MACON, Ga – The Macon Mayhem found the best way to stem the momentum of the Birmingham Bulls on Saturday night at the Macon Coliseum.
With the Bulls in town coming off an overtime win against Pensacola and Macon being back home after a road loss to Knoxville, the Mayhem simply took control early and never looked back, putting things away late in a 5-2 win to remain atop the SPHL standings.
In more ways than one, the Mayhem set the tone early, gaining a 13-5 shots on goal advantage and 34-10 through two periods.
As expected, that lopsided margin resulted in an early Macon lead courtesy of a pair of defensemen getting into the act. First, it was Casey Johnson, off a Mason Baptista assist, to make it 1-0 9:06 into the game, getting the puck past Bulls goalie Evan Moyse.
Less than four minutes later it was Nate Kallen’s turn to get on board, and Baptista and Brian Bowen got credit for the assist.
Both Bowen and Baptista had four-point nights for the Mayhem.
rippin clap backs pic.twitter.com/vX2Y0OPqBf
— Macon Mayhem (@MaconMayhem) April 4, 2021
While Bowen and Baptista got assists on the pair of early goals, they’d both help solidify the win. With Macon up 2-1 entering the final period, Bowen’s snipe 10:15 into the third, off an assist from Kallen and Baptista made it 3-1.
Almost as if on cue, Baptista took his turn scoring a goal, getting an assist from Bowen and Jason Tackett at 15:28 of the third before Bowen’s empty-netter set the final score of 5-2.
Fresh off returning from a loan to the ECHL, Jake Theut stopped nine of the 11 shots of which he faced.
The Mayhem return to their home ice on Thursday and Friday against Pensacola.
Also in the SPHL
Huntsville 4, Knoxville 3 (OT)
The bad news for the Knoxville Ice Bears? Their 12-game home winning streak ended with a 4-3 overtime loss to Huntsville. The good? Birmingham’s loss meant that Knoxville joins Macon as having clinched a spot in the President’s Cup playoffs.
Down 3-1 in the second, the Ice Bears rallied to tie it going into the third period on goals from Mathieu Roy and Jacob Benson. After neither team scored in the third period, Huntsville’s Matthew Barnaby won it in overtime for Huntsville.
Huntsville also got goals from John Schiavo, Tommy Besinger, and Alex Berardinelli.
Our 65 day, 12-game home win streak comes to a heart breaking end in overtime.
We’re back on home ice Tuesday April 13th vs Macon for $2 Tuesday! pic.twitter.com/f1gbe9MLzs
— Knoxville Ice Bears (@icebears) April 4, 2021
Max Milosek made 25 saves in net for Huntsville with Knoxville’s Peter Di Salvo turning away 24 out of 28 shots.
The same two teams play again on Monday in Huntsville.