MACON, Ga. – The Macon Mayhem of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) swept the Pensacola Ice Flyers in a weekend set last Friday and Saturday, maintaining their claim to first place in the league standings. Macon heads into this weekend’s game with a one-point lead over Knoxville for the top spot in the SPHL; however, the Mayhem do have three games in hand on the Ice Bears. The Mayhem and Ice Bears have separated themselves from the pack as third-place Pensacola currently sits 13 points behind Knoxville. Macon will play three games in three nights this week. Two home games, against Huntsville on Thursday and Birmingham on Saturday, are sandwiched around a Friday trip to Knoxville. Macon can clinch a playoff berth on Thursday with a regulation win coupled with a Birmingham regulation loss in Pensacola.
CURRENT RECORDS AND STATS
Record: 19-4-4, 42 pts (1st, SPHL)
79 GF, 56 GA – 6 SHGF, 2 SHGA
12.2% PP (4th, SPHL); 90.5% PK (2nd, SPHL)
355 PIM (2nd, SPHL); 13.2 PIM/G (2nd, SPHL)
3/10 – F Mike Gornall waived
3/11 – F Jason Tackett signed
3/20 – D Casey Johnson returned from South Carolina (ECHL)
3/20 – F Ray Brice moved from 21- to 30-day injured reserve
3/24 – G Jake Theut loaned to Fort Wayne (ECHL)
3/24 – G Dillon Kelley signed
3/25 – D Josh Victor placed on 21-day injured reserve
3/25 – D Derek Topatigh returned from Wheeling (ECHL)
3/25 – F Stathis Soumelidis activated from injured reserve
3/25 – D Oscar Arfelt waived
UPCOMING GAMES AND PROMOTIONS
Thursday, April 1 – Huntsville at Macon, 7:30 PM EDT (Season Series vs. HSV: 4-1-1)
PROMOTIONS: College Night and Thirsty Thursday! Tickets for just $8 with a college ID. Drink specials will also be going on all night!
The Mayhem host the Huntsville Havoc on Thursday night. After taking the first four games of the season series against Huntsville, Macon dropped the last two games, a 5-4 shootout loss on March 19, then a 4-1 regulation loss on March 20, both at home.
Friday, April 2 – Macon at Knoxville, 7:35 PM EDT (Season Series vs. KNX: 6-2-0)
Back on March 21, Macon snapped Knoxville’s 10-game winning streak with a big 4-1 win. On Friday night, they’ll be looking to snap another Ice Bears double-digit winning streak – Knoxville goes into Friday night’s tilt with the Mayhem winners of their last 11 straight on home ice. The Mayhem are 2-1 against Knoxville in Tennessee; the Ice Bears defeated Macon 4-0 in the last game in Knoxville on March 7.
Saturday, April 3 – Birmingham at Macon, 6:35 PM EDT (Season Series vs. BHM: 3-1-1)
PROMOTIONS: It’s Pucks and Paws night with Small Dog Races on the ice during the first intermission! Sign your four-legged friend up here: https://www.maconmayhem.com/community/wiener-dog-race-signups/
The Birmingham Bulls head to Macon on Saturday night. Despite the Bulls reeling as of late, winless in their last eight games and 1-7-2 in their last ten, they have given the Mayhem fits all season. Four of the five games between the two teams have been decided by a single goal.
MAYHEM WEEK(S) IN REVIEW
Friday, March 12 – Macon 4 at Birmingham 3 (Attendance: 1,268)
Jason Tackett paid instant dividends for the Mayhem, scoring the first goal of the game in not only his first game for Macon but the first game of his professional career. He also added an assist as the Mayhem defeated Birmingham 4-3, another one-goal game between the two teams but the first regulation victory for Macon over the Bulls. Nick Minerva and Andrew Romano scored goals, with Ryan Smith notching the game-winning goal. Jake Theut earned his league-leading 10th win of the season in net for Macon, stopping 20 of 23 shots. Hayden Stewart made 29 saves on 33 shots in the loss between the pipes for Birmingham. The Bulls scored once in their four power play chances while Macon was 0 for 6 with the man advantage.
Saturday, March 13 – Macon 4 at Birmingham 2 (Attendance: 1,587)
Mason Baptista led the way with a pair of goals as Macon doubled up the Bulls 4-2 in the first game between the two teams decided by more than one goal. Stephen Pierog scored the first goal of the game, with Joe Masonius notching his first goal of the season as insurance in the second period. Jake Theut stopped 28 of 30 shots on goal for the Mayhem, with Austin Lotz turning away 31 of 35 shots in the loss for the Bulls. Both teams scored once on the power play with Macon going 1 for 7 and Birmingham 1 for 8 with the man advantage.
Friday, March 19 – Huntsville 5 at Macon 4 (SO) (Attendance: 1,281)
The Huntsville Havoc picked up their first win of the season over Macon at the Centreplex in a 5-4 shootout victory. After two periods, it was doubtful the Mayhem would even pick up a point in the contest as they trailed the Havoc 4-1 heading into the final frame. Dino Balsamo scored a pair of goals in the comeback, with Mason Baptista adding a goal as well. Jared Bethune scored the first goal of the game for Macon in the first period. Max Milosek stopped 40 of 44 in regulation and OT and all seven skaters in the shootout for the victory, while Jake Theut made 35 saves on 39 shots for the regulation tie. Macon was 1 for 5 on the power play while holding Huntsville scoreless in their two power play chances.
Saturday, March 20 – Huntsville 4 at Macon 1 (Attendance: 1,515)
The Mayhem suffered just their fourth regulation loss of the season, dropping a 4-1 decision to the Huntsville Havoc. It marked the first win in regulation for Huntsville over Macon this season. The Mayhem 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.
Sunday, March 21 – Knoxville 1 at Macon 4 (Attendance: 1,289)
Macon snapped the Ice Bears’ SPHL season-high 10-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory over Knoxville. Four different Mayhem players – Brian Bowen, Logan Coomes, Jimmy Soper, and Ryan Smith – lit the lamp in the win. Soper led all scorers with three points as he added two assists as well. Jake Theut turned aside 27 of 28 shots on goal in the win, while Austyn Roudebush suffered his first loss in a Knoxville sweater, stopping 25 of 28 shots (one of Macon’s goals was of the empty net variety). Knoxville was 0 for 3 on the power play while Macon was 0 for 2.
Friday, March 25 – Macon 3 at Pensacola 2 (Attendance: 1,834)
Macon scored a goal in each period and withstood a third-period comeback attempt to take a 3-2 win in Pensacola last Friday night. Casey Johnson scored his first professional goal in the first period, Brian Bowen scored in the second stanza, and Dino Balsamo notched the game winner with a power play goal in the final frame. Ryan Ruck turned away 40 of 42 shots for the win in net for Macon, while Jack Berry made 18 saves on 21 shots in the loss for the Ice Flyers. Macon was 1 for 2 while Pensacola was 0 for 2 with the man advantage.
Saturday, March 26 – Macon 4 at Pensacola 2 (Attendance: 2,034)
Jason Tackett led the way with two goals as the Mayhem picked up the weekend sweep over the Ice Flyers. Jared Bethune and Brian Bowen also scored once each for Macon. For the second straight night, Ryan Ruck allowed just two goals on 40+ shots, this time making 38 saves on the 40 shots on goal he faced. Jack Berry made 25 saves on 28 shots in net for the Ice Flyers; Bowen’s late third period goal was into an empty net. Both teams scored once on the power play with the Mayhem going 1 for 4 and Pensacola 1 for 7 on the man advantage.
THREE STARS OF THE WEEK (3/8 – 3/14)
- F Jason Tackett – Tackett had a four-point weekend in his first two professional games, scoring a goal and assist on Friday and logging two assists on Saturday.
- F Mason Baptista – Baptista had a two-assist night Friday and logged two goals and an assist Saturday.
- D Nate Kallen – Kallen scored two assists Saturday and finished the weekend a combined +4.
THREE STARS OF THE WEEK (3/15 – 3/21)
- F Logan Coomes – Coomes scored the only goal for the Mayhem Saturday and notched a goal and assist Sunday.
- F Jimmy Soper – Soper had a goal and two assists in Macon’s Sunday win over Knoxville.
- F Dino Balsamo – Balsamo scored a pair of goals in the Mayhem’s third period comeback to earn the regulation tie with Huntsville on Friday.
THREE STARS OF THE WEEK (3/22 – 3/28)
- F Jason Tackett – Tackett logged an assist Friday then had a three-point night Saturday with two goals and an assist. He was named SPHL Player of the Week Tuesday for his efforts.
- F Brian Bowen – Bowen scored a goal Friday and added a goal and assist in Saturday’s win.
- F Mason Baptista – Baptista had an assist on Friday night and two helpers on Saturday.