Preview: Mayhem @ Birmingham Bulls (Game 22)

Streak Snapped
The Mayhem saw a season-high four-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Pensacola Ice Flyers on Thursday night by a score of 4-2. Success at the Hangar has continued to elude the Mayhem as they dropped their sixth straight game in Pensacola.

The contest got off to a roaring start for Macon as Josh Koepplinger would capitalize on an early man advantage to give the Mayhem a 1-0 lead, but Koepplinger’s strike would be answered almost instantly by a Pensacola retort. The Mayhem would not lead again for the rest of the night. After a slow second period that saw Pensacola snag a second goal, Macon would find a spark in the form of a Shawn Lynch goal off a rebounded shot from Ortiz. Macon’s penalty kill unit would come up short in the third as D’Andrea grabbed his second of the game and the eventual game winner. Garrett Milan would pot an empty netter to seal Macon’s fate on Thursday evening.

The Matchup
The month of December has not been kind to the Birmingham Bulls as they have dropped all six games since the calendar flipped over. Jamey Hicks’ squad will surely have tonight’s tilt in their crosshairs, with it being their first game since falling 3-2 to the Mayhem on Saturday.

Macon looks to shake an 0-5-0 road record to start the year when they travel to the Pelham Civic Complex for the first time this season. Shockingly, the Mayhem only visited Central Alabama once last season, despite it being their closest opponent in terms of proximity. In that tilt, Mavric Parks earned a 21-save shutout and the Mayhem fell by a 2-0 final.

Tonight’s contest will again have strong implications on the standings, as Birmingham trails the Mayhem by a point with a game in hand. Two points for either side would provide much coveted breathing room near the playoff bubble.

Dangerous Duo
In order to find success against Birmingham, the Mayhem will have to neutralize two deadly wingers. Both Mike Davis and Jacob Barber are off to terrific starts to the season. Davis enters tonight with 15 points (9G, 6A), while Barber enters with 19 (7G, 12A).

Both snipers have plagued the Mayhem through their first three meetings on the year. Davis has potted three goals in as many games against the Mayhem this season with an assist as well. Barber has been a maestro for the Birmingham offense against the Mayhem this season as he has tallied 3 assists and 13 shots for the Bulls.

Keeping this tandem off the scoresheet will go a long way toward the Mayhem’s quest to secure two points on Friday night.

Fan Control Night
The Mayhem’s next home game will be on Friday, January 3rd against the Pensacola Ice Flyers. It will be Fan Control Night at the Macon Centreplex; polls will be run on social media for fans to decide things like music, intermission games, jerseys worn during the game, and more! For tickets, click here.