Preview: Mayhem @ Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs (Game 37)

Mayhem Display Resilience in Overtime Defeat
Last night, the Mayhem got off to another slow start against the Huntsville Havoc. They’ve hosted them three times this season at the Macon Centreplex, and the defending champs have opened the scoring within the first 2:21 in all three matchups.

However, last night was another example of the Mayhem refusing to give up on the outcome of a game, regardless of how bleak the circumstances were. They fell behind 2-0 very quickly, and were thoroughly outplayed in the first period. Yet, one shift at a time, they continuously tipped the scales in their favor and eventually were rewarded for their resilience. In the closing 2:30, David Powlowski scored another timely equalizer and forced overtime, where the Havoc have been nearly invincible this season (10-1).

Coach Ryan Michel has stated that the team’s success at the end of this three-game weekend will be measured by a combination of points and whether the team plays the right way. While the Mayhem certainly would have liked the second point from yesterday’s tilt, they did finish the game the right way.

The Matchup
Tonight marks the fifth and final matchup between the Mayhem and the Rail Yard Dawgs this season. Both teams have taken two of four games to this point, and both are in dire need of points as they pursue a playoff berth.

The last time these teams squared off was at the Berglund Center on January 19th, when former Mayhem goaltender Henry Dill registered a 29-save shutout to avenge his squad from the previous night, where the Mayhem triumphed in overtime. Roanoke remains the only team the Mayhem have defeated on the road this season, but they will be running into a hot goaltending tandem which was just named SPHL Player of the Week. Dill and Austyn Roudebush both had an outstanding weekend against Huntsville and Pensacola, collectively making 92 saves on 95 shots on goal.

Wolter Returns to Roanoke
Mayhem center Colton Wolter makes his first re-appearance in Roanoke since being traded to the Mayhem in exchange for Marcus Ortiz on January 21st. The Fairbanks, AK native has tallied four goals in five games since joining Macon, and scored his first professional hat trick last Saturday on Pack the Plex Night. Ortiz is still seeking his first goal since joining Roanoke, but has racked up a pair of assists and a whopping 27 shots on goal in six games. Both players will likely play with an extra jump to their step tonight, and will be worth keeping a close eye on for both sides.

Five-Game Road Stretch
The Mayhem will need to reverse their road woes this season in order to make the playoffs, and they will have plenty of opportunities to do so in the next two weeks. They are embarking on a five-game road stretch, which ties the season high. After tonight, the Mayhem have a pair of road games against the Fayetteville Marksmen and the Pensacola Ice Flyers, both of whom are top teams in the SPHL. Tonight marks the beginning of a very challenging part of Macon’s schedule with points becoming a more precious commodity by the day, and the Mayhem would be well-served to start it off on a high note.