MACON, Ga. – To say that the Macon Mayhem’s special teams came up big on Saturday night against Birmingham would be a gross understatement.
Macon won its second game in a row, beating Birmingham 4-2 on Saturday for its second victory over the Bulls in as many nights. And whether it was on the penalty kill or the power play, the Mayhem found multiple ways to do damage.
Not only did Macon open the game on a power-play goal by Stephen Pierog just more than four minutes in, but the Mayhem came up big on the other side of the special teams battle, as well.
Ahead 2-1 in the second period, a pair of shorthanded goals 27 seconds apart by Mason Baptista and Joe Masonius extended Macon’s lead to 4-1. Ironically, the only goal the rest of the way was scored by the Bulls in the third period by Cameron Strong – on the power play.
Baptista’s goal was his second of the game. His score 9:05 into the game off an assist from Logan Coomes and Nate Kallen was Macon’s only even-strength goal of the game on a night in which he had an assist on Pierog’s goal, as well. Baptista is now tied for the league lead in goals with 11, drawing him even with Pensacola’s Darren McCormick. Ironically, McCormick spent most of the 2017-18 season with Macon, playing in 38 games and scoring 22 goals.
The four goals on Saturday night were plenty for Macon goalie Jake Theut, who stopped 28 out of 30 shots.
Macon’s offensive output came without one of its top scorers. Brian Bowen, who has ten points in nine games, was suspended earlier on Saturday as a result of a match penalty from Friday’s game. The Bulls got a first-period goal from Jacob Smith, who has now scored goals in the back-to-back games for the second time in less than a month.
Birmingham piled up 49 penalty minutes, 2o of which came from ten-minute penalties to Kasey Kulczycki and Chris Lijdsman.
The Mayhem now get ready for a three-game homestand next weekend, hosting Huntsville on Friday and Saturday and Knoxville on Sunday afternoon in a battle among the league’s top two teams. The Bulls play at Huntsville on Sunday and host Knoxville on Thursday.
Also in the SPHL…
Knoxville 2, Pensacola 1
The Ice Bears had to put together some late magic, but still pieced together their seventh straight win. Andrew McLean’s unassisted goal 18:40 into the third period ended up being the difference-maker after the Ice Flyers tied it less than four minutes earlier on a goal by Taylor Pryce. Knoxville led 8:13 into the second period on a goal by Johnny Curran.
Goalie Austyn Roudebush continues to thrive in net for Knoxville. On Saturday, he stopped 32-of-33 shots. In seven games, he has no allowed six goals.
Brad Harrison is the SPHL Editor for The Sin Bin and covers the Macon Mayhem. Follow or interact with him at @SinBinMayhem