MACON, GA – The Macon Mayhem headed south for the first time this season to take on the reigning champion Pensacola Ice Flyers. While not having many returning players from last year’s team, it was definitely still a game the Mayhem had marked on the calendars.
On Thanksgiving eve, Marcus Russell would start the scoring for the Pensacola squad to hand the Ice Flyers a 1-0 advantage. In an effort to not give up the fight, Nigel Slade would literally bring the fight to the opposing team by dropping the mitts in the middle part of the frame. Brendan Hussey would soon net the equalizer, capitalizing off the energy. It would be his first at the SPHL level. Bondarenko would soon answer back to give Pensacola a 2-1 lead at intermission.
After a tough slashing call to start the 2nd Period against Kyle Soper, Russell would strike again to double the advantage for the Ice Flyers. Kyle Wendorf would add another for the home team to give a 4-1 lead to Pensacola. The second period was all around rough for the Mayhem as they were outshot 15-6.
The Mayhem would enter the third firing on all cylinders as Devin Brink cashed in his second of the year. Keeping the scoring flow going, Kyle Soper would tally another for the Mayhem about three minutes later to pull the Mayhem within one. It would be the 24 year old’s first professional goal. In the meantime, Pensacola’s Wendorf would score the eventual game-winner. Kyle Soper would answer the call again, this time on the power play to once again pull the Mayhem within one. With all of his chips on the table, Coach Desjardins would pull Mayhem netminder Dillon Kelley with the hopes of striking on the man advantage. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be this evening as Griff Jeszka would score the empty netter and hand Pensacola a 6-4 win.
The third period was by far the best effort from the Mayhem all season. The offense was fluid, and the whole team was back-checking aggressively to win possession back whenever they lost a puck. The story for the Mayhem has to be “what could have been.” While looking supremely talented at points, the team has still not yet been able to produce a dominant game for 60 minutes. They’ll get a chance to rectify that this weekend as the Mayhem host the Evansville Thunderbolts for Faith and Family Night on Friday and B.Y.O.F. Night on Saturday. Tickets are still available to root root root for the home team.