In April 2016, the Macon Mayhem — formerly the Augusta River Hawks — finished their inaugural season, falling to the Peoria Rivermen in the quarterfinals of the Southern Professional Hockey League President’s Cup quarterfinal series.
The two teams met in the playoffs again in the 2017 season, this time with the championship on the line. Defeat was not in the cards for Macon this time, however, as it swept Peoria in the best-of-three series and won the title.
Defender Ryan Michel (Camillus, N.Y.) was a member of the Mayhem both seasons. A lot changed in two years, and Michel enjoyed the experience.
"I loved every minute of it," he said. "It was great. Even from day one, it was a family atmosphere. From the owners, Bob and Diane (Kerzner), all the staff in the front office, medical and equipment, it was one big happy family. It was very easy to come in there and feel welcome and be yourself. It was a lot of fun."