PENSACOLA, FL – The first-place Macon Mayhem, winners on Sunday 4-1 over Knoxville, headed down to Pensacola to take on the former first place Ice Flyers in a road series down by the bay. With former SPHL Player of the Month Jake Theut called up to the ECHL, Ryan Ruck would get the start, looking to draw off the Mayhem’s recent success.
In a late Friday night affair in the panhandle, these two teams would get off to a slower start. Casey Johnson, back from his recent call-up to the ECHL, would make his impact known early on in his time with the Mayhem. With just five-and-a-half to go in the first period, Casey Johnson would score his first professional goal, and give Macon a lead late in the first frame. A couple minutes later, he’d go to the box for a cross-checking that would be killed off by Macon’s PK. With shots 10-8 in favor of Pensacola, the Mayhem would take a 1-0 lead into intermission.
With the second period underway, the Mayhem would put themselves to be able to kill clock, despite once again trailing in shots to Pensacola. With just under six minutes to go in the middle frame, recently returned Macon Forward Brian Bowen would net his ninth of the season to give the Mayhem a 2-0 lead heading into the late second period. As the period would draw closer to an end, the teams would split a pair of penalties, but the Mayhem would head to the final break with a lead.
Just :32 into the final period of play, Cam Bakker would draw the game within a goal as he’d net his first of the season. This would ultimately be for naught, as Dean Balsamo would score his sixth of the season while on the power play. With 11 minutes left to go, it would be a race to the finish for the Mayhem with a lead comfortably in hand. That lead would be comfortable up until the final 1:41 of the game, when Darren McCormick would score his 12th of the year.
The Mayhem would ultimately finish out the game, and find their second straight win. With the win, the Mayhem would maintain their hold of first place despite Knoxville’s win over Birmingham. The Mayhem return to action tomorrow night in Pensacola for their final game of the weekend.