Marksmen defeat Birmingham in OT, take 1-0 series lead
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.- The Fayetteville Marksmen, proud members of the Southern Professional Hockey League, defeated the Birmingham Bulls 3-2 in overtime to take a 1-0 series lead in the SPHL quarterfinals.
It would take nearly 50 minutes before a goal was scored as Matt McNair tallied his first of the playoffs on a feed from captain Taylor McCloy.
McNair would score his second of the night just one minute later on the powerplay with an assist from Carter Shinkaruk.
Normally an offensive power, the Bulls would not score until 11:16 into the third period when Scott Donahue banged home a rebound to make the game 2-1.
As the Bulls found their game late, Taylor McCloy took a delay of game penalty with 2:34 left and the Bulls capitalized. Michael Gillespie, an all-SPHL first team selection, buried a one-timer to tie the game at 2.
In overtime the Bulls had two chances but were stonewalled by Jason Pawloski and the Marksmen defense.
Rushing down the ice, Austin Alger slid a pass to a driving Carson Vance who lifted the puck over Austin Lotz and beat the Bulls 3-2.
The Marksmen went 1-for-2 on the St. Peter Pest Control Power Play in the game while the Bulls scored once on four tries on the man-advantage.
Birmingham outshot Fayetteville 26-19 in the loss.
These two teams will tangle again on Saturday evening in Birmingham at 8:00 p.m. eastern with a chance to win the first playoff series in team history.
The Marksmen are hosting an outdoor watch party in the North VIP parking lot of the Crown Coliseum. Admission is free.