MACON, GA – A staggered home weekend thus far has been only slightly in the favor of the Macon Mayhem. After a 2-1 last-minute win over Huntsville on Thursday Night, the Mayhem would drop Friday’s road contest to #2 Knoxville 4-2. Back home on Saturday Night for a weekend wrap-up with the last-place Birmingham Bulls, the Mayhem looked to complete a three-teams-in-three-night stand with a win.
You couldn’t’ve asked for a better start for the Macon Mayhem in the first period; a clean-sheet in the penalty side of the stat sheet, a 13-5 shots advantage, and a two-goal lead after one. Just past the halfway mark of the first period. Casey Johnson scored his second of the season for an early Mayhem 1-0 lead. 4:01 later, Nate Kallen would net his second of the season as well, and the rookie-defensive scoring would lead the way for the Mayhem to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
A mixed-bag of a second period would follow for the Mayhem, as Joe Masonius and Gabe Guertler would both drop the gloves in front of the hometown faithful. Masonius would also sit for a roughing penalty, but Macon’s PK would remain perfect through the second period with two kills. Jake Theut would have a wayward puck behind the net, that he would accidentally pass up to Birmingham’s Cameron Strong for an easy, empty net shot and goal. Strong’s fourth goal of the year would make it a one-goal game, and it would be that way into period three. 2-1 Mayhem lead heading into the final frame, outshooting the Bulls in the period 21-5.
Macon would tighten their belt in the third period, ready to put away the pesky Bulls and bookend their weekend with a win. Masonius would once again drop the gloves for his second fight of the night, and give the Mayhem a shot of adrenaline to close out strong. Recently returned from suspension, and ready to get back to hitting twine, Brian Bowen would be off to the races for a water bottle shot over the shoulder of Evan Moyse. Bowen’s 11th of the season made it a 3-1 game with 9:45 to go. Jacob Smith would put an odd-shot on net that snuck by Jake Theut for his seventh goal of the season that would make it a tighter game, 3-2 with 5:16 to go, but Mason Baptista would respond just :44 later for his 13th of the year to put the game out of reach late. With less than :10 remaining and the net empty, game-winning goal-scorer Brian Bowen would make up for lost time with his 12th of the year, and the nail in the coffin. Macon holds on to down last-place Birmingham 5-2.
The Mayhem return home on Thursday and Friday Nights for a weekend series with the #3 Pensacola Ice Flyers. With a flurry of home games to close out April, the Mayhem look to secure as many points as possible to lock up the #1 seed in the SPHL Postseason.