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Preview: Mayhem at Pensacola Ice Flyers (Game 52)

March 23, 2019 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Macon Mayhem News Release

Mayhem Edged in Goaltender's Duel

Last night's game was a prime example of a goaltender's delight. Shots on goal were plentiful, but high-end scoring chances and goals were minimal. For the most part, the Mayhem's greatest opportunities to strike came from strong individual efforts, as virtually all passing plays were snuffed out by Pensacola's ultra-stingy defense. Macon was at its best at even strength last night, as the special teams struggled greatly throughout the tilt.

Not long into Pensacola's first power play, Tim Moore was set up with a wide open opportunity in the left circle of the Macon zone. He hammered a one-timer past Kevin Entmaa to score what would be the game-winning-goal just 5:49 into the contest. Then, on Macon's second man-advantage, they conceded a shorthanded goal to Pensacola Captain Josh Cousineau. Both the power play and the penalty kill have had their difficulties this season. 5-on-5 play is where the Mayhem have thrived most consistently. Fortunately for them, fewer power plays will be dealt out as the playoffs draw closer.

The Matchup

The Pensacola Bay Center has not been Macon's favorite building to play in this season. They've pitched a record of just 0-2-1 in three games at the Hangar and have only scored one goal in 185 minutes of play there. Brian Billett and the Ice Flyers have repeatedly taken the life out of Macon's attack. Tonight will be the Flyers' final home game of the 2018-19 regular season. Against the Mayhem, Pensacola has fared infinitely better on home ice than they have on the road this season. However, a road win for the Mayhem is long overdue, as they have dropped their last nine decisions away from the Macon Centreplex. With the postseason looming and the standings tightening by the day, there is no better time for the Mayhem to snap their road skid than now.

Playoff Race Tightens

With last night's 2-0 win, the Ice Flyers have brought themselves out of the eighth seed for the first time in recent memory. Rod Aldoff's squad has been virtually trapped in that position for months, unable to move up or down in the standings despite accumulating massive point streaks. They have passed the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs and now sit a meager two points behind the Mayhem for the sixth spot. Defeating Macon in regulation tonight would mean tying them for the six seed, which will serve as good of an incentive as any for the Mayhem to secure two points. Knoxville defeated Roanoke yesterday, which gave them a four-point cushion over the Mayhem for the fourth spot. However, Fayetteville's blowout defeat at the hands of the Huntsville Havoc left them a mere point ahead of the Mayhem for the five seed. The playoff picture seemingly gets tighter and tighter with every result. Tonight's results will go a long way in determining the middle of the pack, and will set the stage for what is to come in the closing two weeks.

Fan Appreciation Night

Next Friday, March 29th, the Mayhem will host the Knoxville Ice Bears in their last home game of the 2018-19 regular season. The weekend will feature a number of enticing narratives, including a reunion for Ortiz and Danny Cesarz as well as significant playoff implications on the line.

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