MACON, GA – After dropping their home debut in extra time the night before, the Macon Mayhem would welcome the Knoxville Ice Bears to town for their first meeting of the season. This was pegged to be the second battle between the two teams, but a rescheduled game from New Year’s Eve delayed that initial contest, and brought the Ice Bears into their first game in eight days.
Ryan Ruck would get his first start in net for the Mayhem in what would ultimately be an uneventful opening frame for the Sunday Matinee – at least on the scoresheet. Early into the game, Jimmy Soper and Knoxville’s Josh Thrower would drop the gloves in a fight won by the latter. Outside of the scrap, not much was given by either side in the first 20 to give the fans to cheer about. Macon, despite spending a majority of time inside of their defensive end due to the Knoxville forecheck and a noticeable number of icings, was able to finish the period leading in the shots department, 10-7.
Knoxville would continue to control the flow of the game into period two, and increase their dominance. Thrower, continuing his impact on the game, would score the game’s first goal on a shot from the blue line, 5:13 into the period. This scoring line would continue with 10:53 gone by, as Nick Master would find one past Ruck, and make it 2-0. The Mayhem would be gifted a powerplay to end the period off a tripping, and would carry it over into the third. A 12-10 shot advantage finished the period in favor of Knoxville.
The third period would fare no better for the Mayhem, as their initial powerplay would be fruitless. The frame would go on with a decent assortment of opportunities, but none would be able to pass by the hot-handed goaltender of Knoxville, Jeremy Brodeur. Despite a powerplay late in the game, the Mayhem would come up empty-handed tonight as Dalton Skelly would put the game on ice with 5.6 left for the empty-netter.
Macon drops to 1-1-1 on the season, winless on Opening Weekend. They’ll get their chance for revenge on Friday Night in Knoxville, before returning back to Middle Georgia on Saturday against the Huntsville Havoc.