MACON, Ga. – After the past few games, the Huntsville Havoc would be understood for ruing the day that Mason Baptista signed with the Macon Mayhem.
On Friday night in Huntsville, his goal 4:51 into the game got Macon off and rolling toward what would be the Mayhem’s seventh win in a row, a 4-1 win. Stephen Pierog notched a power-play goal later in the first with Max Cook scoring early in the third to go with an empty netter by Brian Bowen, to close out the win that extended Macon’s lead atop the SPHL standings to five points. The Mayhem are 12-2-1-1 with 26 points.
Compared to the night before in Macon, Friday’s tilt may as well have been a tea and crumpets party as far as the dramatics went.
The Mayhem trailed early on Thursday, falling behind 3-0 1:37 into the second when Matthew Barnaby buried a power-play goal for the Havoc. That followed a pair of first-period goals from Josh Bowes and Rob Darrar against Mayhem goalie Ryan Ruck, in net for the second game in a row.
Macon may have been down, but it was not out.
The rally began with the Mayhem striking with a power-play goal of their own. Getting an assist from Nick Minerva and Dean Balsamo, Baptista got Macon on the board, down 3-1 15:51 into the second.
Cook needed just 4:20 of the third period to draw Macon within one, getting a shot past Havoc goalie Max Milosek.
Through nearly the rest of the third, the Mayhem were unable to tie to the game.
With a mere second left on the clock, Baptista bought himself enough open space in front of the net to tie the game, sending the jubilant Mayhem into overtime.
Neither Macon nor Baptista would be denied of a win. In overtime, Bapista buried the game-winner and hat trick getting an assist from Minerva and Andrew Romano.
After just two appearances in net for Macon until Sunday against Knoxville, Mayhem goalie Ruck got the starting nod in both games against the Havoc. After stopping 17 of 20 shots on Thursday, he turned around a night later to stop all but one of the 28 shots on goal by the Havoc.
Macon starts a three-game homestand on Tuesday, hosting Pensacola. The Mayhem also play the Ice Flyers at home on Friday before welcoming Knoxville on Saturday.
Brad Harrison is the SPHL Editor for The Sin Bin and also covers the Macon Mayhem for The Sin. Follow or interact with at @SinBinMayhem