Preview: Mayhem vs. Fayetteville Marksmen (Game 1)

A Fifth Season
Tonight will be the first time the Mayhem play a game at the Macon Centreplex since April 13th of 2019. More importantly than being simply a contest which the organization has awaited for six months, tonight’s game also marks the home opener for the Mayhem’s Fifth Anniversary Season in Macon. The team has been constructed carefully, the front office has prepared meticulously, and the fan base has waited patiently. Tonight’s matchup will go a long way in setting the tone for the 2019-20 season.

Last Saturday night, the Mayhem dropped a 6-1 decision in Birmingham in their lone pre-season tilt of 2019. While the result might raise a small degree of concern, the roster which suited up for the exhibition is substantially different from the one which Coach Leo Thomas will use to begin the season. A healthy mix of rookies and veterans comprise the Mayhem’s opening night squad, which will brace itself for a formidable challenge in facing the Fayetteville Marksmen.

The Matchup
Under the guise of Head Coach Jesse Kallechy, the Marksmen improved enormously last season and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2017. The second-year bench boss has secured a number of the players responsible for the team’s upgrading, including reigning SPHL Defenseman of the Year Travis Jeke. The Boston College product led the league in scoring by a defenseman, dressing for all 56 games and recording 38 points (6 G, 32 A) in the process.

Despite the great strides forward the Marksmen took last season, their struggles playing at the Macon Centreplex continued. They dropped all four decisions in Macon last season, and have now lost ten straight games in this building dating back to February of 2017. It is a curse which Kallechy and company will be seeking to lift tonight, and one which the Mayhem will look to prolong to kick off their season.

Captains Named
Earlier this morning, the Mayhem announced the players who will be donning a letter on their jersey to begin the 2019-20 campaign. Stephen Pierog was named as the fourth captain in franchise history, following in the likes of Curtis Megginson (2015-16), Matt Summers (2016-17), and Daniel Gentzler (2017-18). He will be joined by veteran forwards Caleb Cameron, Stathis Soumelidis and Jimmy Soper as alternates.

Pierog is the first player to wear the ‘C’ since Leo Thomas has taken over as the Head Coach. He was a crucial component of the Mayhem’s championship team in 2017, and has played in the ECHL for the past season and a half. Soumelidis also won the President’s Cup with the Mayhem and is entering his fourth season, while Cameron and Soper are beginning season three in Macon.
Opening Weekend Promotions
The Mayhem open the 2019-20 regular season by hosting the Marksmen tonight and the Huntsville Havoc tomorrow. Fan appreciative gestures like $4 beer and will be on hand Friday night, while a Zombieland-themed evening awaits on Saturday. Tickets purchased at the gate for tonight’s game will also give fans 50% pricing for tomorrow’s game. For tickets to either or both of these contests, click here.