Photo: Bryan Meeks
The Mayhem dropped a 5-3 decision in a chaotic, penalty-riddled Friday night game against the Peoria Rivermen.
One of Macon’s objectives heading into the contest was to score the first goal, as the Rivermen had not trailed in a game at all through five games played this season. They did just that, as Danny Cesarz tallied his first goal of the season just 7:23 into the contest. He received a pass in the slot from Josh Cousineau on a 3-on-2 rush, and ripped a wrist shot past Eric Levine to give the Mayhem a 1-0 lead.
Peoria had a strong response, scoring just 2:33 later with a point shot from Nick Neville. The shot was redirected past Alex Fotinos by Zach Nieminen, who tied the game 1-1 with his first goal as a Riverman. In the last second of the first period, a brawl ensued near the Peoria crease as several players from both sides grappled with one another. Two fights took place immediately after the ensuing faceoff, and a total of 64 combined penalty minutes were assessed in the final 1.5 seconds of play.
The visitors responded well to the chaos, scoring four unanswered goals in the second period. All four tallies came on special teams, with two power play strikes and two shorthanded strikes being scored within 20 minutes of play. Jakob Reichert, Nieminen, Darren McCormick and Jake Hamilton all found the net. After Nieminen’s goal, he and Stepan Timofeev were each given 10-minute misconducts for a continuing altercation.
Macon chipped away at the daunting four-goal deficit in period three. Just 1:14 into the closing stanza, Rene Hunter ripped a heavy wrist shot from the right point and past a screened Levine, beating the Peoria net-minder cleanly to bring the Mayhem back to within three. The goal would be Hunter’s first as a pro. Jimmy Soper cut the deficit to two 13:49 into the third period after receiving a nice pass from the goal line by Caleb Cameron.
Ultimately, the Mayhem’s comeback efforts fell short as they were defeated by a 5-3 score. A combined 110 penalty minutes were assessed on the night, the second highest total in Mayhem franchise history. They will host the Rivermen for the fourth straight game tomorrow night at the Macon Centreplex. Puck drops at 7 pm EST at the Macon Centreplex.