Photo: Bryan Meeks
In a back-and-forth affair on Harley Night, the Mayhem tied the score three separate times but ultimately fell by a 4-3 decision in the shootout.
Macon had the bulk of high-end scoring chances during the opening period, despite the shots on goal being level at 11 apiece heading into the first intermission. Stephen Klein (Roanoke) and Alex Fotinos (Macon) were both perfect in net through the first 20 minutes. Stephen Pierog generated a handful of chances for the home side early, whether he was setting up teammates or pulling the trigger himself. However, the Mayhem could not find twine in the first.
There were 46 seconds of carryover time on a Macon power play to start the middle period, but the Rail Yard Dawgs promptly fought it off. Shortly afterward, Shayne Morrissey stole the puck at the right point of the Macon zone. He then skittered it down the half wall to Josh Nenadal, who worked a return pass to Morrissey in the right circle. The SPHL veteran ripped a wrist shot just off the inside of the left post, giving the visitors a 1-0 advantage.
Less than four minutes later, Daniel Perez—making his Mayhem debut—drove the puck down the right wing and carried it behind the Roanoke net. Klein turned his head to keep his eyes on Perez, and the Mayhem winger reversed a pass to a wide open Marcus Ortiz. Ortiz simply tapped the puck into a wide open net, beating Klein and tying the score 1-1. Macon dominated on back-to-back penalty kills to close out the period, and earned a late power play heading into the second intermission.
The third period was filled with goals, as each team found the net twice. On a four-minute double-minor penalty in which Darius Davidson had been high-sticked, Roanoke scored a shorthanded goal on a 2-on-1 rush. Josh Nenadal finished off a cross-crease pass by Vojtech Zemlicka to regain the visitors’ lead. Perez had an answer less than a minute and a half later, striking at the end of a power play to re-tie the game 2-2.
Halfway through the closing frame, Macon was just 14 seconds away from killing off another penalty when Roanoke regained the edge. Chris Lijdsman fired a wrist shot from the right point, which was turned aside by Fotinos’ right pad. However, the rebound popped right to CJ Stubbs, who whacked the puck into the net from the left circle.
With time winding down and their goaltender pulled for a sixth attacker, the Mayhem surged in the offensive zone desperate to tie the game. Chance after chance went by the wayside, and with just over three seconds remaining, Stathis Soumelidis scored his first goal of the season out of a net-mouth scramble to force overtime. No victor emerged from sudden death, and the Mayhem were bested in the shootout. Stubbs was the lone goal-scorer from both teams.
Fotinos turned aside 24 of Roanoke’s 27 shots on goal in his pro debut, and stopped four of five shots in the shootout. He was charged with the shootout loss. Klein denied 31 of 34 attempts in his first win with the Rail Yard Dawgs. The Mayhem will return to the Macon Centreplex tomorrow night to host the Birmingham Bulls on Disco Night. Puck drops at 7 pm ET. For tickets, click here.