PEORIA, IL – The Macon Mayhem would take back to the Carver Arena ice looking to avenge a painful last-minute loss to the Peoria Rivermen from the night before. After a low-scoring affair last night, the offenses would take center stage in this game.
Within the first two minutes of the opening puck drop, Macon would take full advantage of an early powerplay opportunity. Billy Jerry would win the faceoff back to Jarret Kup, who would pass over to Goldowski. Jake Goldowski would then rifle a shot from the top of the left circle for the game’s opening goal. Macon’s short-man unit would face a tall task themselves in the form of a 5-on-3 penalty kill about halfway through the period. The Mayhem’s unit would answer the call and kill it off. Each team would threaten, but neither would strike as Macon maintained their 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The second period would open with a flurry of goals. Macon’s Joey Berkopec would walk the puck down the right side and fire a shot at the net. David Nippard would deflect the shot for his first goal of the year, which would double the Mayhem advantage and force a goalie change for the Rivermen. Peoria would answer right back as Brody Duncan was able to squeak a point shot by Josh Boyko to pull one back. Macon would then succumb another goal to Duncan to even the contest after a highly-debated goalie screen that drew the ire of Coach Nick Niedert and Boyko. Alec Baer would then find Alec Hagaman with a cross-crease pass to grab the Rivermen a 3-2 lead. In the latter parts of the period, Boyko would make a few terrific sprawling saves, and Brad Jenion would drop the mitts with Tristan Trudel to stand up for a teammate. Derek Contessa would ‘lug the mail coast to coast’ and then backhand the puck on net for his professional goal, which would pull the Mayhem back even at 3 heading into the break.
Peoria would start the third period with a vengeance. Peoria’s captain Alec Hagaman, a long-time nuisance of the Mayhem, would strike again from the point to regain the Rivermen advantage. Zach Wilkie would blast a one-timer from the high-slot to double the Rivermen advantage on the powerplay. Macon would pull one back on a powerplay of their own just a few minutes later, however. Michael McChesney would screen the goalie and redirect a point shot from Kup to continue his excellent rookie campaign. The Mayhem would pull the goalie in the waning moments to go all-in. Despite some frantic action at the end, Macon would be unable to cash in as they fell by a 5-4 final.
The Macon Mayhem will cap off their 2023 calendar year tomorrow night with a matchup against the Evansville Thunderbolts. The Mayhem will return back to the friendly confines of the Macon Coliseum on Friday, January 5th for a bout with the Pensacola Ice Flyers. For tickets or more information, visit maconmayhem.com or call us at 478-803-1592.