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Preview: Mayhem at Knoxville Ice Bears (Game 7)

November 9, 2018 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Macon Mayhem News Release

Mayhem Prove Resilient in First Road Trip

No matter how well a team performs at the start of a season, there is always a question mark where the first road trip is concerned. Routines are tampered with, willpower is strained, and team camaraderie is tested. The Mayhem answered any questions surrounding their resolve on the road last weekend, as they convincingly swept the relentless Fayetteville Marksmen two games to none.

A fairly sloppy first game was remedied on Saturday night, when the Mayhem ousted Fayetteville by a 4-1 margin on their Military Appreciation Night. They scored power play goals on each night and showed great persistence in pulling ahead with the lead. Friday night's game presented a difficult challenge: the Mayhem dominated the tempo of play and led substantially in shots on goal, yet could not hold a lead until the second period. Saturday, they were tied for the bulk of the game and pulled ahead with three unanswered strikes in the third period. The game previous to last weekend, the Mayhem were held off the scoresheet for the first 28 minutes of the contest, but rallied to score three straight and defeat Pensacola. The Mayhem have been consistently outplaying their opponents late in games, which has been an enormous factor in them reaching first place in the SPHL.

The Matchup

Two weeks ago, when the Ice Bears came to Macon, they caused far more issues than a 6-3 Mayhem victory would suggest. They picked apart the Mayhem's penalty kill, responded quickly to erase Macon leads, and all but disintegrated their breakouts. However, the Mayhem did an outstanding job of shutting down Lucas Bombardier, who'd been coming off an SPHL Player of the Week performance. They also exploited porous defense and made Knoxville pay for a number of lapses, firing six shots past Michael Santaguida. Since that night, Hayden Stewart has taken over between the pipes for the Ice Bears and is the most likely candidate to start tonight for Jeff Carr's squad.

Ronsberg, Soper Enter the Fray

The Mayhem lead the SPHL in goals scored and rank third in goals-per-game, averaging 3.83. Their attack has been balanced and has been deep, and they've outscored their opponents 10-3 in the third period. However, one element has been missing from their game. The Mayhem have not had a prototypical gritty, natural center who grinds his opponents down and is solid at both ends of the ice. While the players who have stepped into this type of role have done a fine job of adjusting, they will now be able to return to more comfortable, customary positions with two players re-entering the fold.

Seth Ronsberg and Jimmy Soper each played for the Mayhem for part of last season. Ronsberg played a utility role, alternating between forward and defenseman depending on the team's needs. He tallied 11 points (2 G, 9 A) in 38 games played and made the Mayhem a more complete, well-rounded team. Soper added a level of grit and energy that the team needed, competing in 20 games and scoring 10 points (3 G, 7 A). He will likely slide into a center spot vacated by one of the Mayhem's more natural wingers, like Caleb Cameron and Sam Wilbur. The introduction of Ronsberg and Soper to the lineup promises to make the Mayhem an even more formidable squad, and numbers 9 and 13 will be worth keeping a watchful eye on over the long weekend.

Faith & Family Night

The Mayhem's next home game will be tomorrow night, November 10th against Knoxville at 7:35 pm ET. Fans of all backgrounds and faiths are encouraged to enjoy a night of family-friendly fun. Houston Road Church will be having a pre-game concert in the lobby of the Centreplex. We encourage any and all congregations who are interested to set up a night of faith, family and fun with the Mayhem!

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