MACON, Ga. – The Macon Mayhem of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) played three games away from the friendly confines of the Macon Centreplex last week. After losing a close 2-1 game on Thursday night in Birmingham, the Mayhem swept two games at Pensacola with a 5-0 shutout Friday night and a 3-2 comeback win in overtime Sunday. The team returns home this weekend for a pair of games against the Knoxville Ice Bears on Saturday and Sunday. Counting this weekend, six of Macon’s next seven games will be on home ice after playing seven of the first 11 games of the season on the road.
CURRENT RECORDS AND STATS
Record: 7-2-2, 16 pts (T-2nd, SPHL)
31 GF, 20 GA – 1 SHGF, 2 SHGA
14.3% PP (2nd, SPHL); 93.8% PK (1st, SPHL)
192 PIM (2nd, SPHL); 17.5 PIM/G (1st, SPHL)
2/12 – F Andrew Romano signed to contract
2/12 – F Jared Bethune loaned to Allen (ECHL)
2/15 – G Jacob Caffrey waived
2/17 – D Nick Minerva returned from Tulsa (ECHL)
UPCOMING GAMES AND PROMOTIONS
Saturday/Sunday, February 20/21 – Knoxville at Macon, 6:30 PM EST (Sat)/4:00 PM EST (Sun)
(Season Series vs. KNX: 3-1-0)
PROMOTIONS: Saturday is Mardi Gras Night at the Centreplex as we laissez les bon temps rouler all night, while Sunday is a family fun “Pucks and PJs” Day!
The Mayhem host the Knoxville Ice Bears for a back-to-back weekend inside the Centreplex. After a 3-0 shutout loss at home on January 3, Macon has won the last three games against the Ice Bears by a combined score of 15-6, including a 7-2 blowout win in the last game between the two teams on February 5. The Ice Bears come in as the last place team in the SPHL at 6-7-0 but are only four points behind the Mayhem and Huntsville for second place in the hotly contested standings. Newcomer Johnny Curran was named the SPHL’s Player of the Week this week for his efforts in the Ice Bears’ two wins over the past weekend, chipping in a combined four points in the two home victories over Huntsville last Friday and Birmingham last Saturday.
MAYHEM WEEK IN REVIEW
Thursday, February 11 – Macon 1 at Birmingham 2 (Attendance: 1,015)
Despite being one shot shy of tripling Birmingham in shots on goal, the Mayhem suffered just their second regulation loss of the season Thursday night, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Bulls. Macon outshot Birmingham 38-13 in the game, but Hayden Stewart stymied all but one of those chances in net for the Bulls. After Birmingham took a 2-0 lead after two periods, Ryan Smith got Macon on the board with a goal in the game’s final nine minutes, but the Mayhem couldn’t cash in and find the equalizer. Stewart made 37 saves on 38 shots, while Jake Theut made 11 saves on 13 shots in net for Macon. Neither team converted on a power play chance with Macon going 0 for 4 and Birmingham 0 for 3 with the man advantage.
Friday, February 12 – Macon 5 at Pensacola 0 (Attendance: 2,229)
Jake Theut’s first professional shutout and Mason Baptista’s two goals helped propel Macon over the Ice Flyers 5-0 on Friday night in Pensacola. Ryan Smith chipped in with his second goal in as many nights, Stathis Soumelidis scored his first goal of the season, and Ray Brice notched his first pro goal as part of a four-goal third period barrage to win going away. Theut stopped all 31 Pensacola shots on goal he faced, while Ice Flyers netminder Chase Perry had an uncharacteristic night in goal, allowing five Macon goals on just 22 Mayhem shots on goal. The Mayhem finished 1 for 3 on the power play and stymied all four of Pensacola’s chances with the man advantage.
Sunday, February 14 – Macon 3 at Pensacola 2 (OT) (Attendance: 2,220)
It was only fitting that Macon had a heart-stopping victory on Valentine’s Day, coming back from a 2-1 deficit with mere seconds left in regulation to win 3-2 in overtime and sweep the weekend series over the Ice Flyers. Ray Brice scored his second goal in as many games to knot the game in the second, but a late Pensacola goal looked to give the Ice Flyers the series split until a timely power play goal off the stick of Gabe Guertler tied the game with just three seconds left in regulation. The goal actually came as Macon was playing 6-on-4 with goaltender Jake Theut pulled in favor of the extra attacker. The Mayhem carried that momentum into the extra session with Max Cook sending the game-winner into the net past Pensacola goaltender Chase Perry just 35 minutes into the extra session. Guertler led all scorers with two points as he assisted on Cook’s game winner as well. Theut made 27 saves on 29 shots, while Perry made 21 saves on 24 shots on goal for the Ice Flyers. Macon was 1 for 4 with the man advantage while holding Pensacola scoreless in their three power play chances.
THREE STARS OF THE WEEK
- G Jake Theut – Theut continued his stellar goaltending this week, going 2-1-0 in three games with a 1.35 GAA and a .945 save percentage, earning his first professional shutout in Friday’s win.
- F Mason Baptista – Baptista had a point in each game last week, logging an assist on the lone Macon goal Thursday in Birmingham, scoring two goals in Friday’s win in Pensacola, and getting the primary assist on the game-tying goal Sunday.
- F Gabe Guertler – Guertler scored the game-tying goal in the last three seconds then assisted on the OT game-winner in Sunday’s comeback victory in Pensacola.