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.

  1. 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.
  2. Each SPHL team must be represented by at least one player.
  3. 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.
  4. Skaters must have appeared in at least 15 SPHL games to be included.
  5. Goalies must have appeared in at least 10 SPHL games.
  6. Players on loan to ECHL teams may still be selected, given they have played in enough SPHL games.

Goalies

  1. Sean Bonar – Fayetteville FireAntz (13 GP, 9-3-0, 1.89 GAA, .936 SV%)
  2. Brad Barone – Louisiana IceGators (12 GP, 6-5-1, 2.12 GAA, .938 SV%)
  3. 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%)

Centers

  1. Adam Pawlick (A) – Pensacola Ice Flyers (32 GP, 15G/16A, +7 +/-)
  2. Devin Mantha – Mississippi RiverKings (21 GP, 7G/12A, +9 +/-)
  3. John Lidgett – Huntsville Havoc (33 GP, 9G/19A, +5 +/-)
  4. Trever Hertz – Knoxville Ice Bears (34 GP, 8G/20A, +2 +/-)

SPP: Adam Stuart (31 GP, 15G/13A, +8 +/-)

Left Wingers

  1. Corey Banfield – Pensacola Ice Flyers (32 GP, 23G/16A, +14 +/-)
  2. Chris Wilson – Peoria Rivermen (31GP, 10G/16A, +21 +/-)
  3. Louis Belisle – Columbus Cottonmouths (30 GP, 12G/15A)
  4. 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 +/-)

Right Wingers

  1. Shawn Skelly – Macon Mayhem (32 GP, 16G/21A)
  2. Kyle Gibbons – Fayetteville FireAntz (31 GP, 20G/13A, +17 +/-)
  3. Jason Popek – Huntsville Havoc (16 GP, 10G/6A, +7 +/-)
  4. 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 +/-)

Defensemen

  1. Brandon Greenside – Peoria Rivermen (33 GP, 3G/20A, +23 +/-)
  2. Christian Weidauer – Peoria Rivermen (25 GP, 0G/7A, +15 +/-)
  3. Stuart Stefan (A) – Huntsville Havoc (33 GP, 5G/17A, +2 +/-)
  4. Ben Oksroba – Peoria Rivermen (30 GP, 3G/8A, +15 +/-)
  5. Zach Carriveau – Fayetteville FireAntz (21 GP, 3G/13A, +8 +/-)
  6. Jeremy Gates – Pensacola Ice Flyers (21 GP, 4G/12A)

SPP: Mike Slowikowski (20GP, 1G/6A, +9 +/-)

Coaches/Staff

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

Columbus: Belisle
Fayetteville: Bonar, Carriveau, Gibbons
Huntsville: Lidgett, Popek, Stefan
Knoxville: Hertz, Sicard
Louisiana: Barone
Macon: Skelly
Mississippi: Di Salvo, Hosmer, Mantha
Pensacola: Banfield, Gates, Pawlick
Peoria: Greenside, Oksroba, Weidauer, Wilson

Outlook

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

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