Kelley Blanks Bulls as Mayhem Win 3-0
PELHAM, AL - Fresh off their first win of the season this past weekend, the Mayhem would look to keep that momentum going against a Birmingham Bulls team that was also struggling out of the chute. It would be the first time Desjardins' Mayhem and Simchuk's Bulls squared up this season. Desjardins would start the hot-hand of Dillon Kelley in net, and he would be blistering for sixty minutes.
Early in the first period, we saw trepidation from both squads as they took their time setting up their attacks and were selective in their aggression. The Mayhem would fail to convert on three early power plays, but that would set up momentum for the visitors still. Late in the period, excellent hustle behind the Birmingham net for Brendan Hussey would set up Zak Lambrecht for his first goal as member of the Mayhem.
The second period would honestly be dominated by Birmingham. They drew some early calls and built up offensive momentum that would persist throughout the period. Kelley did an excellent job turning away shot after shot. One of the major keys for the Mayhem's defensive success was all about structure. Kelley often froze the puck and allowed the Mayhem to get reset. The second period was a chippy one that saw ten minute game misconducts handed out for extracurriculars after a slash on the Mayhem net-minder. Despite not having the majority of possession, the Mayhem squad was adamant in battling for each other.
The third period saw more of the same chippy play as many times after the whistle, we got pushing from each side. Once again, Dillon Kelley would impersonate a brick wall and deny some well-constructed Bulls' chances. With a late power play opportunity, momentum would swing back to the Mayhem's favor. Off the energy from the power play, Brendan Hussey would snipe one by Lotz and add some insurance to the Mayhem's slim lead with about five minutes left in the game. Cody Rodgers would put the game even further away with an empty netter to make the final 3-0.
The Mayhem seem to have found new life following last weekend's overdue triumph. They came out strong and fast tonight. While they weren't as sharp as we've seen them, we saw a complete effort the entire sixty minutes. After a Herculean game by Dillon Kelley, he would earn his second win on the year and his first shutout since the 2018-19 season.
Desjardins and the rest of the Mayhem will look to invade the hangar tomorrow night in Pensacola and continue their momentum. After that, they will return home to take on the Ice Flyers in Macon on Saturday night.
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