Photo: Bryan Meeks
Despite playing their best game against the Peoria Rivermen in two seasons, the Mayhem fell by a 2-1 final in overtime at Carver Arena on Friday night.
Stepan Timofeev generated a high-end scoring opportunity early, cutting down the left flank and deking on Eric Levine. His hands bought him some separation from the Peoria goaltender, but he ultimately could not tuck the puck in from his backhand. Moments later, Shawn Lynch buried his third goal in as many games with a wrist shot from the slot. The goal was Macon’s first in Peoria this season through three matchups.
A delay of game penalty called against the Mayhem put them on a penalty kill in the second half of the opening period. The visitors managed to fight off a lethal Peoria power play and return to full strength, ending the first period with a 1-0 lead.
Lynch nearly scored again, finding himself on a breakaway just seconds into the middle stanza. However, the red-hot winger misfired and could not give his team an insurance marker. Alex D’oliveira had an opportunity just a couple of minutes later following a goal-mouth scramble, but missed the right post. On an ensuing Macon power play, Levine robbed Josh Koepplinger with a miraculous glove save in the crease.
The hosts took advantage of the momentum gained by the stellar play of their goaltender. They were finally able to solve Hayden Stewart just across the halfway point of the contest, punishing the Mayhem for an ill-timed line change. Jordan Carvalho and Jordan Ernst had a 2-on-0 to the net, and the former had a second chance on a carom off Stewart’s pads. He tied the game 1-1 with his fourth goal of the season. Dylan Denomme had a chance for a quick response, but was bested by Levine on a clear-cut breakaway.
Overtime commenced as neither team could find the net in the third period. After 2:45 of sudden death play, the Rivermen raced into the Macon zone on a 3-on-2 rush. Ruckus materialized in front of the net, with multiple shot blocks and saves made in rapid succession. However, the puck fluttered its way right to Robin Hoglund, who jammed the puck over the goal line to give the Rivermen a 2-1 win.
Stewart stopped 29 of 31 shots and was handed his fourth overtime loss, while Levine turned aside 26 of 27 en route to his 16th victory. The Mayhem will wrap up the road series against the Rivermen tomorrow night at Carver Arena. Puck drop is set for 8:15 pm ET.