Preview: Mayhem @ Pensacola Ice Flyers (Game 39)

Playoff Picture Blurs
Last Sunday afternoon’s game in Fayetteville left the Mayhem winless against the league’s second-place team this season. The 4-1 defeat resulted in Macon taking three points out of a possible six last weekend, which is a satisfactory number considering how demanding the schedule was.

Several positive takeaways remain from the team’s three-game weekend. Hayden Stewart and Michael Stiliadis made for an impressive goaltending tandem, collectively stopping 101 of the 111 shots they faced on the weekend (.910 SV%). The Mayhem also showed tremendous resilience on Friday night against Huntsville, overcoming a two-goal deficit to force overtime. They earned their first regulation road win of the season in a crucial game against Roanoke on Saturday, and had a much stronger performance in Fayetteville than they had three weeks prior.

Now four points outside of a playoff spot, the Mayhem head to Pensacola to take on a struggling but dangerous Ice Flyers team.

The Matchup
The Pensacola Ice Flyers have been on an unexpected skid for the past month. They have lost seven of their last eight games, with six of the losses coming against bottom-four teams in the SPHL. They have dropped from third place to sixth in a very short period of time. Unsurprisingly, every single one of those six defeats was by a single goal. Very seldom have Rod Aldoff and company been blown out in a game this season, but the close results have not gone their way of late. They have now dropped six consecutive games which have gone to extra time.

The last time the Ice Flyers won an overtime game was against the Mayhem on January 4th. Jesse Kessler scored the game-winning goal with just 11 seconds remaining in OT after David Powlowski had netted a late goal to tie the score. This was the last time these teams have met, disregarding the postponed game from January 30th. On the season, Macon is just 1-3-1 against Pensacola, and has struggled mightily at The Hangar in recent years. However, given the recent struggles of the home side, this may be the most opportune time for the Mayhem to make their last stop to Pensacola this season.

Feeling the Love
The Mayhem have not played a game on Valentine’s Day since their inaugural season. They were defeated by a 4-1 score by the Huntsville Havoc on Sunday, February 14th, 2016. Daniel Gentzler scored the lone goal, receiving assists from Shawn Skelly and Jake Trask. Today the Mayhem will look to level their Valentine’s Day record, and draw two points closer to a playoff spot in the process.

Macon Mistakes Night / Pucks N’ Paws
Today’s game will be Macon’s third of a five-game road stretch. The Mayhem will hold their next home games on Friday, February 21st and Saturday, February 22nd against Fayetteville and Birmingham, respectively. Friday has been dubbed “Macon Mistakes Night,” and Saturday will be the team’s annual Pucks N’ Paws Night. All dogs are welcome at the Macon Centreplex for this game, and registration for our wiener dog races is available by clicking here.