Josh Koepplinger became the first player in Mayhem history to score five points in a single game on Saturday night, as the Mayhem exploded in the third period to sweep the Marksmen with a 5-1 win.
Macon got the start it was after, scoring a power play goal 13:46 into the contest. Koepplinger sliced through the neutral zone and fed a pass to Derek Sutliffe in stride on the left wing. Sutliffe rifled a shot past Jake Moore for his second goal in as many games, and Koepplinger earned his first assist with the Mayhem.
Sutliffe was given a delay of game penalty three minutes later, and Fayetteville went to its second power play of the night with an opportunity to tie the score heading into the first intermission. Travis Jeke cycled the puck from the blue line to the left circle, where Max Cook ripped a shot at the net. Ian Sylves made a pair of point-blank saves, but David Mazurek ultimately tucked the puck through his five-hole to level the score.
No scoring took place in the middle stanza, as both goaltenders turned aside a multitude of shots to keep the game deadlocked in a 1-1 tie. Caleb Cameron fluttered a pass into the slot midway through the second period to set up a strong opportunity for Seth Ronsberg, who fired a hard wrist shot at the net. However, Moore made a spectacular glove save in his professional debut. Sylves had denied 23 of a possible 24 shots on goal through the first 40 minutes of play.
The Mayhem buried four goals within nine minutes in the third period, all of which were scored by Macon’s top line. On the first, John Siemer was given a diagonal pass on a 3-on-2 rush from Jake Trask, and Siemer tucked the puck through Moore’s five-hole. Only 4:15 later, Siemer returned the favor and set up Trask with a point-blank shot from in front of the Fayetteville cage, which Trask promptly lifted over Moore’s shoulder.
At 14:19 and 16:58 into the closing stanza, Koepplinger struck to put the game out of reach for the Marksmen. He intercepted a clearing attempt by Cory Melkert and snapped a shot by Moore from the slot, and later finished off a crisp three-way passing play in which Siemer and Trask were credited with assists. The Mayhem’s top line was solely responsible for the four-goal explosion in the third period, and the team extended its home winning streak over Fayetteville to ten games.
Ian Sylves played phenomenally in net, turning aside 31 of the Marksmen’s 32 shots on net. He earned his 10th win of the season and was named the second star of the game for his efforts. Moore denied 29 of 34 in his professional debut. The Mayhem will travel to Fayetteville and take on the Marksmen next Friday, March 8th at the Crown Coliseum. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST.
Photo: Bryan Meeks
Article Credit: Macon Mayhem