MACON, Ga. – It’s become a staple of this edition of the Macon Mayhem, an inner fortitude to battle back, even when things are not going well.
So it came as no surprise on Friday night at the Macon Coliseum that the Mayhem did not fold when they found themselves trailing 4-1.
Rather, they went straight to work, rallying for three goals in the final period against Huntsville before the Havoc took the win in the seventh round of the shootout to take the 5-4 win.
The same two teams play again in Macon Saturday night before Macon welcomes Knoxville on Sunday afternoon in a battle of the SPHL’s top two teams.
Both teams traded goals in a matter of seconds early on. Just 16 seconds after Tommy Besinger gave Huntsville a 1-0 lead 8:10 into the game, Jared Bethune tied things up. From there, however, it’d be all Huntsville through the next period and a half. Tyler Piacentini made it 2-1 late in the second, and after a pair of Havoc goals from Matthew Barnaby and Nolan Kaiser, Huntsville held a commanding 4-1 lead 14:15 into the second.
Both Barnaby and Kaiser posted a three-point night, having a goal and assist.
Macon rallied from there as the Havoc found themselves unable to get any pucks past Macon goalie Jake Theut in the final period. Overall, Theut had 35 saves compared to the 40 of Huntsville’s Max Milosek.
At 5:12 into the third, Dean Balsamo’s score cut the Havoc lead in half, 4-2. Less than four minutes later, Macon struck again. With Guertler and Jason Tackett assisting on the second goal in a row, Mason Baptista got the Mayhem within one 9:06 into the third.
Tackett continues to thrive since arriving in Macon, having two points in each of the three games since coming aboard.
That gave Macon plenty of time to tie it all, and Balsamo did just that at exactly the 15:00 mark of the third off an assist from Ryan Smith and Nick Minerva.
That sent the game into overtime, where neither team scored. The stalemate continued into the shootout, where after near-misses on both sides, Piacentini won it for the Havoc.
Also in the SPHL…
Pensacola picked up an overtime win as well on Friday, edging Birmingham 3-2 on a goal by Jordan Ernst. A power-play goal by Darren McCormick 13:36 into the third tied it for the Ice Flyers, who led 1-0 on a first-period goal by Jake Wahlin. The Bulls led 2-1 after a second-period score from Alec Baer and Cameron Strong, with a pair of assists coming from Logan Nelson.
The Bulls travel to Knoxville on Saturday night.