Preview: Mayhem @ Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs (Game 31)

Two Birds with One Stone
Last night, the Mayhem snapped two droughts which had lingered for a disconcertingly long period of time. The team won its first road game of the season, having dropped the first nine tilts away from the Macon Centreplex. The Mayhem also won their first game in overtime in nearly two years, with their last OT victory having been on March 24th, 2018 against the Peoria Rivermen. Since that date, the Mayhem had lost six straight games that were decided in sudden death.

It was a generous night on the man-advantage for the Mayhem, who tied a season high with eight power play opportunities in a single game. They managed to convert on one of them, when Shawn Lynch ripped the puck by Austyn Roudebush from the mid slot in the waning seconds of a 5-on-3. Lynch would eventually bury the overtime game-winner, as well, breaking two longstanding skids with a single shot.

The Matchup
All three contests between the Mayhem and the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs this season have required extra time to determine a victor. Roanoke won the first matchup in a shootout, Macon returned the favor two months later, and last night Macon won in overtime. It has been a neck-and-neck, tightly contested head-to-head season series thus far in what’s become a race for a playoff spot in the middle stages of the campaign.

Today marks Macon’s second afternoon game of the season, and will be its second-to-last, as well. Just before New Year’s Eve, the Mayhem were in a similar situation as they wrapped up a three-game road weekend with a Sunday afternoon clash in Huntsville. They played the defending champs well in that tilt, but ultimately fell by a 4-3 decision in regulation. Afternoon outings are challenging for all parties involved, and are typically disliked by players due to shakeups in game day routines. Still, both teams tonight face the same struggles, having to play their third game in as many days at a rare 3 pm start.

Macon Goaltending Ties
Back on December 20th of 2019, former Macon net-minder Ian Sylves guarded the crease for Dan Bremner and the Rail Yard Dawgs. Tonight, a strong possibility exists that the Mayhem will face down another former goaltender, Henry Dill. Dill has played in five games for Roanoke this season and has won three of them, boasting an early record of 3-1-1 with a 3.33 GAA and an .897 SV%. He played in four tilts for the Mayhem last season, winning two but losing both others to Roanoke. Though Roudebush played well last night for the hosts, it would not be surprising to see Dill get the nod against his prior team, giving him the chance to redeem himself from his loss in Knoxville on Friday.

College Night / First Responders Night / Pack the Plex
The Mayhem commence game three 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.