MACON, Ga. – The Macon Mayhem threw an offensive kitchen sink at Knoxville goalie Peter Di Salvo on Saturday night at the Macon Coliseum, firing 42 shots at the Ice Bears goalie. It took a full 60 minutes as well as overtime, but Macon prevailed 2-1 in overtime with Mason Baptista burying the game-winner for Macon’s fourth win in a row. The win also snapped a three-game winning streak for Knoxville.
Despite playing at least two fewer teams than any other team in the league, Macon now leads the SPHL standings with a record of 9-2-1-1 with 20 points.
Macon and Knoxville play again in Macon this afternoon at 4 p.m.
The Mayhem received a far different challenge from the Ice Bears than the previous meeting on February 5, a 7-2 Mayhem win.
Staunch goaltending by Di Salvo kept things scoreless from the start in spite of multiple scoring chances generated by the Mayhem. It took nearly two periods for the game’s first goal, and Macon’s special teams were responsible for it. With the Mayhem on a penalty kill, Ray Brice pounced on an errant puck in the neutral zone. It was enough of a crease as he skated swiftly toward the Knoxville net, shooting the puck past Di Salvo on the stick side at 19:12 of the second period for the shorthanded goal.
Less than five minutes into the third period, Macon goalie Jake Theut‘s bid for his second shutout in as many nights was denied as Johnny Curran bursted toward the net to score and tie it at 1-1.
With both goalies continuing the stalemate on both ends of the ice, the game went to overtime. After each team had a scoring chance come up empty in the extra period, Baptista won it for Macon 2:31 into overtime, getting an assist from Paul Meyer.
Three Stars of the Game
⭐ Mason Baptista, Macon – Scored the game-winning goal
⭐⭐ Jake Theut, Macon – Stopped 23 out of 24 shots. He has allowed one goal or fewer in six of his past eight games.
⭐⭐⭐ Peter Di Salvo, Knoxville – Stopped 40 out of 42 shots
Both goalies, Macon’s Theut and Knoxville’s Di Salvo were playing for the second night in a row…Baptista has at least a point in four of his past five games for Macon…The Mayhem signed forward Mike Gornall to a standard professional contract on Saturday…Dean Balsamo will be eligible to return from a two-game suspension on Sunday.
Also in the SPHL
Birmingham made an early 3-0 lead standup en route to a 4-3 win against Pensacola, getting goals from four other different players. Picking up the goals were Chantz Petruic, Anthony Florentino, Logan Nelson, and Kasey Kulczycki. Connor Powell, Taylor Pryce, and Jordan Ernst scored goals for Pensacola.
Macon and Knoxville play in Macon at 4 this afternoon. The Ice Bears host Pensacola on Friday and Macon hosts Huntsville on Thursday.
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