LAST GAME’S ACTION: The Mayhem suffered just their fourth regulation loss of the season last night, dropping a 4-1 decision to the Huntsville Havoc. Macon carried a 1-0 lead into the third period before a three-goal Huntsville outburst in less than two minutes in the beginning of the final frame. The Havoc added an empty-netter for the final tally of the night. Both teams registered 35 shots on goal as Huntsville’s Max Milosek turned away 34 of them, with Ryan Ruck making 31 saves on 34 shots on goal for Macon. Neither team scored on the power play as Macon was 0 for 3 and the Havoc were 0 for 1 with the man advantage.
BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH: Since reeling off eight straight wins at the end of February and the first game of March, the Mayhem have cooled off and gone 3-2-2 in their last seven contests. The stretch has allowed red-hot Knoxville, winners of ten straight heading into today’s matchup at the Centreplex, to pull within a single standing point of Macon for the top spot in the SPHL standings. While today’s game is pivotal, the Mayhem have two games in hand on the Ice Bears. Macon and Knoxville face off three more times – twice in Tennessee on April 2 and 13 and then in the last home game of the season for the Mayhem on April 30.
BOWEN BACK, OTHER ROSTER MOVES: The Mayhem will get a much-needed shot in the arm offensively today as forward Brian Bowen returns from suspension. In addition, defenseman Casey Johnson will play in his second game back from South Carolina in the ECHL this afternoon. Forwards Ray Brice and Stathis Soumelidis continue on the 30-day injured reserve list as well.
INSIDE THE ICE BEARS: Red-hot goaltender Austyn Roudebush has been a big reason for Knoxville’s success and the 10-game winning streak they bring into the Centreplex today. He has been the goaltender of record for each of the 10 wins, allowing only nine goals in those games, including three shutouts. Last week, Roudebush became the first player to be named SPHL Player of the week for three consecutive weeks, earning the honor after allowing just one goal each in three straight games at home against Huntsville and a pair at Pensacola.