February is coming up all Mayhem so far; with the series sweep of the first-place Ice Flyers (8-5-3), Macon (8-2-2) now stands just one point behind Pensacola for the top ranking in the Southern Professional Hockey League. The Mayhem have won five of their last six, and welcome in a Knoxville team they’ve dominated of late. The Ice Bears come into Macon with a big win against Birmingham and a lot to prove as the last-place team as they face the Mayhem Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the Centreplex.
PENSACOLA, Fla. – In the finale of a three-game road series in Pensacola, the Macon Mayhem had came in looking for a clean sweep. With 5-0 crushing win last Friday and dramatic, come-from-behind 3-2 overtime win on Sunday, it wouldn’t take any extra time in tonight’s contest as the Mayhem defeated Pensacola 2-0 behind goaltender Jake Theut’s second shutout of his last three games in net.
The game would start slow for both sides in an ultimately quiet Friday night in the panhandle. After 20 minutes came and went, Pensacola goaltender Jack Berry and Theut would face just four and six shots, respectively. The only notable marker of the frame would be a pair of unfounded Pensacola powerplay opportunities. Pensacola would lead in shots 6-4 heading to the first intermission.
A sleepy start would lead to an energetic middle frame, as both sides would more than double up their shots in the 20 minutes. The main difference of the period would be more wide-open ice, as both teams would spend notable time in the box for aggression-based penalties; six minutes on the PK for Pensacola, and four for the Mayhem. With 5:25 to go in the second period, the captain Stephen Pierog would beat Berry for his third of the season, and give the Mayhem just their second game of the season scoring first. A 13-11 shot advantage in the period would even shots up 17-17, but give Macon a lead into the final frame.
In the third period, the Mayhem defensive corps would play well in front of Theut, allowing just ten shots despite even more time served in the penalty box for the road team. Macon would continue its excellence in the penalty kill department on the night, going an impressive 6/6 on kills during the Friday night affair. With Theut on and the defense grounding the Ice Flyers, Jimmy Soper would make-up for his earlier penalty with the insurance goal to ice the game in the Pensacola empty-net. With 1:33 to go in the game, victory appeared imminent, and would come to be so.