On Thursday night, however, the visitors from Indiana may as well have been wearing doctor’s white coats. The Mayhem got well in a big way, leading early and rolling to a 6-2 victory to snap a franchise-long eight-game losing streak.
Macon (22-14-5, 49 points) is entrenched in the middle of the SPHL standings and looking to gain a foothold. Third place Huntsville, one point ahead of Macon, is three points ahead of Knoxville and Fayetteville, tied for fifth place going into Friday night’s slate of games.
Macon has a big opportunity to make a move this weekend with a pair of games at Huntsville. They’ve earned themselves a jolt following Thursday night’s win, especially from the offensive standpoint.
Macon’s six goals were the most for the Mayhem since Jan. 19 against the Thunderbolts. That offensive burst began early Thursday. A pair of Jake Trask goals and another by John Siemer staked Macon to a 3-0 lead, giving the Mayhem a strong start against an Evansville team coming off a long bus ride down south.
The last-place Thunderbolts didn’t roll over, with Shayne Morrissey getting them on the board by getting a rebound past Macon goalie Ian Sylves. Macon answered. Three and half minutes or so later, Derek Sutliffe’s well-placed crossing pass to Dakota Klecha got by Evansville goalie Braeden Ostepchuk to take Macon’s edge back to three goals.
Klecha, whose long-awaited return last weekend gives the Mayhem an offensive boost, added one of the Mayhem’s two insurance goals in the third with Kristaps Bazevics getting the other tally.
Sylves got the win in goal for Macon, stopping 28 of 30 shots.
Mayhem Head Coach Leo Thomas
On the win:
“It’s definitely a good feeling to finish that streak. I thought we played a decent game. The guys know that it’s only going to get tougher going into Huntsville; they’re playing really well right now. We’re at the point now where we need to make a jump up in the standings to play playoff hockey. I think every guy in the room knew that it was a must-win. Everyone showed up and gave a good effort.”
On Jake Trask, Dakota Klecha and Justin Levac returning from injuries:
“That’s huge. For (Klecha) he was out for a long time, so I knew it would take him a bit to get going. He looked good, Levac and Trask looked better. They are starting to get healthier and it’s happening at a good time.”
On what contributed to the recent losing streak:
“There were times where we just weren’t working hard. and when you aren’t working hard, good things are not going to happen. Other times, we were playing well but the bounces just were not happening or we were running into a hot goalie.”
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