MACON, Ga. – The postseason results have been varied for the Macon Mayhem through the team’s history in Macon. Could year five not include any postseason at all? If the season ended right now, the answer would be yes.
Macon’s last in the SPHL standings with 25 points by way of a 10-20-5 record. That puts them one point shy of Quad City and four behind Birmingham and Roanoke who currently fill out the seventh and eighth spot.
The good news for the Macon? Roughly two months remain in the season, offering plenty of time for the Mayhem to make some headway. Macon will try to make it two wins in a row when it hosts Huntsville on Friday.
Here’s the Mayhem’s path to the President’s Cup Playoffs.
The best way to gain ground in a postseason race? Pick up points against the teams that you are trying to catch. Macon plays at Roanoke on Saturday, but also plays Birmingham three times – twice on the road and at home on Feb. 22. If the Mayhem can take those three games against the Bulls, that’s a six-point swing.
Pull For Peoria
If Macon is to overtake Quad City in the standings, it’ll need some help from a team that some fans in the SPHL love to hate – Peoria. The Rivermen have won all nine games against the Storm this season and the two teams close out the season with three games. If Macon needs to bypass Quad City on the last weekend of the season, Mayhem fans may become Rivermen fans for a few days.
Bottle up last Saturday
If Macon can somehow have everything fall like it did last Saturday, it will make the playoffs. The Mayhem rose to the occasion on Pack The Plex Night, jumping on Knoxville with two goals within the first ten minutes to go on to win 6-2. But it was more than just that result alone. Around the league on the same night, Roanoke, Quad City and Birmingham each also lost. If that same result happens multiple times in the next two months, the Mayhem can gain some serious ground.
So how was Saturday’s win against Knoxville different than some of the four consecutive defeats leading into that game? It’s simple, really. Macon started fast and did not have to, unlike at least one recent contest, play from behind from the start. Josh Koepplinger’s goal 2:38 into the game got the Mayhem going, and it gave them a strong early wave that was ridden to the eventual win. Even the weekend before in Peoria, Macon scored the game’s first goal in both games to get themselves in a position to win.
Last Friday on the other hand, Macon fell behind 20 seconds into the game against Huntsville and was never able to come back, losing 4-2.
Be ‘Special’-ly Good
Macon’s 13.2 power-play percentage is good for eighth, but there is momentum coming off of being 1-for-1 last Saturday against Knoxville. The Mayhem need to carry that momentum over and also continue to be solid against opposing power plays where their 84 percent penalty kill percentage is fifth in the SPHL.
One other glaring area in need of help when Macon’s power-play unit is on the ice? Giving up goals. The Mayhem have yielded seven short-handed goals, most of any team in the league.
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