Taulien Secures Victory with Terrific Third Period
Facing the Evansville Thunderbolts for the first time this season, the Mayhem received balanced scoring and steady goaltending en route to a 5-3 road victory.
The Mayhem wasted no time putting the Thunderbolts into an early hole. Just 4:38 into the contest, Justin Levac forced a turnover behind the Evansville cage. He then set up Jake Trask for a point-blank opportunity, and the Mayhem's leading scorer buried his 16th goal of the season past Braeden Ostepchuk.
Just 1:01 after Trask's goal, Michael Chemello pressured Evansville's defensemen in the left corner. He worked the puck along to Caleb Cameron, who set up Jimmy Soper for his 6th goal of the season with a tap-in from the right side of the net. The goal doubled Macon's lead, which they held onto entering the first intermission.
Early in the second period, Shayne Morrissey was penalized for hooking. On the ensuing power play, the Mayhem cycled the puck around the attacking zone and produced ample scoring opportunities. Two seconds after Morrissey's penalty expired, John Siemer fed Trask in the left circle, who swung a cross-ice pass to the right circle for Cameron. The second-year Mayhem ripped a hard shot past Ostepchuk for his seventh goal of the season, tripling Macon's advantage.
Trask's assist on the pseudo power play goal was his 30th point of the season, marking the fourth consecutive season in which the alternate captain reached this milestone with the Mayhem. He became the first player on Macon to reach 30 points this season, and just the fourth in the SPHL to do so.
With 2:21 remaining in the second stanza, Seth Ronsberg and Jake Schultz dropped the gloves in the right circle in the Evansville zone. The two exchanged multiple haymakers and the fight lasted about 20 seconds before they hauled each other down. Macon went into the second intermission with a 3-0 lead.
Three minutes into the third period, Evansville took advantage of a high-sticking penalty called against Jarret Kup. Max Mikowski, playing in his first professional game, deflected a point shot taken by Frank Schumacher to spoil Sylves' shutout bid.
Alexander Taulien put the game out of reach midway through the third with a pair of highlight-reel goals. The first was a brilliant snipe over Ostepchuk's shoulder from a severely sharp angle on the right wing. The next was a power play strike from the left circle after he was fed a cross-ice pass by Derek Sutliffe.
Evansville never quit on the game, as Scott Donahue and Nick D'Avolio each scored within 2:37 to draw to within two. However, their effort was too little, too late, and the Mayhem held on for a 5-3 decision.
Sylves stopped 40 of 43 Evansville shots to earn the win against his previous team. It was his sixth victory of the season and first of 2019, while Ostepchuk denied 37 of 42 in his 12th regulation defeat on the campaign. The Mayhem will close out the road series against the Thunderbolts tomorrow at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. Puck drop is set for 8:15/7:15 Central.
Images from this story
Macon Mayhem center John Siemer
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Southern Professional Hockey League Stories from January 18, 2019
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