Preview: Mayhem @ Pensacola Ice Flyers (Game 40)

Mayhem Snap Long Skid in Pensacola
Stretching all the way back to the 2017-18 season, the Mayhem had not won a game at the Pensacola Bay Center in seven consecutive outings until last night. The last time it happened was on January 14th of 2018.

Macon jumped out to 1-0 lead in the first 1:22 when Dylan Denomme redirected a point shot from Zach Urban past Chase Perry and into the back of the net. The score remained 1-0 for a shockingly long period of time, but eventually the Pensacola power play made the Mayhem pay for a parade of penalties they took late in the game. After falling behind 2-1 in the late stages, Mike Chemello found the net with just four minutes remaining in regulation. His first goal of the season came at a critical time, as Macon’s own power play had a chance in sudden death, which they used to their advantage.

After the Ice Flyers were found guilty of having too many men on the ice, Caleb Cameron was fed a crisp pass by Dylan Denomme and tapped the puck into a wide open net to seal the game on a 4-on-3. The goal secured two valuable points for the Mayhem, who leaped ahead of the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs for 9th place in the SPHL.

The Matchup
The Hangar has always been a notoriously challenging building to play in, but even the Ice Flyers have struggled to defend their home ice of late. After getting off to a ludicrously strong home start to their season in which the Flyers went 11-1-1 in their first 13 games played there, they have now dropped seven consecutive decisions at the Pensacola Bay Center, all by a single goal.

It is a bizarre phenomenon that the Mayhem will look to use to their benefit tonight, as their opponents fight to reverse their recent misfortunes. Should the Mayhem manage to leave Pensacola with all four points this weekend, they will have done something the organization has not accomplished since its inaugural season.

Stewart Settling In
Hayden Stewart had another solid showing between the pipes for the Mayhem last night, denying 37 of Pensacola’s 39 shots on goal. He was the busier of the two net-minders throughout the evening, and had his work cut out for him facing Pensacola’s shot-heavy attack. In his last five games, the Cornell product has boasted a .927 save percentage and has kept the Mayhem in tight games against formidable, high-scoring opponents like Huntsville, Fayetteville and Knoxville. He and Michael Stiliadis have seemingly formed a nice goaltending tandem during another season in which the position has undergone a great deal of turnover.

Macon Mistakes Night / Pucks N’ Paws
Tonight’s game will be Macon’s fourth of a five-game road stretch. They will finish their road trip next Thursday, February 20th in Fayetteville before holding 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.