MACON, GA – The stage would be set for an early pivotal matchup inside the Macon Coliseum between the Macon Mayhem and the Knoxville Ice Bears as both teams were battling for control of the eighth and final playoff spot. The game would carry a sort of nervous energy throughout as a result.
The first period would start off slow as both squads tried to measure their opponents. Each team would have to kill off a penalty, which they each did. The goaltending would be domineering as Macon’s Josh Boyko stopped all 12 shots he faced while Knoxville’s Marco Costantini would turn away all 10 he saw in his first period as a professional.
The Mayhem would be forced back to their heels in the second frame a little bit, but they were up for the challenge. The Mayhem penalty kill unit would be suffocating as they were able to disrupt all 3 powerplay opportunities for the Ice Bears. Boyko would be a saving grace for the Macon squad as he turned all 14 Knoxville shots away to keep things even at 0 heading into the final frame.
Boyko would be the first to break in the third period as Knoxville’s Tyler Rollo slotted one home from the right circle. Excellent cross-ice passes from Rollo and Osik would set up Kirill Nizhnikov to double the Ice Bears’ advantage. Macon would head to the powerplay three times in the third but could not push anything by Costantini, who would get a shutout in his professional debut. Jordan Stallard would put the dagger in the Mayhem’s hopes with an empty-net goal to seal a 3-0 Ice Bears win.
Macon will look to bounce back in the second of two on Military Appreciation Weekend against the Knoxville Ice Bears. Military members and veterans are invited to show their military I.D.’s to take advantage of a special discount at the Macon Coliseum box office for tomorrow night’s contest. For tickets or more information, visit maconmayhem.com or call us at 478-803-1592.