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Macon Drops Heartbreaker to Evansville

MACON, GA – With lots of new faces on the roster, the Macon Mayhem would have to find some cohesion quickly to find success against the Evansville Thunderbolts. It would be the first time Evansville has made the trip to Macon since November 2021.

Before the fans could settle into their seats from “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the Mayhem would send them right back to their feet. On the opening faceoff, Brad Jenion would spring Tanner Nagel; Nagel would recenter the puck into the slot for a streaking Brett Mecrones to hammer the puck home. Macon would continue to apply pressure, but two quick penalties would pin Macon with their backs against the wall. However, the Mayhem would come out fighting, killing off a 5-on-3 Thunderbolts powerplay. The star of the first period would be Mayhem netminder Jimmy Poreda as he made save after save, stopping all 14 shots faced in the period to preserve the 1-0 Mayhem lead to the break.

Defense and goaltending would rule the majority of the period for both sides as Macon killed off another penalty. Derek Contessa would touch a puck over to Alex Laplante; the talented rookie would take it from there. Laplante would toe-drag around one defender to gain some space and drive to the crease. While beginning to fall over, Laplante would rip a wrister by Ty Taylor to double the Mayhem’s advantage with his breathtaking display. After a tremendous run, Poreda’s shutout bid would be busted by a well-placed deflection by Mark Zhukov. Poreda would still stop 12/13 shots in the period to preserve Macon’s one-goal lead to the second intermission.

Jimmy Poreda and the Mayhem’s defense would be stout for a long run in the third. Jeff Bes and the Thunderbolts would go empty net early and often down the stretch. Macon would head to the powerplay late after Vasjonkin unmoored the empty net with Macon threatening. Unfortunately for Macon, Evansville would get a rush on the short-hand after they went empty net, and Scott Kirton would slip it by Poreda to send it to overtime.

In overtime, the Mayhem would be unable to take advantage of their powerplay opportunity. After each team traded possessions back and forth, neither team would break through as Poreda stopped 35/37 in the game. The game would be decided in the shootout. Evansville would net 3 of their 4 attempts to grab the extra point.

These two teams will square off again tomorrow night as the Mayhem celebrate the Muscogee Nation with specialty jerseys. It is sure to be a fantastic time when the puck drops at 6:30 p.m., and it’ll be one of the final four times to catch the Macon Mayhem at home this regular season. For tickets or more information, visit maconmayhem.com or call us at 478-803-1592.

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