PENSACOLA, Fla. – The proverbial Pensacola monkey jumped off the back of Macon after the final horn sounded tonight in the Sunshine State. Fresh off a close loss in Pelham last night, the Mayhem went down to the beach looking to cool the jets of the first-place Ice Flyers. Turns out a little fun in the sun would be just what Coach Kerr’s team would need to restart their streak with a huge 5-0 win.
Fists would fly to open up the first frame of the game, as Stathis Soumelidis and Pensacola’s Travis Armstrong would chuck knucks six seconds into the game. This would set the tone in what would be a battle by the beach. This period would be closely contested in a fight of physicality and of defensive ability. Near the closing minutes of the first period, Gabe Guertler and Pensacola’s Garrett Milan would tango as well to finish a wild, yet scoreless first; Pensacola outshooting Macon 9-8.
Pensacola came into the second period ready to flex what made them the first place team in the league, quickly jumping out to a major shot advantage 13-5 over the second 20. Despite the Mayhem sending three men to the box for minors in the middle frame, Macon’s hottest and newest scorer Mason Baptista would score his third of the season with 5:23 to go. Jimmy Soper would pick up the assist for his fourth point of the season. Macon would carry a 1-0 lead into the final frame, even with an eight shot disadvantage.
Going quietly into the night was not in the minds of the Mayhem after 40 minutes of play. From the final 13 minutes on, Macon would find a powerplay goal from Ryan Smith (3), goals from Stathis Soumelidis (1, 10:40), Mason Baptista (4, 4:51) and an empty-net goal from Ray Brice (:34) for his first goal. The final horn would sound behind an absolutely dominant Mayhem victory, 5-0.
Jake Theut had a Herculean effort in net, with a perfect 31 saves on 31 shots against for his first professional shutout . His success in the crease allowed for the Mayhem offense to kick the flood gate doors down against Pensacola and Chase Perry. The Mayhem secure a crucial victory against the top team in the SPHL, and are rewarded with a day off tomorrow before returning on ice at the Pensacola Bay Center on Sunday afternoon.