Riding the coattails of the best NHL All-Star Game in recent memory and the lack of any mid-season classic at this level of pro hockey, we’re going to pretend that the Southern Professional Hockey League will field a team that will take on the Federal Hockey League’s best for Single-A minor league hockey supremacy.
First, the ground rules.
- Although the SPHL uses sixteen skaters and two goaltenders to fill out a game roster, the All-Star roster will consist of eighteen skaters and three goalies.
- Each SPHL team must be represented by at least one player.
- Despite Peoria’s amazing regular season and their record 14-game winning streak, we can’t just list the Rivermen’s roster as the All-Star team (Sorry, Mr. Eminian!) However, we will list the snubbed Peoria player (Listed as the SPP) at each position.
- Skaters must have appeared in at least 15 SPHL games to be included.
- Goalies must have appeared in at least 10 SPHL games.
- Players on loan to ECHL teams may still be selected, given they have played in enough SPHL games.
- Sean Bonar – Fayetteville FireAntz (13 GP, 9-3-0, 1.89 GAA, .936 SV%)
- Brad Barone – Louisiana IceGators (12 GP, 6-5-1, 2.12 GAA, .938 SV%)
- Peter Di Salvo – Mississippi RiverKings (14 GP, 9-3-2, 2.12 GAA, .932 SV%)
SPP: Kyle Rank (23 GP, 15-4-2, 2.04 GAA, .930 SV%)
- Adam Pawlick (A) – Pensacola Ice Flyers (32 GP, 15G/16A, +7 +/-)
- Devin Mantha – Mississippi RiverKings (21 GP, 7G/12A, +9 +/-)
- John Lidgett – Huntsville Havoc (33 GP, 9G/19A, +5 +/-)
- Trever Hertz – Knoxville Ice Bears (34 GP, 8G/20A, +2 +/-)
SPP: Adam Stuart (31 GP, 15G/13A, +8 +/-)
- Corey Banfield – Pensacola Ice Flyers (32 GP, 23G/16A, +14 +/-)
- Chris Wilson – Peoria Rivermen (31GP, 10G/16A, +21 +/-)
- Louis Belisle – Columbus Cottonmouths (30 GP, 12G/15A)
- Todd Hosmer – Mississippi RiverKings (29GP, 13G/13A)
Note: Hosmer was recently traded to the RiverKings, but makes the All-Star team due to his play with the Knoxville Ice Bears.
SPP: Matt Summers (31 GP, 9G/13A, +10 +/-)
- Shawn Skelly – Macon Mayhem (32 GP, 16G/21A)
- Kyle Gibbons – Fayetteville FireAntz (31 GP, 20G/13A, +17 +/-)
- Jason Popek – Huntsville Havoc (16 GP, 10G/6A, +7 +/-)
- Dennis Sicard (C) – Knoxville Ice Bears (31GP, 6G/11A, 85 PIM)
In a tight race, Denny Sicard edged out David Segal as the SPHL All-Star fan selection and named captain of the SPHL All-Stars… Sicard, a popular, long-time enforcer, has played 353 games over nine seasons with eight different SPHL teams.
SPP: Walker Wintoneak (20GP, 7G/10A, +6 +/-)
- Brandon Greenside – Peoria Rivermen (33 GP, 3G/20A, +23 +/-)
- Christian Weidauer – Peoria Rivermen (25 GP, 0G/7A, +15 +/-)
- Stuart Stefan (A) – Huntsville Havoc (33 GP, 5G/17A, +2 +/-)
- Ben Oksroba – Peoria Rivermen (30 GP, 3G/8A, +15 +/-)
- Zach Carriveau – Fayetteville FireAntz (21 GP, 3G/13A, +8 +/-)
- Jeremy Gates – Pensacola Ice Flyers (21 GP, 4G/12A)
SPP: Mike Slowikowski (20GP, 1G/6A, +9 +/-)
Head Coach: Mike Craigen – Knoxville Ice Bears
Asst. Coach: Jerome Bechard – Columbus Cottonmouths
Asst. Coach: Jean-Guy Trudel – Peoria Rivermen
Equipment: Andrew Cohen – Peoria Rivermen
Trainer: Jen Lorenzo – Pensacola Ice Flyers
Boom-Boom and Jean-Guy behind the same bench.
All-Stars by Team
Fayetteville: Bonar, Carriveau, Gibbons
Huntsville: Lidgett, Popek, Stefan
Knoxville: Hertz, Sicard
Mississippi: Di Salvo, Hosmer, Mantha
Pensacola: Banfield, Gates, Pawlick
Peoria: Greenside, Oksroba, Weidauer, Wilson
The biggest difference in talent between the top players in the SPHL and their FHL counterparts lie in the defensive zone. The top-12 FHL forwards would compare closely with the SPHL All-Stars. However, the SPHL’s defensive play and superior goaltending talent would give the southern league a decisive edge.
Prediction: SPHL All-Stars 5, FHL All-Stars 3