The Pensacola Ice Flyers (21-18-8) managed to overcome a hat trick by the Mississippi RiverKings’ (27-19-2) Robert Lindores but ultimately fell 4-3 in a shootout inside Landers Center on Friday night.
After a scoreless first, the RiverKings struck first when Lindores scored eight seconds into the second period. The lead was then stretched to 2-0 when Lindores scored again with 4:44 left in the third. The Ice Flyers got one back when Aaron Clarke backhanded the puck past Brad Barone with 1:52 left in the second. John Gustafsson and Evan Moore had the assists.
The Ice Flyers tied the game at two when John Gustafsson tied the game with a power play goal just 3:26 into the third. Clarke and Massimo Lamacchia had the assists on the goal. Less than two minutes later, Mississippi’s Lindores completed the hat trick and gave the RiverKings the 3-2 lead with 14:38 left in the third. Clarke struck again with exactly seven minutes left in the third period with a laser of a shot from the top of the slot to tie the game up at three apiece. Nathan Bruyere and Lamacchia assisted on the tying goal.
With the score tied at three following regulation, the two teams headed to a five-minute, sudden death overtime period. Despite Pensacola having the majority of the chances in overtime, including an unsuccessful penalty shot attempt by Louis Belisle, the game headed to a shootout. None of the Ice Flyers’ four shooters scored in the shootout while Dillan Fox and Mike Moran connected for Mississippi.
John McLean stopped 21 of 23 shots he faced in 35:16 of action and Matt Zenzola saved 13 of the 14 shots he faced and one of three shooters he faced in the shootout.
The Ice Flyers return to the Pensacola Bay Center tomorrow when they face these same Mississippi RiverKings tomorrow night, March 18, for Wiener Dog Race Night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Then on Sunday, March 19, the Ice Flyers will take on the Columbus Cottonmouths for Military Appreciation Night with a 4:05 p.m. puck drop.