Preview: Mayhem vs. Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs (Game 3)

The Perfect Response
Following an opening night tilt which saw a combined 89 shots on goal, Leo Thomas and the Mayhem knew they needed to make a serious adjustment for last Saturday night’s game against the defending champs. They fully committed to doing exactly that and nearly tied a franchise record on Saturday, holding the Havoc to a paltry 18 shots on goal. The Mayhem’s record for fewest shots allowed in a game stands at 16 (2-1 L @ Roanoke on 03/15/18).

On the defensive side of the puck, the Mayhem were dominant on Saturday. Sy Nutkevitch and his line were contained and held to the perimeter on most scoring opportunities. The only costly mistake the Mayhem made came in the first 19 seconds, when Tyler Piacentini opened the scoring on the first shift of the game. The Mayhem were also far more disciplined and did a better job capitalizing on scoring chances. Coach Thomas described the performance as the best game he’s seen his team play as a whole over the past two years.

The Matchup
For the first time this season, the Mayhem will play host to the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs. Last season’s head-to-head rivalry against Roanoke was extremely even, with each team taking four games out of a possible eight. The Mayhem were 1-2-0 against them in games played at the Centreplex last season, with all three outings being decided by two goals or fewer.

Roanoke enters Macon hungry for its first win on the season after dropping two close calls in Pensacola last weekend. Dan Bremner and company have gotten off to fairly slow starts to the season for two consecutive years, but have always managed to turn things around by the middle-to-late stages of the campaign. Last season, the Rail Yard Dawgs swept the Coffey Trophy Champion Peoria Rivermen in the first round of the playoffs before being eliminated in the Semi-Finals by the Birmingham Bulls. The hunger will certainly be there tonight for the Rail Yard Dawgs, and the Mayhem will need to at least match it.

Entmaa Ruling the Crease
Through the first two games of the season, Mayhem goaltender Kevin Entmaa has been fantastic in net. He was Macon’s nominee as the Player of the Week and ultimately fell short to Pensacola’s Chase Perry. Perry was the league’s only net-minder in the league to win two games last weekend. Still, Entmaa started both tilts and played them to completion, facing 65 shots in the process. He denied 62 of them, ending the weekend with a save percentage of .939 and a goals against average of 1.95. He was instrumental to the Mayhem’s 2-1 victory over the Havoc on Saturday, stopping 17 of Huntsville’s 18 shots.
Harley Night
Tonight is Harley Night at the Macon Centreplex. Fans are encouraged to wear a leather jacket/vest to the game; those who do so will receive three free chuck-a-pucks from the chuck-a-puck just outside of the lobby. For tickets to tonight’s contest, click here.