Preview: Mayhem @ Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs (Game 30)

A Faltering in Fayetteville
The Mayhem did not get the start they were hoping for to the second half of the 2019-20 season. Their opponents, the Fayetteville Marksmen, created a fast-paced rhythm for themselves relatively quickly, and used their high-end speed and skill to max effect in a game which suited their style perfectly. Ultimately, the hosts triumphed by a 9-2 score.

Simply put, the Mayhem could not slow the Marksmen down. Fayetteville transitions and counterattacks permeated the contest, with Mayhem goaltender Hayden Stewart finding himself facing down the likes of Max Cook, Brian Bowen, John Gustafsson and others on consistent odd-man rushes and breakaways. The Marksmen, particularly their top scorers, thrive in such open-ice scenarios and seldom fail to capitalize when given the opportunity.

Yesterday’s defeat is one the Mayhem would like to forget as quickly as possible. Fortunately for them, they still have two more games on the schedule this weekend before heading back to Macon.

The Matchup
Tonight’s opponents, the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs, have managed recent success against Fayetteville but have dropped their last two games. They played in Knoxville against the Ice Bears last night, falling by a 4-1 final score. Both matchups between Macon and Roanoke this season have resulted in shootouts, with the Rail Yard Dawgs taking the first one and the Mayhem taking the second. In the latter instance, Kevin Entmaa stopped all seven shots he faced in the shootout, paving the way for Danny Cesarz to net the game-winning goal on his second attempt.

Roanoke’s lineup is featured by a handful of forwards the Mayhem will need to focus on tonight and tomorrow. CJ Stubbs and Colton Wolter have each had two-goal performances against the Mayhem this season, and Northeastern University product Lincoln Griffin will also be someone worth keeping a close eye on. Prior to last night’s defeat in Knoxville, Griffin had tallied four goals in his previous five games.

Fighting Fire with Fire
Special teams will be interesting this weekend, as a strength vs. strength scenario will materialize. Roanoke’s power play has been lightning-like on its home ice this season, clicking at a 23.3% rate at the Berglund Center. Only Peoria’s man-advantage (26.1%) has been stronger at home. However, Macon’s penalty killing continued to impress yesterday in Fayetteville, and has now succeeded in 23 of its last 24 situations. Not only has this been the case, but Dylan Denomme has also netted a pair of shorthanded goals in that span. Over the past seven games, in which the Mayhem have gone 23-for-24, they have scored more goals shorthanded than they’ve allowed to opposing power plays.
College Night / First Responders Night / Pack the Plex
The Mayhem commence game two of a five-game road stretch tonight, but will return to the Macon Centreplex at the end of the month for a three-game weekend against three different opponents. Thursday, January 30th will be College Night; $10 tickets will be available to college students who show a college ID. Friday, the Mayhem will honor first responders in the Middle Georgia community, and Saturday will mark the team’s first-ever $6 ticket night. All general admission seats on Pack the Plex Night are only $6, and can be purchased via the Mayhem website or at the box office. The team will also be wearing specialty Nickelodeon™ jerseys with a Double Dare focus on Saturday, which will be sold at a live auction in the Centreplex lobby following the game. For tickets to either contest, click here.