MACON, GA – The time has finally come. After a long lay-off from home hockey action, the Mayhem finally returned to the friendly confines of the Macon Coliseum. For Caleb Cameron and Michael Stiliadis, it was a reunion back with the fans they battled for before. For every other player and coaching, it was a debut in front of the hometown faithful.
The first period was a trepid affair as both teams traded shots as they began to feel one another out for the first time in over a year. Finally, the Mayhem broke through as Mayhem forward Scott Coash slotted home his first professional goal to give the home team the early advantage at the 9:50 mark in the first period. After fighting on a long penalty kill, the Mayhem would finally succumb the lead as Girard would even the score with a powerplay goal. The Marksmen would then dominate the rest of the period by netting a late goal and leading in shots 13 to 8 at the break.
The second period could be summarized by one player, Michael Stiliadis. Stiliadis, goaltender for the Mayhem, was solid as a rock in net stopping 18 shots on goal in the period. Coash would help the Mayhem take advantage of Stiliadis’s dominance as he cashed in for his second goal of the night and pull the Mayhem back even with the Marksmen. The second period would have a little drama before all was said and done with Taylor Cutting and Matt McNair tussling. Cutting would be handed a game misconduct as a result and miss the rest of the contest.
The third period begin just like the first, fearfullly. Each team fought hard to create opportunities and deny them at the other end. Bryan Etter would break the deadlock with a beautiful follow up goal that was the result of dominant puck possession and a tenacious Mayhem forecheck. An unfortunately timed-penalty by the Mayhem, gave Fayetteville another late shot on the powerplay which was Tanner Froese needed to send the contest into overtime.
A scoreless overtime period led to a penalty shootout. After two conversions from the Marksmen and none from the Mayhem, the two points would head to Fayetteville.
Looking back, there isn’t much for the home side to complain about. We always want two points, but we did get our first point of the season and now have something to build on. The crowd was loud and behind the team 100% throughout the contest. The Mayhem will continue to work hard and look to exact revenge tomorrow night in Fayetteville.