The Pensacola Ice Flyers (8-10-5) used a five-goal third period to defeat the visiting Fayetteville FireAntz (12-10-1) on Friday night inside the Pensacola Bay Center.
The FireAntz struck first when Max Cook scored 7:07 into the first period. The Ice Flyers thought they tied it up with 6:36 left in the first but the referee waved it off and called no goal as he had lost sight of the puck. Fayetteville pushed their lead to 2-0 when Jake Hauswirth scored a power play goal just 1:06 into the second period. Hauswirth bookended the middle period with another power play goal with only 38 seconds left.
The Ice Flyers’ comeback started when Riley Spraggs batted a rebound past a screened Sean Bonar with 7:58 left in the third. Josh Cousineau and Aaron Clarke assisted on the power play goal. Less than a minute later, John Gustafsson scored on a laser from the left wing faceoff circle. Austin McKay and Myles McCauley assisted on the goal scored with 11:19 left in the third. Spraggs tied the game up at three a piece when McCauley hit him with a perfect pass as Spraggs came streaking into the Ice Flyers’ offensive zone. Spraggs ripped a wrist shot that flew past Bonar. Gustafsson had the other assist as the Ice Flyers evened things with 6:42 remaining in regulation.
The Ice Flyers took the lead with 4:49 left when Roger Tagoona scored his first goal of the season on a shot from the top of the crease. McKay had the only assist on Tagoona’s goal. With Bonar on the bench for the extra attacker, Andrew Schmit fired home the empty netter to make it 5-3 Ice Flyers with 26.0 seconds remaining in the third. Nathan Bruyere and McKay had the helpers.
Matt Zenzola stopped 23 of Fayetteville’s 26 shots on goal to earn his fifth win of the season.
The Ice Flyers will face the FireAntz again tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. for Tampa Bay Lightning Night, presented by Dr. Donald Dewey, in the Hangar. The night will feature special guest appearances by Lightning mascot Thunderbug, the Tampa Bay Lightning Girls, the Malektronic Rocketman, and Lightning anthem singer Sonya Bryson. The weekend will conclude on Sunday as the Ice Flyers head to Columbus, Ga. to face the Columbus Cottonmouths at 3:00 p.m. Central Time.
Photo courtesy of Keith Wallace/Jurassic Photo