Photo: Dennis Sievers
Despite firing 36 shots on net on Friday night in Peoria, the Mayhem dropped a 3-0 final in their first road game of the 2019-20 campaign.
Oleg Khalemin found himself in the penalty box for roughing in the early going, but the Macon penalty kill looked strong as they fought off the two-minute disadvantage. However, shortly afterward, Alec Baer won possession of the puck in the right corner and fed former Mayhem sniper Darren McCormick a pass in the slot. McCormick rifled a wrist shot past Kevin Entmaa, giving the Rivermen a 1-0 lead roughly halfway through the first period.
The Mayhem surged over the course of the next several minutes, keeping Peoria pinned in their own zone as they pressed for a quick tying goal. Entmaa made an enormous save on a Rivermen counterattack, sliding across is net for a desperation stop on Alec Hagaman. His efforts kept the Mayhem within a goal as they entered the first intermission.
Entmaa started the second period with a bang, as well, denying Mitch McPherson on a 2-on-1 rush. However, the Peoria winger redeemed himself 15:53 into the middle stanza, finishing off a cross-crease pass made by Jordan Carvalho on another 2-on-1. The goal gave the Rivermen an insurance lead with time winding down in period two.
Pressing in an effort to cut into the deficit, the Mayhem dictated the tempo early in the third period. They pulled ahead in the shots on goal department and generated multiple scoring chances. However, Peoria’s net-minder Jeremy Brodeur kept the puck out of the net. A son of the Hall of Fame NHL goaltender Martin Brodeur, the young puck-stopper continued his flawless night in net. By the end of the game, Macon’s 36 shots on goal were not enough to solve him. An empty-net strike by McCormick would seal Macon’s fate, ending their point streak at four games to start the season.
Entmaa was handed his first regulation defeat on the season, turning aside 27 of the 29 shots he faced. Brodeur earned his first professional shutout, stopping all 36 of Macon’s attempts. The Mayhem will conclude the road series tomorrow night at the Peoria Civic Center before returning to Macon to host the Rivermen next weekend. Puck drops at 8:15 pm EST tomorrow.