Ice Flyers Head Into Final Month With Urgency Following Twin Defeats

By Bill Vilona

Ice Flyers correspondent

The same pattern unfolded again Saturday night with the Ice Flyers.

They hope a new direction is near, following a 4-2 loss against the Macon Mayhem that brought the same type of hard-luck finish the Ice Flyers have felt so often at the Pensacola Bay Center.

The Ice Flyers generated 40 shots, had seven power plays, got a momentum-changing goal late in the second period, but couldn’t flip the final script.

As result, it was a 10th consecutive home loss with five of those dealt by Macon.

With a month left in the season, the urgency has ramped up to change fortunes at home, beginning Thursday night, April 1, with a game against Birmingham.

“We need to win games. Points are big,” said Ice Flyers coach Rod Aldoff, whose team lost 3-2 Friday against Macon and came up empty with points this weekend. “We need the results from these (upcoming) games. We need goaltending when we need it.

“We just need that one big save to change the game or a big play that results in a two on one. It is a full circle every day. You have to keep coaching. You have to keep sure the guys are holding themselves accountable and we’re held accountable.

“It’s consistency. You can’t beat consistency, you can’t beat good play no matter of how talented you are.”

Unlike past games against Macon, the first period was eventful. Macon scored first on a goal by Jared Bethune and assisted by Jason Tackett, who finished with two goals and assist.

Five minutes later, the Ice Flyers tied the game on a goal by Jordan Ernst with assists from Zach Walker and Michael Chen.

Tackett then scored the first of his two goals with 4:18 left in the first period.

The second period featured eight penalties between the teams. Tackett provided Macon a 3-1 lead with his goal with 8:38 left.

But the Ice Flyers Garrett Milan scored with 44 seconds left in the period for an emotional boost. The Ice Flyers then followed with 15 shots on goal in the third period, but could not get one past goaltender Ryan Ruck, who was between the pipes in Friday’s win.

Macon finished the win with an empty net goal as 38 seconds remained.

“As much talent as we have, as much of a good skating team that we are, we can’t make that one mistake,” said Aldoff, referring One mistake leads to another. You just have to look in the mirror and keep going.  And we will.”

The Ice Flyers now have 12 games remaining, seven of those on the road in April. They are below .500 for the first time this season with a 12-13 record in games decided in regulation time.

Their 28 points is one better than fourth-place Huntsville in the Southern Professional Hockey League Standings. Birmingham is in last place with 22 points in 30 games.

The Ice Flyers game on Thursday has been designated as an ‘80’s Night’ theme and fans are encouraged to wear fashion styles from the 1980’s.