MACON, Ga. – The Macon Mayhem’s quest to win the Coffey Cup and President’s Cup in the same season begins on Thursday as they open the SPHL Playoffs against the Huntsville Havoc. These two teams met in the semifinals in 2018 with Huntsville taking a 2-1 series win. The best-of-three series also represents the past three combined SPHL championships.
Final Regular Season Records:
Macon Mayhem: 32-6-4, 68 points, first in SPHL
Huntsville Havoc: 19-22-1, 39 points, fourth in SPHL
Series Schedule: (Home Team in BOLD CAPS and all times local):
Game 1 – Thursday, May 6 – Macon at HUNTSVILLE – 7:00 pm CT
Game 2 – Saturday, May 8 – Huntsville at MACON – 6:30 pm ET
*Game 3 – Sunday, May 9 – Huntsville at MACON – 4:00 pm ET
* => If Necessary
Season Series Recap:
When these two teams met in the regular season, the Mayhem held the upper hand, winning eight of eleven meetings. That’s not to say that it was easy for Macon, however. Of those eight wins, five were decided by one goal, so the gap between the two teams is not as wide as an initial record may claim. Perhaps no matchup was more dramatic than Feb. 25 when the Mayhem came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie it with one second left to force overtime where the Mayhem would go on to win.
How Macon Wins:
As shown by the number of times Macon has won close games against Huntsville this year, the Mayhem need to be in position to win the game late and set either Jake Theut or Ryan Ruck up to make big saves and slow the Havoc down. Macon has an enviable goalie combo with these two, and it continues to get good production from the Mason Baptista, Brian Bowen and Jason Tackett as well as further down the line from Dean Balsamo, Logan Coomes, and Gabe Guertler, the Mayhem’s odds of crashing the net and turning loose pucks into goals against Huntsville’s goalie are good.
How Huntsville Wins:
It all starts in net. Havoc goalie Max Milosek goalie may not have put up the numbers that Theut and Ruck did this year, but he and Jason Pawloski have been steady in goal. Goalie play, especially from Milosek, one of the Havoc’s goalie’s from their most recent SPHL title in the 2019 playoffs, will be key for Huntsville as well as preventing Macon’s scorers from converting loose pucks in front of the net into goals. Huntsville has shown that it can hang with Macon. If it can carry that confidence onto the ice, the Mayhem could be ripe for an upset against the Havoc, who until they are dethroned, are a dangerous postseason team as the two-time defending SPHL champions.
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