Photo: Bryan Meeks
Macon’s five-game home winning streak ended with a 4-3 overtime defeat to the Fayetteville Marksmen after a back-and-forth battle on Friday night.
The Mayhem tested Fayetteville goaltender Trevor Gorsuch early, forcing him to make quality saves on Stephen Pierog and Shawn Lynch in the opening minutes. His performance in net gave the visiting Marksmen an opportunity to draw first blood, which they took advantage of nine minutes into the contest. John Gustafsson, making his Marksmen debut, wristed a shot from the slot, which snuck through a screened Kevin Entmaa to give Fayetteville a 1-0 edge.
On a Fayetteville power play less than six minutes later, the Mayhem responded. Dylan Denomme, who had been playing his first game for the Mayhem since April of 2018, intercepted a breakout pass in the neutral zone. He accelerated down the Fayetteville slot and ripped the puck over Gorsuch’s glove and into the net. The goal marked Macon’s first shorthanded goal of the season, and electrified the Macon Centreplex. A 1-1 score followed heading into the first intermission.
Macon seized its first lead of the game just 2:31 into the middle period, scoring just a second after its power play had expired. Denomme sent a backdoor pass onto the tape of Marcus Ortiz, who tipped in his team-leading 11th goal of the season.
The Marksmen tipped the scales in the latter stages of period two, gaining an edge on the Mayhem in shots on goal and on the scoreboard. Gustafsson netted his second goal of the night on a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle on a 4-on-4 situation. His equalizer preceded a strike by Fayetteville Captain Max Cook, who was set up in the left circle from Brian Bowen on a Marksmen power play. Cook’s goal put the Mayhem into a 3-2 deficit to close out the middle stanza.
A late goal scored by Stepan Timofeev on a rebound leveled the game 3-3 with just over five minutes remaining in regulation. The Russian’s third goal of the season ultimately forced overtime, which only lasted 14 seconds. Alec Marsh burst down the left wing following a scrappy faceoff and collected his own rebound, knocking the puck over the goal line to give the visitors a 4-3 victory.
Entmaa was handed his second overtime loss of the season, denying 28 of 32 Fayetteville shots. Gorsuch earned his first win with the Marksmen, stopping 36 of 39. The Mayhem will close out the home series with the Marksmen tomorrow night on Marvel Super Hero™ Night. For tickets, click here.