MACON, Ga. – There’s an adage in sports that a team is only as good as what its record is.
And while the Macon Mayhem are currently tied for last place in the SPHL standings with Roanoke as each team has three wins and eight points, there are factors in play that have the Mayhem believing that they can right their ship and move toward postseason contention.
“We’re definitely moving in the right direction. We’ve done some good things even in the games that we have lost,” Mayhem defenseman Ben Campbell said. “Those five or ten minutes with some mental errors, they’ve cost us. Hopefully we can get that turned around.”
A team cannot win a playoff spot in December, but it can lose ground towards it. A strong finish to the month of December would be an immense boost to Macon, which is three points behind Quad Cities for eighth place in the league standings and six shy of Birmingham. Macon and Quad Cities play a pair of games on the Mayhem’s home ice this weekend with Saturday being Teddy Bear Toss night with Macon wearing specialty Peanuts jerseys that’ll be auctioned off following the game.
Macon next weekend hosts Roanoke and Birmingham before closing 2019 with road stints at Pensacola, Birmingham, Huntsville and Knoxville. The strong mixture of opponents presents a golden opportunity for Macon to gain traction in the standings, something that its players believe as possible.
“It’s no fun to lose,” Campbell said. “As soon as you start winning, guys have fun in the locker room, on the ice and it just snowballs from there.”
While Macon has lost it’s last four and won just once in its previous 12 games, that’s not to say that elements do not exist to win games. A prime example came last weekend. A night after a forgetful 10-3 loss to Evansville, Macon made the trip home and gave second-place Fayetteville all that the Marksmen could handle, only to have the game undone by three goals being given up within three minutes.
“That’s a game that can go either way. A couple of bounces go our way, and that one turns out different. Our power play looked good, special teams looked good,” Mayhem forward Josh Koepplingler said. “We’re just not getting puck luck right now, but it’ll come around.”
And the Mayhem, still being led by interim head coach Ryan Michel, believe that one win could turn a lot of things around the reverse the team’s fortunes.
“The energy and vibe is good. I think the guys are just eager to get that one,” Koepplingler said. “Hockey is confidence. Once you get that one, there’s no telling how far you can go.”
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