MACON, GA – Fresh off a dominant 7-2 victory over the rival Knoxville Ice Bears on Friday Night, the Macon Mayhem were able to sleep in their own beds before welcoming in the Birmingham Bulls for Margaritaville Night at the Macon Centreplex. After being stomped 7-0 on home ice the previous the night, the Bulls were searchin’ for their long lost shaker of salt in Middle Georgia.
In the first period, things would normalize after wild times in last nights games for both squads. A clean slate in the penalty box would keep full strength action present throughout the frame, as both team’s offenses lined up their firing squads. In spite of the heavy opportunities and shots – a 16-11 advantage for Macon – the goaltenders of Macon’s Jake Theut and Birmingham’s Hayden Stewart would send aside any chances, playing lights out in the crease. Speaking of lights out, the Macon Coliseum went dark for approximately five minutes before the halfway mark of the period, inciting every fan in the building to get out their phone flash lights and join in chorus. The return of light would receive the loudest cheer of the period in a scoreless first.
Copy-and-paste the first period into a later part of the night, and you’ve got a recap of the second period. Defense prevailed once again, as Theut and Stewart continued to disallow any opportunities for goals. The only differentiation between the frames was that each team put a man in the box, as Cameron Strong would serve for a Trip for Birmingham, and Stathis Soumelidis would serve for a Slash. That latter penalty would only use :45 seconds in the second, with 1:15 bleeding over to period three. Macon lead shots once more in the period 8-5, and in the game thus far 24-16.
The third period would finally lay claim to the scoring, as Cole Stallard would net his fifth of the season, on the Power Play, just 12 seconds into the final frame. Paul Meyer, one of the newer Mayhem, wouldn’t let that stand, as he would score his first of the season 4:56 into the period. Risks would be taken, aggressive offense would come to fruition, but it would be the goaltenders who would prevail in the final 15 minutes to force overtime.
Darren Brady’s late penalty would leave one second of penalty time heading into the extra period. When his penalty expired, over three minutes of end to end action in the four-on-four would take place, before finally a stoppage from Stewart would allow three aside. After a furious effort from the Mayhem in the ensuing minute, Max Cook would find himself loose in the mid-slot, and send it home for the first OT goal of the season for the Mayhem, and a home sweep for the hometown team.
With the win, the Mayhem hold third place in the SPHL at 5-1-2, and look to keep their streak alive heading to Birmingham on Thursday Night. The Mayhem have now found points in five straight games, propelling them up the league rankings despite playing the least games of any team. Macon returns home February 20 and 21.