KNOXVILLE, TN – Macon hit the road north to downtown Knoxville for a Thursday Night Matinee against the Ice Bears on their Throwback Night. Nearly three weeks between their last game and last night did little to interfere with a repeat effort in the Smoky Mountains. After not dropping the puck since a 6-3 win on January 8 in the KCAC, the Mayhem came ready to get back right to it.
The opening period of their first game in 20 days was pedestrian enough for its near entirety, with a Stathis Soumelidis slash being the only infraction of the frame. Shots stood 8-5 for the Ice Bears into the final minute, before Jacob Benson would net the first goal of the game – and his first of the season – with 45 seconds remaining. Despite an early deficit, Macon would head to the locker room with their heads held high.
In the second period, the Mayhem would come out with guns blazing, taking over the ice in the KCAC in every facet. When all was settled in the second frame, the Mayhem outshot the Ice Bears 15-1. While the opportunities were high for the Mayhem, they did not capitalize early on – until Dean Balsamo pulled one out of his bag of tricks. With just under four minutes remaining in the period, Balsamo lifted the puck up in the trapezoid, and whipped it top shelf off the blade of his stick – otherwise known as, The Michigan Goal. This highlight would light a spark for the Mayhem, now tied 1-1, as rookie Gabe Guertler would find the back of the net (much like Benson) with 45 seconds left in the second. The Mayhem would head to the final frame with a 2-1 lead, and a 20-10 shot advantage.
It would be a race to the finish for the Mayhem in the final frame, holding a 2-1 lead. Despite a pair of Mayhem penalties, they would once again hold a shot advantage in the period, 10-9, and finish the game the same way the period started – with a 2-1 lead, and victory. Even with an extended time difference between their games, the result would be the same for the Mayhem; leaving Knoxville with a win.
There’ll be a shorter window between games for the Mayhem, as they head down by the bay to Pensacola for their sixth game of the season on Saturday night. This game, and all games of the 2020-21 season, can be watched live on SPHLTV.com.
The Mayhem will then return home the first weekend of February, for their first home contests in over a month.