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Wilbur Scores Twice in See-Saw Matchup in Roanoke

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Wilbur Scores Twice in See-Saw Matchup in Roanoke


In a hectic, back-and-forth tilt in Roanoke, the Mayhem held off a late rally by the Rail Yard Dawgs and collected a 4-3 victory to close out the month of November.

Halfway through the opening period, Sam Wilbur sliced through a handful of Roanoke defenders and unleashed a wrist shot from between the circles. He sniped his shot over Jacob Caffrey’s glove and just under the crossbar to give the Mayhem an early advantage.

Though the Mayhem were unable to convert on a pair of early power plays, they did double their lead late in the second period. Jimmy Soper crashed the front of the net on an odd-man rush and tucked the puck past Caffrey at 18:50. Then, in the closing 2.7 seconds, Nick Minerva dropped the gloves and fought Roanoke’s Michael Economos, knocking him off-balance and taking him down to close out the first period.

The Rail Yard Dawgs controlled the tempo early in the second, outshooting the Mayhem heavily and getting on the board 7:12 into it. Defenseman Brian Rowland drove the puck wide on the left wing and carried it to the front of the net before shifting to his backhand and shoveling it past Ruby to cut the Mayhem lead in half.

Steve Mele had a shorthanded breakaway with a chance to tie the game and was hooked, which led to a penalty shot. However, his attempt was denied by Ruby’s glove. Macon then had several opportunities to regain a two-goal lead, going to back-to-back 5-on-3 power plays. They converted on the first one, as John Siemer fed Derek Sutliffe at the goal line before Sutliffe flung a cross-crease pass to Wilbur, who buried his second goal of the game 11:20 into the second. Near the end of the period, Cody Dion, who leads the SPHL in penalty minutes, was ejected from the game for butt-ending and his team was given a five-minute major penalty.

In the first minute of the closing stanza, with carryover time remaining on the major penalty, Dakota Klecha sent the puck down to Jake Trask, who quickly rerouted it to Stathis Soumelidis. The third-year Mayhem didn’t get much lumber on the attempt, but the off-speed shot fooled Caffrey enough for the puck to trickle through Caffrey and give the Mayhem a 4-1 edge.

Larry Smith was penalized for delay of game 10:44 into period three, giving Roanoke a critical power play. Economos ripped a shot from the top of the right circle which was redirected by Jesse Schwartz past Ruby to bring the Dawgs within a pair. They cut away at the deficit even further when Economos tallied a shorthanded goal with just under four minutes remaining in regulation.

At 16:52 into the closing stanza, Alex Adams was penalized for cross-checking, marking the tenth time the Mayhem went to the power play. It would be the first time in franchise history the Mayhem had ten power play attempts in a single game.

Despite Roanoke’s late push to level the score, the Mayhem held them off to earn their second straight win. Ruby stopped 37 of 40 shots in net for his seventh victory of the season, whereas Caffrey denied 17 of 21 in his first defeat as a Rail Yard Dawg. The Mayhem will close out the road series tomorrow night at the Berglund Center. Puck drops at 7:05 pm ET.


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