Head Coach: Kevin Kerr begins his second season as coach of the Mayhem, leading his team to a playoff appearance in the team’s inaugural year. Leo Thomas, former captain of the Mississippi RiverKings, joins Kerr as assistant coach.
Captain: No captain has yet been disclosed by the team.
Last Season: 24-27-5 (53 points, 8th place) – Lost to Peoria, two games to one, in the first round of the playoffs.
2015-16 Season Summary – The Macon Mayhem, after a pair of dormant years since the Augusta Riverhawks had to close up shop, struggled early during their inaugural campaign. After a 4-10-3 start, the Mayhem – helped by SPHL Goalie of the Year Garrett Bartus and the arrivals of top scorers Jake Trask and Shawn Skelly – began their path to respectability. Macon would alternate between hot streaks and cold streaks for the rest of the season, and secure the eighth and final seed in the President’s Cup Playoffs. The Mayhem were able to upset the top-seeded Peoria Rivermen in the opening game at the Macon Coliseum but lost the remaining two games in Illinois to end their season.
Hot or Not?
Hot. The Mayhem were an up-and-coming team by the end of the regular season last year. This season, Macon will once again have Garrett Bartus between the pipes. If having the reigning Goalie of the Year back isn’t good enough, the Mayhem went and got former Havoc netminder Jordan Ruby – who had a sensational 1.87 GAA and .933 SV% before getting called up to the ECHL for the remainder of last season. On the offensive side, Macon returns the highly effective core group of Jake Trask, Daniel Gentzler, Matt Summers, and Stephen Pierog. Like most young teams, the still-evolving defense will be Macon’s weakest link early in the season.
- G Garrett Bartus – Bartus was a workhorse last season, appearing in 45 games. Look for the Goalie of the Year to platoon with the equally talented Ruby until one of the two go to the ECHL.
- RW Jake Trask – Trask appeared in 38 games with the Mayhem after being traded from Peoria, scoring 13 goals with 27 assists.
- D Ryan Michel – Macon’s best all-around blueliner, Michel was a force on the power play (5G/5A) and had the team’s best plus/minus with a +11.
- LW Shawn Skelly – Skelly retired from playing hockey during the off-season and is now coaching at D3 Adrian (MI) College – a school which provides the SPHL with plenty of players.
- C Lucas LaBelle – The veteran was not protected during the off-season. LaBelle was signed by the expansion Evansville Thunderbolts but cut in training camp.
- Assistant Coach Leo Thomas – Recently retired from the Mississippi RiverKings, Thomas brings a wealth of playing experience – and a familiarity with Head Coach (and former teammate) Kevin Kerr.
- LW Dennis Sicard – Now with his eighth different SPHL team, Sicard’s career experienced a revival with the Knoxville Ice Bears. The veteran still plays the game with a high motor.
- G Jordan Ruby – Protected, yet unsigned by the Huntsville Havoc, Ruby had spectacular numbers during his brief SPHL time last season.
Movin’ On Up
- Ruby and/or Bartus – Both netminders are ECHL caliber, and each of them should find their way to the AA-level league for some portions of the season.
Sin Bin Swami Says… The Macon Mayhem are Team Sin Bin’s unofficial dark-horse team for this season. If the Mayhem come together defensively, they have the talent in net and firepower in the offensive zone to win it all. Definitely a team with 60-point potential in the standings, and should advance past the first round of the playoffs.
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