Hockey

Mayhem turn on offense, pull away from Bulls

The Macon Mayhem scored four goals in the final two periods to beat the Birmingham Bulls 5-1 Saturday.
The Macon Mayhem scored four goals in the final two periods to beat the Birmingham Bulls 5-1 Saturday. photo@macon.com

It took some time, but the Macon Mayhem finally got their offense going against Birmingham goalie Mavric Parks on Saturday night at the Macon Coliseum. And it got going in a big way.

The Mayhem (4-3-1) came alive for four goals in the final two periods to win their third out of their past four games with a 5-1 win against the Bulls (0-6-0). Macon has also now scored at least four goals in three of its past four contests. With the victory, Macon ended a three-game homestand with four out of six possible points in the standings.

Chris Joseph got Macon on the board 14:14 into the second period before the Mayhem blew the game open with four goals in the third, two coming from Jake Trask with Daniel Gentzler and Caleb Cameron also having a multi-point night.

Five who mattered

Chris Joseph: The game was scoreless until he knocked in a one-timer from the left of Parks for a 1-0 Macon lead 14:14 into the second period.

Daniel Gentzler: His assist on Joseph’s goal ended up being the start of a four-point night in which he had a total of three assists and a goal 2:06 into the third period. His score came as he slammed the puck past Parks on the rebound to extend the Mayhem lead to 2-0. Gentzler also assisted on the third and fourth goals of the game, both scored by Trask.

Trask: The Mayhem poured it on thanks to Trask, who not only made good on a slapshot for a 3-0 lead 7:59 into the third, but extended Macon’s lead to 4-0 coming off a power play.

Cameron: Like Gentzler, Cameron found a way to get involved in the scoring multiple times. He registered a total of three assists on Saturday.

Troy Passingham: Macon’s goalie capped a strong three-night stretch by allowing just one goal, the only blemish being a goal by Birmingham’s John Rey. Passingham allowed a total of five goals in the eight periods that he played during the past three games.

Darren McCormick: Capped off the four-goal barrage in the third period when he scored on a penalty shot that was awarded with two seconds left in the contest.

Observations

Firing away: The first period may have seemed like deja vu for Mayhem players from last year’s team. Parks was the goalie for Columbus from the first-round SPHL playoff series, when he nearly held the Mayhem off in the second game of the best-of-three series won 1-0 by Macon in overtime. Macon fired shot after shot at Parks on Saturday with the goalie coming up with a save time after time early on. Parks, who faced 44 shots Saturday, finally gave up a goal just past the game’s 34th minute.

Old Snakes: With Columbus ceasing operations at the end of last season, players from the team’s roster were made available for any team in the SPHL. Birmingham, which is an expansion team this year, took full advantage, snatching up multiple former Cottonmouths, including Parks in addition to forwards Keegan Bruce, Craig Simchuk and Andy Bathgate.

Worth mentioning

Standings update: Macon is now tied for third in the standings, one point out of second and five shy of first-place Pensacola.

Scoring leaders: Gentzler now has a team-high 13 points on the season, one more than Trask, who leads the team in goals with six.

They said it

Macon head coach Kevin Kerr on the Mayhem breaking through to score: “Parks is a good goalie. Eventually, you’re going to get to him. It’s a matter of time. We just had to wear him down. We had our cycle game going, that’s probably the best part of our game

Kerr on Cameron: “He’s a heck of a hockey player. He’s smart, very cerebral. He understands the game very well. He’s still learning our system, but he’s gritty when he needs to be and has been a solid player for us.

Kerr on the play of Troy Passingham in goal” “(Passingham) is a solid goaltender. He’s a guy that can help us get to where we need to go. He was steady in the net tonight and last night and kept us in games and it’s his job to do that.”

What’s next?

Macon travels to Roanoke on Friday and hosts Fayetteville on Saturday.

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