BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After playing only six games during the first four weeks of the season, including the last five against teams with sub .500 records, The Birmingham Bulls schedule goes into hyperdrive. Birmingham will play six games over the next ten days, including a pair of home and home series with the Huntsville Havoc and the SPHL leading Macon Mayhem.
Thursday night, the Bulls will be looking to extend their season-opening winning streak and pick up another win against the Quad City Storm. Last weekend in Moline, Illinois, Birmingham extended their winning streak in a pair of exciting games.
Birmingham trailed Quad City on Friday night 5-0 with a little less than a minute remaining in the second period. A goal from defenseman Garrett Schmitz with just 49 seconds remaining in the period sparked a furious Bulls rally. Four times in the third period, Birmingham would find the back of the net against Storm netminder Eric Levine, to even the game 5-5. Justin Larson capped the comeback scoring 1:46 into overtime giving the Bulls an improbable 6-5 win. On Saturday night Birmingham defeated the Storm 2-1, never trailing in the game. Mavric Parks was impressive again in net, stopping 28 of 29 shots.
For the Bulls, the Friday night/Saturday night games will be a tougher task. Once they are done with Quad City on Thursday night, Birmingham will have a home and home series with in-state rival and reigning Presidents Cup Champion, the Huntsville Havoc.
On Friday night Birmingham will make the short trip up I-65 to a place that was a house of horrors last season. The Von Braun Center has been unkind to the Bulls so far; Birmingham is 0-3-2 on PharmacyFirst Ice. In defense of the Bulls, however, the home team wasn’t exactly a slouch. The one thing Birmingham will have going into that game will be something they’ve never had before, a winning record against the Huntsville Havoc.
Saturday night the same two teams will return to the Pelham Civic Complex to close out the weekend for Birmingham. The Bulls will be donning their second special jersey of the season. It is Military Appreciation Night in Pelham. The jerseys are military themed and will be auctioned off following the game. Along with the special jersey, all Veterans will get into the game on Saturday free.
Bulls Players to Watch
Mavric Parks – Parks has been nothing short of amazing this season. Currently, Parks is second in the league in Wins, Goals Against Average and Save Percentage. His 132 saves this season are fourth in the SPHL through four weeks.
Justin Larson – The reigning SPHL Warrior Player of the Week seemed to have found his stride in Moline, Illinois over the weekend. Larson had three goals and six assists in the last two games. Larson is now second in the SPHL in scoring on the season.
Josh Harris – Harris, the Bulls leading scorer last season, has yet to fully find his stride this season. Going into the games this weekend, Harris has accumulated more penalties (6) than goals (1). If Birmingham is going to extend their winning streak this weekend, more will be expected from the 2017-18 team MVP.