By Brett Batcheor | Birmingham Bulls
The Birmingham Bulls faced off against the Pensacola Ice Flyers for the second straight game to start the season. The Bulls fell to the Ice Flyers 6-1 at the Pensacola Bay Center. Wednesday’s game got off to a lot different start than the first meeting between the two that saw the Ice Flyers come out victorious 4-3 in overtime.
After a boarding penalty called against Logan Nelson of the Bulls at the 8:31 mark, the Ice Flyers got to work. Just thirteen seconds into the power play, Pensacola notched their first goal of the game from Matt Ustsaki assisted by Garrett Milan and Nick Neville. Just a few minutes later, Pensacola expanded on their lead. At the 10:31 mark, Patrick Megannety put the Ice Flyers up 2-0 on the Bulls with an assist from Cam Bakker. Pensacola went on the power play one more time late in the first period but was unable to capitalize. The Bulls were only able to get off three shots on goal in the period and went into the first intermission down 2-0.
The Bulls got off to a much quicker start in the second period going onto the power play just 2:40 into the period on a slashing call against Jordan Ernst. However, Birmingham was not able to cut into the Ice Flyers lead and ended up falling behind 3-0 on a short-handed goal from Alec Hagaman with assists from Eddie Matsushima and Nick Neville (his second assist in the game) at the 2:53 mark, just thirteen seconds into the Bulls power play. After a quiet second period from both teams, the Bulls found the back of the net for their first goal of the game. At the 19:05 mark, Mike Davis cut the Ice Flyers lead to just two on an assist from Tyler Penner. Birmingham picked up their offensive pace in the second period with thirteen more shots on goal than the first and outshooting Pensacola 16-11 in the second.
The third and final period was quiet from both teams for the first ten minutes of play.
Pensacola then added onto their lead when Eddie Matsushima scored another short-handed goal for Pensacola and gave them their fourth of the game at 10:37 assisted by Patrick Megannety. Just two minutes later, the Flyers were rolling when they scored their fifth goal and second of the period with Duggie Lagrone getting his first goal of the season and Eddie Matsushima continuing his great play on the night assisting Lagrone on the play. The Bulls went onto the power play at the 15:35 mark after the second slashing penalty of the night was called on the Ice Flyers. However, for the third time, the Ice Flyers scored another short-handed goal, giving them three short-handed goals on all three of the Bulls power play opportunities. This time the goal came twenty-one seconds before the power play ended with Patrick Megannety netting his second goal of the contest with an assist from Ustsaki.