Ice Flyers Beat Fayetteville 6-5
Pensacola, Fla. - The Pensacola Ice Flyers began a back-to-back set of weekend home games versus the Fayetteville FireAntz Friday night at the Pensacola Bay Center. These two games are crucial for both teams as they are battling 2nd place in the SPHL standing. In a game that had it all, the Ice Flyers edged the FireAntz 6-5.
Both teams had excellent scoring chances in the first period, but nothing to show from it. The opening frame ended 0-0.
4:16 into the second period, the game went to a whole other level. In his return the Pensacola Bay Center and in his first home game back, last season's captain Dan Buccella brought the crowd to its feet with a backhand that beat FireAntz goalie Marco Emond. A few minutes later, Jordan Chong scored on the power play to put Pensacola up 2-0.
Right off the faceoff, it was the two heavyweights that squared off for a bout. Ice Flyers' newly signed Mark Vida and FireAntz enforcer Kyle McNeil. Both fighters got their punches in early but Vida connected with a punch that ended the scrap and then skated to the penalty box with a booming cheer from the home-town crowd.
The league's leading scorer, FireAntz Josh McQuade, scored just over a minute later to cut the lead in half. Ice Flyer Justin MacDonald scored his third goal in two games just passed the halfway mark, and then Kevin Kozlowski made it 4-1 Pensacola on a slap shot 32 seconds later.
Fayetteville, the highest scoring team in the SPHL, did not give up. Brandon Richardson scored and then Derek Elliott followed up with a marker of his own to bring the FireAntz within one. However, a mere 26 seconds later, Mitchell Good scored a power play goal for his first professional goal in his first professional game.
Yet again, the FireAntz high-potent offense went to work early in the third period when former Ice Flyer Brett Liscomb scored 35 seconds into the final frame. At the 3:06 mark, Bobby Reed tied the game at 5. Playing shorthanded, the Ice Flyers' leading scorer went to work. Ryan Salvis was sprung loose on a breakaway and made no mistake as he scored on Emond on what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
The shots were fairly even with Pensacola outshooting Fayetteville 36-35. Ice Flyers went 2-for-6 on the power play while the FireAntz went 1-for-6.
Both teams square off again Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. with the winner securing second place for the moment.
Florida Lottery 3 Stars of the Game:
1st Star: Dan Buccella (PNS)
2nd Star: Mark Vida (PNS)
3rd Star: Ryan Salvis (PNS)
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