Photo: Bryan Meeks
The Mayhem dropped a 5-3 decision at the hands of the Birmingham Bulls on Cancer Awareness Night.
Macon dominated the first handful of shifts in the game. They cycled the puck well in the offensive zone and pinned the Bulls down for extended periods of time. The Mayhem drew four Birmingham penalties in the first period. Alex Johnson managed to slow Macon’s momentum 7:17 into the game, stepping out from the right corner after a puck scrap and sneaking a shot inside of the left post to beat Kevin Entmaa.
Just over two minutes later, Marcus Ortiz ripped a wrist shot from the left circle. Artt Brey flashed his glove to knock the puck down, but it landed right in front of the net where Jimmy Soper shoveled it over the goal line. Macon conceded a pair of shorthanded breakaways towards the end of the period, one of which resulted in a penalty shot for Josh Harris. Entmaa denied the Bulls’ leading scorer with his stick, but could not deny a breakaway from Mike Davis two and a half minutes later. The visitors entered the first intermission with a 2-1 advantage.
The tables turned in the penalty department, as the Mayhem found themselves in the sin bin three times in period two. The first resulted in a Birmingham goal, as defenseman Matt Fuller ripped a slap shot from the left circle which trickled through Entmaa’s equipment and into the back of the net. The Mayhem did manage to kill off both other penalties, however.
Puck luck was not on the Mayhem’s side during the middle stanza. Danny Perez tapped a shot off the inside of the left post, and Stepan Timofeev redirected a point shot off the left elbow of the net just minutes later. However, they did manage to find the net again before the second intermission. Jarret Kup tracked down a loose puck in the slot 14:05 into the second period and flung a quick shot past Brey to bring Macon back to within a goal.
Late tensions flared when the Mayhem tied the game back up in dramatic fashion, striking with just over six minutes remaining on a rebound conceded by Brey. Marcus Ortiz scored the goal, but the Bulls again had a response. After Larry Smith was penalized for high-sticking, Jacob Barber pulled the trigger from the right circle, and the puck squeaked through Entmaa’s gear, and it was stuffed across the goal line by Shaquille Merastey. Josh Harris sealed Macon’s fate with an empty net goal in the closing seconds, and the Mayhem fell by a 5-3 score.
Entmaa was handed his fourth regulation defeat, stopping 38 of 42 shots on goal. Brey denied 35 of 38, earning his fourth win of the season. The Mayhem will host the Evansville Thunderbolts on November 22nd and 23rd on Mossy Oak Weekend. For tickets, click here.