The Pensacola Ice Flyers (9-11-5) used six goals from five different goal scorers to down the Columbus Cottonmouths (7-17-1) by a score of 6-3 on Sunday evening inside the Columbus Civic Center.
The Cottonmouths struck first when Craig Simchuk cashed in on the power play when he put home a rebound with 11:59 remaining in the first period. The Ice Flyers tied it up 2:36 into the second period thanks to Sean Gammage’s first goal of the season when he skated from the left wing boards, through the faceoff circle, and fired a shot from just outside the slot. Aaron Clarke and Andrew Schmit had the helpers on the goal.
Riley Spraggs scored his third goal of the weekend with 7:54 remaining in the third period when he flew up the right wing boards, skated behind and used Jesse Stoughton as a screen then fired the puck past Cottonmouths’ goalie Spencer Bacon. Corey Banfield had the lone assist on the goal. Nathan Bruyere ripped a hard shot from the blue line that broke his stick but deflected into the net off a Cottonmouths player with 4:36 left in the second. Austin McKay and John Gustafsson picked up the assists. Just 34 seconds later, the Cottonmouths made it a one-goal game again when Keegan Bruce slid one past Ice Flyers goalie John McLean. With 1:59 left in the middle period, Banfield and Spraggs skated in on a two-on-one and Banfield hit Spraggs with a centering pass that he easily shot put into a wide-open net. Myles McCauley had the secondary assist on the goal.
Banfield got a goal to go along with his two assists when a falling Stoughton fed the puck over to Banfield who had a wide-open net to work with. Spraggs had the other assist on the goal scored with 16:59 left in the third. With 11:45 left in the third, Evan Neugold cashed in for the Cottonmouths’ second power play goal of the game. The Ice Flyers got revenge with Neugold in the box for Cross Checking with Stoughton taking a pass from Clarke and putting it past Bacon with 5:09 left in the third. Louis Belisle had the other assist on the power play goal.
McLean stopped 24 of Columbus’ 27 shots and the win improved his record to 4-3-0 on the season.
The Ice Flyers will be back in action next weekend when they head to Fayetteville, N.C., for a pair of games against the Fayetteville FireAntz on Friday, Jan. 21, and Sunday, Jan. 22. Both games are scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. Central Time puck drop. Fans interested in watching the games can do so at SPHLLive.com.
Photo Courtesy of Keith Wallace/Jurassic Photo