MACON, GA – The sport of hockey is often a humbling one, and a short-term memory is needed more times than not. That was certainly the case heading into Saturday Night’s rematch with the Huntsville Havoc for the Macon Mayhem. Coming back from a 4-1 deficit in the third period, Macon had an Overtime Game-Winning Goal called back as a result of an incidental contact call, before losing in the Shootout. With the Havoc still in town, the Mayhem had a chance to take 3/4 points in their weekend series against the team from North Alabama.
Where scoring was the story of the game yesterday, the script would be much different in the first period of Saturday Night. Ryan Ruck would get the start in net for Macon, giving Jake Theut a night off after a 36-save performance. With 11-shots faced in the first period, Ruck easily subsided everything that came his way, keeping the Havoc off the board. Max Milosek, the shootout hero for the Havoc last night in net, would do the same on the opposite end, blocking all 15-shots he faced in the opening period. Goaltending would be the most notable success of the frame, as the period would come and go scoreless. Macon and Huntsville would both have chances on the man-advantage – two for the former – but the penalty kill units of each side would do their part. Despite the lack of scoring, Macon’s Power Play looked to be continuing off the momentum they’d acquired late on Friday Night with their game-tying goal on the man-up opportunity. Both teams would head to the locker room looking for goal #1, with Macon leading shots 15-11.
Macon would waste no time in getting their first goal of the game in the second period, as Logan Coomes would tip a shot from Nate Kallen for his fifth of the season just :31 into the new frame. This goal from Coomes would be the lone notch on the scoreboard for the second period, but not for lack of effort. Huntsville would take the period’s shots advantage 14-13, but Ruck would continue to stand stout in net as he tracked 25 saves through the first 40 minutes, looking to help lead the Mayhem to the win heading to the third period up 1-0.
Luck would not be on the side of the Mayhem in the final period, as Huntsville would come out of the gate swinging and take no prisoners. In the span of 1:46, the Havoc would have goals from Sy Nutkevitch, Justin MacDonald, and Matthew Barnaby to make it a 3-1 Havoc lead with 16:41 still to go in the game. Macon would have the wind knocked out of them by this sudden gut punch, and be unable to respond, as Tyler Piacentini would put the game away with an empty-netter in the final 1:18. Huntsville would take a 4-1 win and the weekend series against the hometown Mayhem.
Macon returns to action Sunday afternoon against the #2 Knoxville Ice Bears at 4:00 P.M., looking to separate space between the top two teams.