Preview: Mayhem @ Peoria Rivermen (Game 33)

Too Close for Comfort
Yesterday the Mayhem played their best game against the Peoria Rivermen in two seasons. It was the first time since March of 2018 they managed to take a point in a game against them. From start to finish last night, the Mayhem appeared to be the hungrier team. They were faster to pucks, won the bulk of the puck battles, and created more premium scoring chances than their opponents. While Eric Levine had a sensational night in net for the hosts, the Mayhem ultimately missed far too many opportunities.

Breakaways, point-blank scoring chances, and open net shots do not happen often against this Peoria team. Last night, they happened in bunches due to Macon’s hard work and perseverance. The only thing missing from yesterday’s effort was the capitalizing. There is little doubt the Mayhem were kicking themselves after a game in which they certainly could have emerged triumphant. Tonight offers the perfect opportunity for redemption as they complete their road trip.

The Matchup
The start to yesterday’s game particularly favored Macon. During the early stages of the contest, the Mayhem put the visitors on their heels and came close to accumulating a multi-goal lead quickly. They silenced the arena just 3:29 into the outing with a goal from Shawn Lynch, and hounded the puck with ferocity in the early going. The first period could not have sat well with Rivermen Head Coach Jean-Guy Trudel, who will likely be more inclined to ensure his team is prepared for the inevitable onslaught the Mayhem will seek to invoke to start tonight’s game.

Without a doubt, the Mayhem will have an enormous chip on their shoulders after yesterday’s result. How they respond to an overtime loss which could have been a win will be paramount in game two.

Lynch Stepping Up
Over the course of this five-game road stretch, Shawn Lynch has come to the forefront and led the charge for the Mayhem offensively. He has now scored three goals in his last three games, which is the best rate of his professional career thus far. The Utica College product has had a knack for scoring crucial goals this season, being responsible for the Teddy Bear Toss goal in a 1-0 victory over Quad City, scoring the overtime winner last Saturday against Roanoke to give Macon its first road win, and burying Macon’s lone goal yesterday in what would result in their first point against Peoria in nearly two years.

In his first full pro campaign, Lynch has endured a number of nagging upper body injuries, to which he has been subjected due to his hard-nosed style of play and his modest stature. Even so, the Syracuse, NY native has suited up for 30-of-32 games this season. He has developed into a key player for Ryan Michel and the Mayhem, and will likely be relied upon heavily again tonight.
College Night / First Responders Night / Pack the Plex
The Mayhem play their final installment of a five-game road stretch tonight and will return to the Macon Centreplex next Thursday 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.