That challenge was apparently answered this past weekend at the Macon Coliseum.
The Mayhem (15-3-2) moved back into a tie for first place in the SPHL with Birmingham (16-3-0) with a 4-2 victory over the Fayetteville Marksmen on Friday and by ripping the Pensacola Ice Flyers on Saturday night by a 5-1 margin.
Macon got going early on Friday against the Marksmen. Within the game’s first 9:21, Justin Levac and John Siemer made it 2-0, an early boost that paved the way to a 4-2 win. Macon again manufactured a quick start on Saturday with goals Mike Chemello and Jimmy Soper within the game’s first 13 minutes. It helped set an early tone on the way to a 5-1 win against a struggling Pensacola club as Jake Trask scored twice in the second period as well.
Takeaways from the Weekend
Handling the Job at Hand
On paper, Macon was expected to handle Pensacola easily on Saturday given the fact that the Ice Flyers had lost eight of nine and were next to last in the standings prior to Saturday.
Still, one of the most unpredictable things in sports is the intangibles and in some cases, how focused a team will be against a team that it should defeat. As it happened, focus was not a problem for Macon as it appeared to play to its level of capability.
In short, the Mayhem beat a team it was supposed to beat, which is what title-contenders should regularly do.
Macon will see Pensacola again soon, playing host to the Ice Flyers next Friday and Saturday.
“A New Team Record….”
Chemello’s goal didn’t just mean a 1-0 Mayhem lead on Saturday night. It also triggered a Macon Mayhem record on Teddy Bear Toss Night as 2,519 teddy bears were thrown onto the ice to be picked up and cleared from the ice by team personnel and Mayhem players.
The teddy bears will be donated by the team to the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital in Macon.
Happy return for Chemello
With Dakota Klecha on injured reserve, the Mayhem brought back Mike Chemello from the FHL to help on the scoring line. He’s hardly a stranger to the Mayhem. He was with the team during preseason camp and with the team through Nov. 3. He’s fitting in nicely so far in his return to the Mayhem, notching a goal on Saturday in his second game back with the team.
During the season, injuries and call-ups can put a strain on a roster. Chemello easing his way in, however, certainly takes some concern out of the way for the Mayhem.
Sylves Leading From Goal
Its top two goalies from opening night in the ECHL, Macon has more or less given Ian Sylves the chance to be the ‘go to guy’ in net. He continues to take full advantage of the opportunity.
Following stopping 28-of-30 shots on Friday, Sylves was again up to the task on Saturday, allowing just one of 26 shots in. Other than Jordan Ruby, Sylves has played the most games of any Mayhem goalie this year (four) and is 4-0-0 with 1.75 goals against average.