MACON, GA – Back-to-back game weeks with Thursday Night home games for the Macon Mayhem kicked off another pre-weekend home series. After a thrilling 2-1 victory over Huntsville at Macon one week ago today, the Mayhem would hope to keep the mid-week magic alive, hosting the Pensacola Ice Flyers. Coming into the series against the Floridian team, the Mayhem held a 6-0-2 season advantage over Pensacola.
You couldn’t ask for much better of a start for the Mayhem, as right out of the gate a week after his 200th SPHL game, Stathis Soumelidis would net his second goal of the season just 1:38 into the game. Soumelidis would be the beneficiary of a fantastic first period, setting up the primary assist for his roommate Jimmy Soper’s fourth goal of the year with 12:30 to go. Without even half the period gone by, the Mayhem jumped out to a 2-0 lead. After Pensacola’s forecheck started to come to fruition, limited opportunities presented themselves, but the Mayhem would dominate down the the final minute. Nick Minerva would be sent off for a trip with :14 left in the first, giving the Mayhem Penalty Kill a chance to close the first. Mayhem lead into intermission, 2-0; 11-4 in shots.
The rich get richer, as the second period provided nothing but further successes for the Mayhem. Early in the frame, off the penalty kill, Mason Baptista was gifted a perfect-feed from Jimmy Soper for his 14th goal of the season. 1:56gone by, and the Mayhem found themselves up 3-0. The Mayhem would find themselves back in the box for another successful kill, before both teams would find themselves down a man. With four-on-four hockey, there wouldn’t be much movement initially, until Nate Kallen would breakaway with eight seconds left. After faking a shot and dancing to the front of the net, the Mayhem would find themselves up 4-0 with 6:32 left. Not even three minutes later, Brian Bowen would intercept a pass, move in at the top of the right circle, and fire it past Kupsky to give the Mayhem a 5-0 lead. That would end the night for Kupsky, as Jack Berry would come in in relief. Macon would head to the final frame down a man, but up 5-0 despite being outshot 17-8 in the period.
In the third period, the story would be about the finale of the game behind the effort of Jake Theut. With a surge of shots and offense from the Pensacola Ice Flyers, Theut would knock everything away. Without much focus on the offense, the Mayhem would look to kill time and take a huge win. With 32 saves from Jake Theut, a five-goal lead, and a shutout, that would be as easy said as it was done. Macon would be outshot 32-30, but pick-up a huge 5-0 shutout win. For Theut, this would earn him his third shutout of the season, and the Mayhem their 22nd win; second-straight.
Macon moves to 7-0-2 against Pensacola this season, and opens their weekend with a huge win. The Mayhem return to home ice tomorrow night at 6 P.M. to finish off the Ice Flyers. Immediately after the game, Macon will play host Georgia Bulldogs hockey in the first game of the Southern Soul Showdown ACHA Tournament; all tickets for tomorrow’s Mayhem game are good for attendance at the following game.