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Preview: Mayhem vs. Birmingham Bulls (Game 28)

January 11, 2019 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Macon Mayhem News Release

Terrific Signs Shown in Wild Road Defeat

Many teams who fall behind 4-1 after a period of play will struggle to remain competitive for the rest of the game. Failing to chip away at their deficit after period two, the Mayhem entered the third period last Saturday night trailing 5-2 up in Roanoke.

Third periods have been the Mayhem's calling card all season. The key word Coach Thomas has associated with this group has been resiliency, and the evidence has been incontrovertible. They have doubled their opponents 36-18 in third period scoring this season, and on Saturday, they struck three times in the closing 20 minutes. Unfortunately, an empty-net goal against is what ultimately stood as the game-winner in a drastic and heartbreaking turn of events.

Offense has been the Mayhem's biggest issue of late, and they put five on the board on Saturday for just the third time this season. With this defeat fresh in their minds, the Mayhem will look to carry some of those positive signs into tonight's game against the second-place Birmingham Bulls.

The Matchup

The last time the Mayhem faced the Bulls was on Cancer Awareness Night back on November 24th. It was Ian Sylves' debut, and he made 37 of a possible 38 saves. He helped lead the Mayhem to a 3-1 victory which ended Birmingham's perfect season. Like Macon, Birmingham has also lost a substantial amount of talent since these teams last met. Geoff Crisfield, Charlie Millen, Garrett Johnston and Loren Ulett have all signed ECHL contracts, and the Bulls have come back down to Earth a bit after going 11-0-0 to start their season.

Birmingham sits two points ahead of the Mayhem in the SPHL standings with one game in hand. They've gone 2-2-1 over their last five games, taking three points out of four on the road last weekend against an improving Knoxville Ice Bears squad. This weekend's matchups will ultimately determine which of these teams enters Week 14 in second place in the SPHL.

Triple-A Line

Jake Trask will be making his return to action after missing last weekend's home-and-home series with Roanoke due to a family tragedy. Even after missing two games, Trask still ranks fifth in the SPHL in scoring with 26 points (13G, 13A) in 25 games. His return will naturally boost the Mayhem's offensive upside, and will reunite the Mayhem's "Triple-A" line. His unit, consisting of John Siemer and Stathis Soumelidis, includes three very experienced players who have all won a President's Cup and have shown strong leadership all season. The three of them all sit in the top four in the Mayhem in scoring. It will be a tough line to stop this weekend for Mavric Parks and the Bulls' defensemen.

Arcade Night / 90s Night

Tonight, the Mayhem host Video Game/Arcade Night, presented by The Creek FM. Fans can enjoy an arcade atmosphere with video games from Reboot in the lobby of the Centreplex, free of charge. Everyone's favorite classic video games will be there.

Tomorrow, January 12th, the Mayhem will be sporting specialty jerseys on 90s Night. The jerseys will be Simpsons-themed and will be sold off at a live auction in the Macon Centreplex lobby immediately after the game. Saturday is also a Family 4-Pack Night, presented by Amici.

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