Hockey

Shawn Skelly takes SPHL scoring lead in Macon Mayhem win

by brad harrison - sports@macon.com

A pair of Shawn Skelly goals proved to be the difference in a tightly contested game on Saturday at the Macon Coliseum as the Macon Mayhem beat Pensacola for the second night in a row, winning 3-1. The victory was is the second in a row for the Mayhem after losing six out of seven games.

It was also the second win in a row for Macon goalie Curtis Martinu, who was elevated to the starting position with Macon’s No. 1 goalie Garret Bartus on loan to Adirondack of the ECHL. Bartus, who was on the Mayhem bench on Saturday after returning to the team, will resume his role as the starter. As for Martinu, he turned in a masterful performance Saturday, stopping all but one of the 23 shots that he faced.

FOUR WHO MATTERED

Skelly: He is now the leading scorer in the SPHL following his two goals Saturday. He now has 19 goals and a league-leading 43 points. Both of his goals Saturday came close to the net. He shot in a loose puck from the left side that got past Pensacola goalie Brent Troyan for the game’s first goal with 10:30 left in the first period. The score came off an assist from newly aquired Zach Josepher and Anton Lennartson. Skelly broke a tie at 1 with 12:59 left in the game as he finished off a loose puck on the right side of the net off a Jeff Sanders shot and hammered it into the back of the net for the go-ahead score.

Lennartson: The right winger had a productive night, putting the puck in play multiple times. In the end, he finished with a pair of assists.

Martinu: Although he’ll be back to the No. 2 spot on the depth chart with Bartus returning, Martinu cemented his role as a capable back-up option, holding serve against Pensacola. He has now surrendered a combined three goals in his past two games, both victories for Macon.

Mike Kreig: His score from the point with 5:39 to go in the first period tied the game, a deadlock that remained until third period.

THEY SAID IT

Macon head coach Kevin Kerr on the win: “We got a good win (Saturday). We competed, we battled for 60 minutes. That’s what it’s going to take to continue this trend toward getting going in the right direction.

Kerr on Skelly’s goals: “We’ve talked about getting greasy goals, and that’s what both of those were.”

Kerr on Macon’s goalie depth: “Bartus is our No. 1, but it was nice to see Curtis Martinu come in here and battle, especially these last two games. We’re really confident in who have now as a back-up.”

Skelly on winning two in a row: “In the locker room, we knew we needed to come out in these two home games and play well. We came out with four points and that was huge.”

Skelly on his second goal: “It was kind of a dump-in. Their guy turned it over on the wall, Lennartson put on the put it on the point and Sanders had a great point shot and luckily I got to it and put it between the goalie’s legs.”

WHAT’S NEXT?

Macon begins its longest road trip of the season Sunday, starting with a game against Fayetteville. The Mayhem’s next home game is March 17 against Knoxville. 

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