Guertler, Cook Provide Heroics in Macon OT Win

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Feeling the love after a decisive, statement win down by the Bay on Friday Night, the Mayhem would finish out their weekend at the beach with a Valentine’s Evening date with the Pensacola Ice Flyers. Pensacola, still top of the Southern Professional Hockey League, would re-welcome Macon after a 4-3 win on Saturday night against the second-place Huntsville Havoc at the Pensacola Bay Center.
Fresh off the off-day in the sunshine state for the Mayhem, the first period of action would be ultimately uneventful between the Florida Georgia line foes. The hero of recent times, Mason Baptista, would go to the box just over seven minutes into the tilt, but the Mayhem penalty killers would do what they’ve done all season through the first. The Mayhem would go to the kill twice, and on the man-up once, but neither team would find paydirt as the horn sounded after 20, 0-0. Pensacola would double up the Macon shots, 8-4.
Early on in the second frame, the Ice Flyers would get to work on the kill, as Alec Hagaman would serve for an interference. This was all part of Pensacola’s plan, as Eddie Matsushima would capitalize short-handed, giving the Flyers an early 1-0 lead in the second frame. Macon wouldn’t be too pleased with this result, and would enlist Ray Brice to score his second of the season, with a helper from Casey Johnson. The good feelings wouldn’t prevail for long, as Dean Balsamo would get a five-and-a-game for slashing. Despite the unabated five minutes of power play time, Macon’s PK unit would once again flex why they stand atop the SPHL, killing off the man-down time. Making up for lost time, the Mayhem would fire off an onslaught of shots on Chase Perry, but to no avail. The period would come to an end knotted at 1-1, and Pensacola leading in shots 14-12 in the frame, 22-16 overall.
Alec Hagaman would start off the third period with a gift to the Mayhem in the form of a roughing minor. This gift would go unfounded, as the Ice Flyers PK unit would do their jobs to keep the game knotted up. For most of the period, this would be the only blip on the scoresheet, as both team’s cautiously looked to deal the killing blow without offering the other the same opportunity. With 5:29 left, just before the final media timeout of the game, Jake Wahlin would net his seventh of the season to give the Ice Flyers the lead for the second time on the night. A late trip against Pensacola would give the Mayhem 6-on-4 for the final 15 seconds of the game, and with three seconds left, the rookie-sensation Gabr Guertler would score the first Power Play goal of the night for the Mayhem, tying the game and forcing overtime. Guertler’s heroics would continue the Mayhem streak of earning at least a point against Pensacola. With heroics in mind, the last overtime hero, Max Cook, would put the game away just 35 seconds into the extra frame, with Guertler getting the primary assist. In a mere 38 seconds, the Mayhem would go from a regulation loss to a huge overtime win to sweep the weekend in Pensacola.
The Mayhem finish out their stretch against Pensacola on the road on Friday night, before returning home to Middle Georgia on Saturday, February 20 (Mardi Gras Night) and Sunday, February 21 (Pucks & PJs) against the Knoxville Ice Bears.