PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Southern Professional Hockey League and the Pensacola Ice Flyers announced their 2019-20 schedule on Tuesday. It features a level of balance that fans have been wanting for years with one glaring bit of balanced imbalance.
As expected, the Ice Flyers’ most frequent opponents will be their closest league rivals in the Birmingham Bulls and Macon Mayhem. The Ice Flyers will play ten games against each. The fewest number of times Pensacola will face any team is a tie between the Knoxville Ice Bears and former head coach Jeff Bes’ Evansville Thunderbolts with four each. The Ice Flyers will visit both squads for two games and host both for two games.
The Ice Flyers’ longest homestand of the season stands at five games on back-to-back weekends in February as Pensacola hosts the Quad City Storm for a three-in-three Feb. 7-9 then Macon comes to town Feb. 14-15. The longest road swing comes right on the heels of that five-game homestand as the Ice Flyers will visit the Huntsville Havoc on Feb. 21-22 before heading up to Illinois for a Thursday through Saturday series with the Peoria Rivermen.
Speaking of the Rivermen, in a scheduling anomaly, the Ice Flyers will face Peoria five times, all in Peoria. They’ll face the Storm five times, but all five of those games will be in Pensacola.
Pensacola will face the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs five times including kicking off the 2019-20 season inside the Pensacola Bay Center on Oct. 18 and 19. The Dawgs will revisit Pensacola on Jan. 25 for one game before the Ice Flyers finish up January and start February the next weekend in Roanoke.
The Ice Flyers will play the Havoc eight times, but unlike the home/away breakdown with Knoxville, Macon, and Birmingham, it won’t be an even split. Pensacola will host the Havoc just three times while the Ice Flyers will visit the Rocket City a total of five times.
The home schedule includes one Wednesday, one Thursday, nine Fridays, 14 Saturdays, and three Sundays. The lone Wednesday game is the Ice Flyers’ tradition night before Thanksgiving game while the only Thursday home game will be the day after Christmas.
At some point in the season, the Ice Flyers will play a game on every day of the week. The Ice Flyers will play a rare SPHL Monday game at Birmingham on Dec. 30 for a 1 p.m. CT contest. Pensacola will visit Huntsville on Tuesday, Mar. 17, for a St. Patrick’s Day game.
With the schedule now set, we’re one step closer to hockey season.