Conor O’Brien earned his second shutout win of the season for the rebranded Carolina Reapers, as they calmed the Macon Mayhem 3-0. The win keeps the Marksmen on top of the SPHL standings by two points over the Pensacola Ice Flyers. However the Marksmen are not resting on their lead as they have signed Preston Kugler to add size and experience to their defensive corps.
Facing just 18 shots over 60 minutes, Conor O’Brien backstopped the Reapers to their 3-0 over the Macon Mayhem. O’Brien has found himself near the top in every category among SPHL goalies. He currently has 6 full games with Fayetteville ranking him 9th in the league. With just 14 goals allowed in those 6 games, he is tied with Marksman goalie Ryan Kenny for the fewest goals allowed. O’Brien is 6th in the league with a GAA of 2.34 and 7th with a .917 S%. Rounding out his stat line with the stat that means the most, Conor O’Brien is tied for 2nd for the most SPHL win on the year with 5.
Offensively, the Reapers jumped ahead and did not look back. Not even 10 minutes into the 2nd period Simon Boyko (6G 6A +3) tipped one in off a Cam ‘Sure Can” Cook (3G 9A +5) shot. Two blinks of an eye later, Tyler Kobryn (8G 4A +3) slipped one by Mayhem goalie Josh Boyko to give the Reapers a slippery 2-goal lead over the Mayhem. Dalton Hunter set up the play as he passed the biscuit by Kyle Soper who let go of the slapper that Kobyn got a piece of. Closing out the scoring for the Reapers, Billy Jerry extended the home team’s lead to 3-0 with a shorthanded goal, and that was all she wrote from Fayetteville.
With the signing of Preston Kugler, the Marksmen defense is adding size, Kugler clocks in at 6’2” and 194 lbs. frame, and experience. With the 2021 Columbus River Dragons he won an FPHL championship. Since the 2018-19 season, when he made his pro debut with the Danville Dashers, Kugler has 16 assists and 412 PIM in 152 games.
If you have not made it to Fayetteville to take in a Marksmen game, what are you waiting for? It is an absolute blast! Single-game tickets are on sale for Hockey in Fayetteville Night, Saturday, December 2 at 6p.m. at the Crown Coliseum, and all 2023-24 Marksmen home games.