Mayhem Best Havoc in Defensive Duel to Split Series
In the series finale of Military Appreciation Weekend, Jake Trask led the Mayhem to a 2-1 triumph over the Huntsville Havoc to launch the team back into fifth place.
Just 16 seconds into the tilt, Stephen Hrehoriak entered the Macon zone on the left wing and attempted a pass into the slot. The puck deflected off a Mayhem stick and fluttered into the air, hoodwinking Ian Sylves and trickling through his five-hole.
The fluky goal did not faze the Mayhem in the slightest. Just 1:18 later, Stathis Soumelidis and Trask crisscrossed into the Huntsville zone. Soumelidis dropped the puck off for Trask, who dangled his way into the slot and shoveled a backhand shot under the blocker of Max Milosek to level the score. Sylves and Milosek held their opponents off the scoresheet for the remainder of the period, and both sides entered the first intermission in a 1-1 stalemate
Trask had another terrific opportunity in the second stanza, being fed a cross-crease pass by his linemate Caleb Cameron. From the right side of the net, he redirected the puck on net, but Milosek made a lateral save with his left pad. Trask redeemed himself shortly afterward, however. Seven minutes into period two, Soumelidis fluttered a pass into the slot for Trask on a two-on-one. The alternate captain put the puck onto his backhand and roofed it over Milosek to give Macon its first lead of the weekend.
John Siemer's line generated a high-end scoring opportunity in the middle frame on a 3-on-1 rush. Danny Cesarz fed Siemer the puck in the high slot, who gave it to Josh Koepplinger on the left wing. Koepplinger snapped a quick shot on goal, but was robbed by an acrobatic windmill save made by Milosek. The score remained 2-1 in favor of Macon heading into the closing period.
Coming off a third period performance in which a combined 55 penalty minutes were called and two power play goals were conceded, the Mayhem made an effort to stay as disciplined as possible as they defended their one-goal lead. The only infraction of the final frame was a tripping penalty called against Carter Horwitz, but the Mayhem penalty kill fought off the ensuing disadvantage and improved to 3-for-3 on the night.
Sylves was perfect in goal following his blunder 16 seconds into the game, stopping the next 27 consecutive starts en route to a second star of the game performance. He returned to .500 with his 11th win on the season. Milosek halted 19 of Macon's 21 attempts on goal. The Mayhem will travel down to Pensacola to challenge the Ice Flyers next weekend on March 22nd and March 23rd. Puck drops at 8:35 pm EST.
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Southern Professional Hockey League Stories from March 16, 2019
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