By Shawn Bednard | Macon Mayhem
Wake up and smell the Coffey! Coming into the season series-finale against Pensacola, the Macon Mayhem found themselves in a position to secure the William B. Coffey Trophy as Regular Season Champions. Facing off one last time against the Ice Flyers, who the Mayhem stand 9-0-2 against, the Mayhem came in with six-straight wins overall and five-straight over Pensacola.
In the first period, it was evident that this game was not going to be similar to the recently-previous contests between these two foes. Not even four minutes into the frame, Alec Hagaman would net his ninth of the season to give Pensacola an early 1-0 lead. Seven penalties would be assessed in the ensuing minutes, with a number of minors/majors/game misconducts on either sides. As exactly seven minutes remained, Nate Kallen would strike for his fourth of the year, located in the low slot. With Macon on a Power Play, the recently-miserable Power Play unit for the Mayhem would come up with a goal thanks to Jimmy Soper on his sixth goal of the year. The Mayhem would strike hard and quick to take a 2-1 lead into the intermission, trailing in shots 11-8.
The second period would prove to be one marred by penalties galore, as the real-time of the period would draw mere minutes away from an hour. The most infamous portion of the period would come when starting goaltender Jake Theut would be crushed behind the net by Frederic Letorneau. Theut would head back to the locker room, being alright outside of a headache. The Mayhem and Ice Flyers would exchange a continuous number of majors and game-misconducts, and the period would finally draw to a close with the score remaining the same, 2-1 Macon. Pensacola would once again lead in shots, 11-10.
Stathis Soumelidis' goal just :14 into the frame would set the tone for the third period's action, as a flurry of goals (and penalties!) would be exchanged between the two competitiors. Ryan Smith and Dean Balsamo would score their ninth's of the season through the course of the period, and the Ice Flyers would see goals from Jordan Ernst and Darren McCormick to draw the game close, but it would ultimately be the Mayhem who would come away and close out with a 5-3 win.
With the victory, the Macon Mayhem have clinched the Regular Season Championship with the William B. Coffey Trophy, thanks to a tiebreaker over Knoxville. This is the second-time in Mayhem team history they've earned the Regular Season Championship, coming for the first time since the 2016-17 season - also under Coach Kevin Kerr. Macon finishes their season-series against Pensacola 10-0-2, and very well may see them in the first round of the playoffs. With the championship, the Mayhem secure the #1 seed in the SPHL Post-Season, only weeks away. The Mayhem welcome Huntsville into the Coliseum tomorrow night to close out the weekend, looking to collect their eighth-straight win.