime hockey.
In extra time, Garrett Milan raced down the left wing and drew the attention of two Mayhem players. His shot bounced off the pads of Stewart and landed right on the tape of Jesse Kessler crashing the net. The defenseman smashed the rebound past Stewart to seal the game.
Stewart was handed an overtime loss in his Mayhem debut, despite stopping an impressive 40 of 42 shots. Kupsky earned his seventh win with the Ice Flyers, denying 28/29.. The Mayhem will host the Fayetteville Marksmen next weekend on Friday and Saturday night. For tickets, click here.