Preview: Mayhem vs. Fayetteville Marksmen (Game 16)

Quality over Quantity
Yesterday’s 10-3 defeat in Evansville at the hands of the much-improved Thunderbolts marked the largest margin of defeat the Mayhem have suffered in franchise history. It would also go down as the most goals the team has ever allowed in a single game, shattering both previous records by two scores.

Perhaps the greatest anomaly of this game was the shots on goal. One might be confused by the result after checking the box score, seeing as the Mayhem outshot the opposition 49-28. They forced Braeden Ostepchuk to make a number of respectable saves, but both Macon net-minders were left to deal with unmarked Thunderbolts in dangerous scoring areas all throughout the night. To Evansville’s credit, their forwards did a remarkable job of capitalizing on Macon miscues and seldom missed on their scoring opportunities. As was exemplified last night, shots on goal have not been the Mayhem’s issue this season. The issue has been the difference in quality of chances they have created vs. allowed. On a more uplifting note, the Mayhem had a strong finish to the game, outplaying Evansville in the third period and scoring twice on the power play.

The Matchup
The Fayetteville Marksmen got off to a red-hot start this season and dueled the Peoria Rivermen for the top record in the league. They edged the Mayhem in overtime in Macon’s home opener which preceded an 8-0-1 record through the team’s first nine games of the season. The Marksmen have since regressed towards the mean slightly, having split both of their last two weekends. Still, Jesse Kallechy’s squad remains one of the most dangerous in the SPHL.

A blockbuster trade involved the Marksmen on Monday which sent Tucker Ross to Quad City, John Schiavo to Huntsville, and Brett Johnson and Josh Victor to Fayetteville. Tonight will be the Marksmen’s first game since making the trade, as they had last night off due to a Sunday clash with the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs tomorrow afternoon. Substantial roster shakeups like this almost always have some sort of immediate impact on the team, so the Mayhem will have to be prepared for another formidable opponent.

D’Oliveira Debuts
Macon’s newest addition Alex D’Oliveira prepares to make his debut tonight wearing the #3 for the Mayhem. He was expected to suit up last night in Evansville, but flu-like symptoms kept him out of the contest. The timing was unfortunate, as the blue-liner’s defensive capabilities would have surely helped a Mayhem team which struggled to keep the puck out of its net. The Georgetown, ON native has been on a small roll, registering three assists in his last three games. He has been described by Mayhem Head Coach Ryan Michel as a solid defenseman who thrives in playing a simple game, and tonight will put his skills to the test against an adversary which has averaged a daunting 3.62 goals per game (2nd, SPHL).

Teacher Appreciation Night
The Mayhem will have three consecutive Saturday home games, along with a pair of Friday games in the month of December. Tonight is Teacher Appreciation Night; admission is only $10 for school faculty with the presentation of a valid ID at the box office. For tickets to any of December’s five home games, click here.