The Mayhem ended a seven-game, 25-month winless drought at the Pensacola Bay Center on Friday night, defeating the Pensacola Ice Flyers by a 3-2 score in overtime.
The Mayhem got off to a terrific start, drawing first blood just 1:22 into the affair. Ben Campbell cycled a point-to-point pass to Zach Urban, who ripped a shot at the net through traffic. Dylan Denomme deflected the puck on its way through, changing the trajectory and throwing off Pensacola goaltender Chase Perry.
Macon’s 1-0 lead would last until the end of the period, as Hayden Stewart made a handful of challenging saves to fend off the Ice Flyers’ push to respond. Blake Young attacked the net at the halfway point of the first period, but was fought off by Stewart’s blocker.
Back-to-back Macon power plays to start the second period yielded no results, and shortly after, the Mayhem went to two penalty kills in rapid succession. On the second one, Stewart robbed Patrick Megannety with a sprawling right pad save following a crisp centering pass by the Ice Flyers’ leading scorer, Garrett Milan. The save kept the Mayhem ahead by a goal, and they managed to kill off the remainder of the penalty kill.
Eventually, the culmination of Macon penalties would cost the Mayhem. On their fifth shorthanded situation of the game, the visitors conceded the equalizing goal 7:21 into the closing period. Tommaso Bucci fired a long range shot from the apex of the umbrella power play. Stewart was beaten for the first time, failing to see the puck through the maze of bodies in front of him.
A delay of game penalty called against Alex D’Oliveira in the final six minutes gave the Ice Flyers a sixth power play opportunity, which they again used to their advantage. Michael Ederer stormed down the right wing and snapped a shot inside the top corner of the net, beating Stewart over his blocker to give the hosts their first lead of the game. The Mayhem had an answer just a minute and a half later, as Michael Chemello buried his first goal of the season out of a goal-mouth scramble to tie the game late and force overtime.
Early in sudden death, the Ice Flyers were found guilty of a bench minor penalty for having too many men on the ice. Macon went to a 4-on-3 power play, and utilized the open ice to their advantage. Denomme set up Caleb Cameron with a circle-to-circle pass, and the Mayhem veteran tapped the puck into a gaping net to seal the victory. It would be Macon’s first win at the Pensacola Bay Center since January 14th, 2018.
Stewart earned a hard-fought victory, stopping 37 of Pensacola’s 39 shots on goal. Perry was charged with the loss, denying 21 of 24. The Mayhem will conclude the series in Pensacola tomorrow night. Puck drops at the Pensacola Bay Center at 8:05 pm ET.