MACON, GA – Backs against the wall, must-win game to keep the championship dream alive, the Macon Mayhem returned home on Saturday Night with the weight of the world on their shoulders. After an emotionally-defeating game one loss on the road in Pensacola 4-2, the Mayhem knew what needed to be done. Jake Theut would once again get the start in net, looking to extend the season for Macon.
If last night’s first period showed hesitation, then Saturday Night‘s first period would be a lesson in patience. Macon and Pensacola would take narrow entrances into their zones, but always keep men back on their heels ready to escape the zone on the defensive. As the two teams would settle into the groove of the game, the shots would start to amount into an eventual high-shooting period for both squads. While both teams would have scoring-opportunities, neither team had legitimately threatening chances on net. Theut and Jake Kupsky would stand tall and offer nothing extra after initial shots, as the period would end scoreless, with shots knotted up at 14.
The March to Victory would start with a bang for the Pensacola Ice Flyers in the second period. On the other side of a Mayhem penalty kill, Jordan Ernst and the Flyers would soar down the ice enroute to the first goal of the night just 6:54 into the frame. Ernst’s second goal would be the first of three in the period, as Eddie Matsushima would net his third of the post-season just 1:54 later. With 5:15 to go in the period, Alec Hagaman would find his third of the finals, and put the Ice Flyers up 3-0 heading into the final period. Pensacola outshot Macon 11-4 in the middle-frame, and killed both Mayhem Power Play opportunities.
Up against the end of the SPHL season, the Macon Mayhem would work tirelessly in the final frame to try and extend their season. 6:08 into the period, Mason Baptista would win over a perfect faceoff to Brian Bowen who would blast it to the back of the net for the first goal of the night for the Mayhem. Bowen’s third goal of the post-season would bring the game within two, but the Mayhem wouldn’t find the bounces their way to get any further past Jake Kupsky. An empty-net goal with two-seconds left would secure the Pensacola win, 4-1. With the victory, Pensacola would secure its fourth President’s Cup in franchise history, tying the league record with the Knoxville Ice Bears. Pensacola would have the path of most-resistance enroute to the championship, sweeping both #2 Knoxville and #1 Macon.
With the best statistical season in the history of the Southern Professional Hockey League, its hard to be too disappointed with this season. While the Mayhem couldn’t secure the Cup tonight, the future is nothing but bright for the franchise and organization, thanks to Coach Kevin Kerr and the entire staff and local ownership of Macon. Enough cannot be said about the work and sacrifice made by the players, coaches, staff, fans, corporate partners, and so many more in the Mayhem Family during the unique and challenging 2020-21 season.
Hockey will return to Macon in October, and the Mayhem will seek their fourth banner in Macon-Bibb County.
We are Middle Georgia Proud.