PELHAM, AL – With just two weekends remaining for the Coffey Trophy-winning Macon Mayhem, they would look for every tune-up they could get before the finality of the season. As the Pensacola Ice Flyers and Huntsville Havoc locked up the final two spots in the Southern Professional Hockey League playoffs earlier this week, it would be a time playing strictly out of pride for the Birmingham Bulls. Playing in Pelham, the Mayhem would look for their fifth win of the season against the Bulls.
Winners of three-straight against Birmingham, Jared Bethune would net his fifth goal of the season just under eight minutes into the first period. Bethune, being assisted from Nick Minerva and Jimmy Soper, would come up with his first point in over three weeks to take the lone goal of the opening frame. With no penalties from either side, it would be a clean-sheet start from both teams, with an 11-9 shots advantage for the Mayhem, up 1-0.
In the second period, an even-keel battle would persist amongst the two southern foes, with Macon taking a 9-8 shots advantage through the period. With just over 13 minutes gone by in the frame, Anthony Collins would score his fourth of the season to knot things up 1-1. Exactly five minutes later, Derek Topatigh would be called for the first penalty of the game, that the Mayhem penalty killers would handle without issue. After two periods of play, the score would hold at 1-1.
Early into the third frame, Dean Balsamo would set the tone for what would be a period of goal-scoring, as he’d knot his 10th of the year to retake a Mayhem lead 2-1. A pair of killed-off penalties for each side would ensue in the following minutes, before the Mayhem would go off for a Casey Johnson board. Birmingham would take advantage of this man-advantage, and strike for a Logan Nelson power play goal to knot the game back up 2-2 with 7:59 to go. Looking to avenge his costly error, Casey Johnson would strike for his fourth of the season to put Macon back up 3-2 with 5:44 to go. With the Mayhem on the penalty kill, Paul Meyer would send one from long-range into the empty-net to secure the win 4-2.
With the 4-2 win, two games remain in the month of April, and three in the entire season. The Mayhem are back in action Tuesday, April 27th against the Huntsville Havoc in the Rocket City. Macon returns for their home finale on Friday, April 30 against the Knoxville Ice Bears.