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Preview: Mayhem vs. Huntsville Havoc (Game 50)

March 16, 2019 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Macon Mayhem News Release

Third Period Breakdown Costs Mayhem

For the bulk of the season, the third period has been a bastion of strength for the Mayhem. It was the reason they had been undefeated for so long when scoring the first goal. It was the reason they almost never conceded comeback attempts. Along with Peoria, the Mayhem had the best third period goal differential in the SPHL. Over the past week, the Mayhem have been outscored 8-0 in the closing 20 minutes.

Last night, the Mayhem hung tight with the Havoc for the first forty minutes of play. They fell behind twice, but responded quickly in back-to-back periods. The Mayhem had outshot the Havoc for the entire night. However, the turning point for the game was a penalty drawn by Tyler Piacentini early in the third period with his team shorthanded. Huntsville scored immediately on the ensuing four-on-four, sparking frustration within the Mayhem's ranks which ultimately led to two brawls, two Havoc power play goals, and a one-game suspension to Zach Urban.

The Matchup

Urban's suspension will leave the Mayhem shorthanded tonight. They will only be able to dress 15 skaters, which will likely mean slating ten forwards and five defensemen given the current circumstances.

Huntsville has now won seven of its last eight games and has secured the head-to-head season series against the Mayhem, having won four matchups out of six. As well as the Mayhem penalty kill played last night, they could not keep the Havoc snipers at bay forever. They eventually buckled and conceded two power play goals in the third period. Last night's result proved that the Mayhem have no choice but to remain disciplined against this squad to have success. They will need to respond to yesterday's penalty-riddled tilt the same way they did with Fayetteville two Saturdays ago.

Playoff Picture

Oddly enough, Fayetteville's victory last night was the best thing that could've happened for the Mayhem. Even though the Marksmen passed them for fifth place in the SPHL standings, it did secure Macon's postseason berth for the fourth time in as many seasons. If the playoffs were to start today, the Mayhem would be the sixth seed and would be facing against either Peoria, Birmingham, Huntsville or Knoxville in the first round. Seven games remain in Macon's season for them to pull themselves into the home-ice advantage range. To reach that goal at this point, they will have to treat every game as a must-win from here on out. The road to getting there will not be easy, as red-hot teams like Huntsville, Pensacola, and Knoxville await on the schedule. However, the high level of adversity heading into the playoffs will do nothing but prepare the Mayhem for what is to come in April.

Military Appreciation Weekend

Military Appreciation Weekend is here! The Mayhem will be wearing specialty jerseys tonight and to honor all active and retired service men and women who have defended the United States of America. The jerseys worn by the team tonight will be sold at a live auction in the lobby of the Macon Centreplex immediately following the game. Admission is $10 for active and retired military personnel who bring valid identification to the box office.

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