MACON, Ga. – If it’s a broken record, it’s the most beautiful song the Macon Mayhem could hear; the Macon Mayhem are first-place in the Southern Professional Hockey League. Hosting the Pensacola Ice Flyers – the team that for so long had the season hold on that position – they looked continue their impressive seven-game winning streak on a Tuesday Night in Middle Georgia. As the only game of the night, all eyes were on the Mayhem and Ice Flyers.
Perhaps a bit of stage fright with the eyes of the SPHL on them, as the two teams got off to a slow start in the first half of the period. After nearly eight minutes of back-and-forth skating, Darren McCormick fired one through a needle-sized thread of Jake Theut for his seventh goal of the season and a 1-0 lead for Pensacola. The Mayhem would immediately receive a Power Play opportunity, as McCormick headed to the box for a Trip. Macon would not benefit from the man-up opportunity, and would skate the final 10 minutes without a tying-goal. As the buzzer sounded at the end of the frame, Brian Bowen would drop the gloves with Duggie Lagrone, and the Ice Flyers would hold a 12-9 shots advantage alongside their 1-0 lead.
Where the first period was more lackadaisical, the second period got off to a quick-start and maintained a high-intensity throughout. Mike Gornall got the scoring started for the Mayhem just 2:12 into the frame, with a beautifully high shot from the left circle. Just 1:27 later, Logan Coomes would scoop and score one in to quickly make it 2-1 Mayhem. The newly-acquired lead would leave as soon as it came, as the Mayhem would be on the wrong side of a Connor Sanvido backhand goal just seconds later, to knot it up 2-2. The Mayhem would get a 5-on-3 opportunity later on, but the score would not change from the early scoring bonanza, and the period would end with a knotted up affair, 2-2. Macon would outshoot Pensacola 16-9 in the frame, and 25-21 in the game.
The third period would open with nearly nine minutes of non-stop, end-to-end hockey, as both teams were looking for their heroics to retake whatever lead they’d once had. In a high-shooting, high-octane 200 foot elongated shift, it would be a wayward rebound in front of the net of Chase Perry that would give Macon’s Nick Minerva a free shot in the mid-slot that he’d rip home for his first goal of the season. Macon would retake a 3-2 lead, and would look to just kill the final minutes as they came, or find their insurance goal. While the latter didn’t come, the former was far from easily obtained. Despite a fifth Power Play opportunity, the Mayhem would once again find themselves fruitless, and be forced to rely on their defense and Jake Theut to put this one away. With an empty net and 1:40 to go in the game, Macon would bend-but-not-break just enough to prevent a Pensacola tying-goal, and finish the game out 3-2.
This 3-2 victory on home ice gives the Mayhem their eighth-straight win, and puts them at 13-2-2 overall on the season. Macon outshot Pensacola 32-26 enroute to their fourth-straight win over the Ice Flyers, and maintains their stranglehold over first-place in the SPHL. They welcome back Pensacola on Friday and Huntsville on Saturday at the Macon Coliseum.