Game Day Notes: Mayhem vs. Huntsville (Game #28, Home Game #14)

LAST GAME’S ACTION: Jason Tackett led the way with two goals as the Mayhem picked up the weekend sweep over the Ice Flyers in their last game on Saturday night. 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.

POSSIBLE CLINCHER TONIGHT: With a regulation win and a Birmingham regulation loss in Pensacola tonight, the Mayhem will clinch a playoff spot in the SPHL postseason. (The Bulls could theoretically tie the Mayhem in points should Macon lose out and Birmingham win out, but the Mayhem would have the first tiebreaker, total number of wins, over Birmingham.) The standings have undergone some separation over the past couple of weeks as Macon and Knoxville have opened up a 13-point lead over the other three SPHL teams, with the Mayhem holding a one-point lead on the top spot in the league. Macon still has three games in hand on the Ice Bears, however.

JASON “TACKS” ON SPHL POW AWARD: For his play in both weekend games, Jason Tackett was named the league’s Player of the Week yesterday. After notching an assist in Friday’s game, he had a three-point night Saturday with two goals and an assist. Originally signed to the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones this season, who did not play this season due to COVID-19 protocols, Tackett has logged 11 points in his first seven pro games since being signed by the Mayhem on March 11. He made an instant impact in his first two games, scoring four points, including a goal in his first professional game.

ROSTER MOVES: The Mayhem have made several moves since last skating at the Centreplex on March 21. The team has been bolstered by the return of defenseman Derek Topatigh from Wheeling in the ECHL, and also by the activation of forward Stathis Soumelidis from the injured reserve. Soumelidis will be skating in his 200th professional game today with Macon. There have been some deletions from the current roster as well, including defenseman Josh Victor to the injured reserve list and goaltender Jake Theut to a stint with the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets.