MACON, Ga – The Macon Mayhem’s late-game theatrics struck again on Thursday night against Huntsville.
With about 30 seconds to go against the Havoc, overtime appeared a likely destination for both teams. Jason Tackett changed that. Taking advantage of an opening in front of the net. he hammered the puck past Havoc goalie Max Milosek for a 2-1 win.
The win inched the Mayhem (20-4-4, 44 points) three points ahead of Knoxville for first place. More importantly for Macon – the win coupled with Birmingham’s 9-1 loss to Pensacola clinches a postseason berth for the Mayhem.
Tackett’s goal broke a low-scoring stalemate. Neither team mounted anything on the scoreboard through the first period. Ryan Smith put an end to that early in the second period, however. His goal, off an assist from Tackett and Jared Bethune, made it a 1-0 Macon lead. Tackett is becoming one the most productive players in the SPHL on a per capita basis. In eight games, he has 13 points, amounting to 1.63 points per contest, second-best in the league.
That advantage didn’t last. Less than 12 minutes later the Havoc roared back. Alex Berardinelli got a puck past Mayhem goalie Ryan Ruck to tie it 13:43 into the second.
Stopping 24 of the 25 shots that he faced, Ruck picked up his third win in a row. Milosek, meanwhile, turned away 31 out of 33 shots.
Both teams were quiet on special teams, going a combined 0-for-5.
Macon plays second-place Knoxville on the road Friday before hosting Birmingham on Saturday night. Huntsville plays at the Ice Bears on Saturday before hosting a matchup between the teams on Monday.
Also in the SPHL
Pensacola 9, Birmingham 1
It was a terrible, no good, bad night for the Bulls, who trailed 7-0 just past the game’s midway point. Darren McCormick scored twice in the third period for a hat trick for the Ice Flyers. The scoring was rather balanced for the Ice Flyers, who got four goals from four different players in the first period – Jake Wahlin, Eddie Matsushima, Marcel Godbout, and Zach Walker.