Game Day Notes: Mayhem @ Knoxville (Game #20, Road Game #10)

LAST GAME’S ACTION: After seeing their eight-game winning streak snapped the night before, the Mayhem started a new one and continued a 10-game unbeaten in regulation streak, defeating Huntsville 4-1 last night. Brian Bowen led the way with two goals and an assist, while Max Cook also had a three-point night despite not lighting the lamp, logging three assists. Nate Kallen scored his first professional goal as well, while Dino Balsamo also notched one goal. Ryan Ruck stopped 32 of 33 shots on goal for the win in net for Macon, while Jason Pawloski turned away 37 of 41 shots in the loss. Huntsville’s lone goal came on the power play as they were 1 for 3 with the man advantage, while Macon was scoreless in their seven power play opportunities.

FORMER FAYETTEVILLE PLAYERS MAKING THEIR MARK: Last night saw Brian Bowen and Max Cook lead the way in points for Macon; a year ago, the duo were doing the same for the Fayetteville Marksmen, who are sitting out this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Only Evansville’s Austin Plevy finished with more points last season than Bowen or Cook before the season prematurely ended due to the pandemic. Bowen finished second in the SPHL with 58 points, while his 30 goals scored were first in the league. Cook, who served as captain of the Marksmen last season, finished third-best in the league with 53 points.

RUCK STOPPING THE PUCK: Ryan Ruck picked up his fifth win of the season last night in goal for the Mayhem, allowing just one goal for his second straight start. If he had the requisite minutes in net to qualify among the goaltending leaders in the SPHL, his 1.69 GAA would be second only to teammate Jake Theut’s 1.59, while his .939 save percentage is actually a thousandth of a point higher than the .938 that Theut currently carries. After picking up the loss in his professional debut on January 3 at home against Knoxville, Ruck hasn’t lost since, currently on a personal five-game winning streak.

INSIDE THE ICE BEARS: These aren’t the same Ice Bears the Mayhem faced earlier in the month. Knoxville has retooled and is climbing in the SPHL standings, currently riding a four-game winning streak and a 7-2-1 record in their last ten games. Goaltender Austyn Roudebush has joined Peter Di Salvo and brought stability to the Knoxville net. Roudebush has allowed just two goals or fewer in his past four starts, including a shutout on February 26 over Pensacola. The Ice Bears will be looking today for their first win over Macon since January 3; the Mayhem have taken the last five games against Knoxville.