MACON, GA – Friday night would be a night of new beginnings. For the first time in franchise history, the Macon Mayhem would square off against the Vermillion County Bobcats, the newest member of the Southern Professional Hockey League. With both teams looking to earn the series lead, it was sure to be a thrilling affair inside the Macon Coliseum.
After the first few minutes were spent with teams trying to get to know another, Macon would gain the only advantage they needed. Cody Rodgers would take a slap shot from the neutral zone that slipped by the Vermillion County goaltender Chase Perry. Greg Hussey in Macon would start off strong stopping all 15 shots in the first to hand the Mayhem a 1-0 advantage.
Macon would get the second stanza started with a bang. With a cross-crease pass, Curtis Hansen would set up Devin Brink to tap home his twelfth goal of the year and double the Mayhem’s advantage. Just a few minutes later, Kyle Soper would spring Dakota Ulmer on a one on none breakaway. Ulmer would deke Perry to net his first goal with the Mayhem and against his former team. After some penalties were called on the Bobcats late in the frame, Macon would have a long five on three power play but would not be able to capitalize. Macon would head to the break holding a three goal lead.
Heading into the final frame, both squads still had a lot to play for. The vengeful Dakota Ulmer would strike again in the third for his second goal of the game. Both teams started to familiarize themselves quickly as the game got very chippy. Kyle Soper and Zak Sheikh would drop the mitts as penalties abounded. Sheikh would be assessed a game misconduct for fighting (aggressor) and another game misconduct for boarding. After all was done and dusted, Macon would find themselves on the power play. The red-hot Michael Snow would not disappoint, netting the fifth and final goal for the Mayhem. The scrappiness would continue down the stretch as the penalty sheet was filled. Bryan Etter of the Mayhem would be assessed a game misconduct for an illegal check to the head before the final horn sounded.
The Mayhem would blitz the Bobcats with 5 goals on 48 shots on goal to take the first win of the all-time series. The story of the night was the Mayhem netminder however. Greg Hussey would stop all 29 Vermillion County shots en route to his first shutout at the SPHL level and first star honors.
The Mayhem and Bobcats will meet again tomorrow night for the second time in what is sure to be another tenuous affair for SpongeBob SquarePants Night. Tickets are still available on Ticketmaster or at the Macon Coliseum box office.