Through the first two games of the season, at least one thing is certain for the Macon Mayhem.
No team is expected to take it easy on the defending the SPHL champions.
Macon’s early season sputter continued Saturday night at the Macon Coliseum as Huntsville pulled away in the second period on its way to a 5-1 win.
The Mayhem, who trailed 1-0 early on, tied the game on a power play goal by Daniel Echeverri in the opening period before Huntsville (1-0-0) moved in front 2-1 with less than two minutes left in the first and added two more goals in the second period to pull away.
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Macon (0-2-0) got into more of the offensive rhythm and tempo that it grew accustomed to much of last season in the third period and generated more scoring chances, but Huntsville’s defensive effort prevented a Mayhem comeback.
Four who mattered
Echeverri: His slapshot beat Huntsville goalie Keegan Asmundson for Macon’s first goal of the season. Daniel Gentzler and Jake Trask picked up assists on the goal that tied the game at 1 at the game’s 15:25 mark.
Asmundson: The Huntsville goalie kept Macon at bay for the most part, stopping 27-of-28 shots.
Nolan Kaiser: With Huntsville leading 2-1 in the second period, his slap shot on a 5-on-3 power play extended the Havoc lead to 3-1. Kaiser also assisted on the first Huntsville goal, a power play score 11:58 into the game when Derek Perl knocked in a puck off a pass from behind the net.
Kyle Sharkey: Sharkey played a major role in multiple Havoc scores, registering a pair of assists.
Finn’s turn: Charlie Finn took his turn in goal for Macon, stopping 28 out of 33 shots on goal. Like Tomas Sholl on Friday, Finn had an all around solid night with the opposing side getting some of its scores off of pucks in front of the met that the Mayhem were unable to corral.
Powering up and down: Macon’s special teams were a mixed bag. While the power play unit did get on the board by way of Echeverri’s goal, there was also a short-handed Huntsville goal coming when Finn misplayed a puck on his own end of the ice. Overall, Macon went on the power play six times.
Slow to score so far: Macon has been held to one goal through two games, a lower two-game total than any such stretch experienced by the Mayhem last year. But if there’s something for Macon to hang its hat on, it’s the way that it attacked in the third period, getting into more of an offensive rhythm. The Mayhem should be able to right themselves offensively if they can continue that momentum into next weekend.
They said it
Mayhem head coach Kevin Kerr on the first two games of the season: “I thought the third period was probably the best period that we’ve played out of six. It was kind of the style of play that we play — we were on pucks, we were recycling and moving. It’s probably the best period I have seen in the two games. If there’s a bright side (to the first two games) ... if that’s how we can play, I think we’ll OK.”
Kerr on expecting every team to want to knock Macon off: “Everybody wants to knock you off. With our returning guys, I think we’re expected to at least vie for a championship and other teams see that and say, ‘We’re not going to let that happen.’ We definitely have a target on our back, Last year, we kind of quietly did our thing and nobody kind of knew who were and the next thing you know, we’re winning a championship. Now, everybody’s gunning for you. Our guys have to realize that pressure.”
The Mayhem host Roanoke on Friday.