Preview: Mayhem vs. Quad City Storm (Game 18)

Deficit Defiers
The Mayhem snapped a five-game losing skid in impressive fashion last night, defeating the Quad City Storm by a 5-4 final score. The Storm were the last remaining team who the Mayhem had not faced this season, and they were playing their first-ever game at the Macon Centreplex.

With both teams fairly unfamiliar with one another, a high volume of quality scoring chances presented themselves throughout the night. However, the score was quite modest until the third period, when a conservative 1-1 game blew up and seven combined goals were scored in the closing 20 minutes. Macon erased deficits of 1-0, 3-1, and 4-3, and ultimately pulled out a 5-4 triumph. Much like last Saturday’s tilt against Fayetteville, yesterday was yet another see-saw matchup which saw massive momentum shifts take their tolls. The Mayhem have made it a focal point over the past two weeks to avoid being out-skated and outplayed in the third period, and yesterday’s outcome was a direct result.

The Matchup
Quad City will undoubtedly have a sense of unfinished business entering tonight’s outing. Close games have not gone in their favor of late, as they have dropped five straight tilts that were decided by one goal. Letting a late lead slip away never sits well with an opposing team, especially when it has an opportunity for redemption the following night.

Tonight’s game has substantial implications for both sides. After winning three games in a row near the start of November, the Storm have now dropped eight straight and are just a point ahead of the Mayhem in the standings. Meanwhile, Macon just snapped a skid of its own last night, and is eagerly yearning to launch back into the playoff picture. While there are still many games to be played and playoff positioning means very little at the moment, no team wants to be stuck in last place for long. The outcome this evening could very well boil down to whichever side hungers more for the two points.

Turned Allegiances
Adding even more fuel to the fire is the number of players on both sides who have played for their opponents in the past. Quad City has four ex-Mayhem players, while Macon has two ex-Storm players. Dakota Klecha clearly made his presence known in his return to the Centreplex last night, dropping the gloves with Jarret Kup and ultimately spending 11 minutes in the penalty box. Kristaps Nimanis won a President’s Cup with the Mayhem back in 2017, Peter Di Salvo played three games for Macon during the 2017-18 season, and Vincent Beaudry was part of a trade from the Mayhem to Quad City for future considerations in December of 2018, though he didn’t dress for a game.

On Macon’s side, Alex D’Oliveira scored his first point with the Mayhem last night with a secondary assist against his former team. D’Oliveira played seven games for the Storm earlier this season. Danny Cesarz also has Quad City ties, being traded there last season before he landed in Macon. However, he did not dress for a game there.

Teddy Bear Toss/Peanuts Night
Tonight is the Mayhem’s fourth annual Teddy Bear Toss Night, along with Peanuts Night. Be sure to bring plush stuffed animals and throw them onto the ice after the Mayhem score their first goal. All products will be donated to local children’s hospitals. There will also be a post-game live auction for the Peanuts jerseys, which the Mayhem will wear during the game. For tickets, click here.