LAFAYETTE, La. — Merry Christmas from all of us at The Sin Bin! May y’all have a wonderful and joyous holiday season with your families. It’s going to be a short Christmas break for some SPHL teams, with three post-holiday games. Fayetteville and Knoxville are hosting games the day after Christmas, along with Pensacola hosting Huntsville on the 27th.
The Huntsville Havoc made a smart scheduling change for next weekend. Huntsville, hosting the Peoria Rivermen on Friday and Saturday, made the decision to move up their Saturday game to 1:00 pm CT. Later on Saturday, the Alabama Crimson Tide play their national semifinal game against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl. Good on the Havoc to not play a game directly opposite the Alabama football game.
Tonight’s Game Capsules
Title Belt Game: Peoria Rivermen at Quad City Storm – 7:10 CT
- Tonight is the seventh of 16 skirmishes in the Cold War on 74. The Rivermen hold a five-game winning streak against the Storm, including wins by 2-1 and 3-2 last weekend in Peoria.
- The Storm’s top-rated special teams have been effective against Peoria this series, with Quad City converting 23.1 percent of the time against their rivals from down the highway.
- Number of players with five or more points in this season series: Peoria 5, Quad City 0.
- Joe McKeown is a bright spot for the Storm on their power play. Over the last five games, three of McKeown’s four points (1G/2A) has come on the man advantage.
- Sin Bin Swami sez: The Storm have played the Rivermen tough lately; the last three games between the teams have been decided by a single goal. It’ll be another low-scorer again. Peoria 3, Quad City 1.
Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs at Fayetteville Marksmen – 7:00 ET
- Tonight is the first of three straight games between the Dawgs and Marksmen over the next week. The Marksmen hold a 3-1-1 advantage so far in the season series.
- Fayetteville hits the mark late against Roanoke – the Marksmen have outscored the Dawgs in the third period by an 8-1 margin during the series.
- Mac Jansen has been a great spark to Roanoke’s forward lines. Jansen has four goals over his last five games.
- Likewise, for the Marksmen, the trade bringing Brian Bowen over from Pensacola has reaped dividends. Bowen has four goals and four assists over his six games with Fayetteville and is currently riding a three-game goal streak.
- Sin Bin Swami sez: Two promising teams, currently on two different trajectories. Roanoke plays winning hockey on the road, and they’re looking like a team getting their act together. Roanoke 4, Fayetteville 3.
Pensacola Ice Flyers at Macon Mayhem – 7:30 ET
- Last Saturday, the Mayhem unleashed on the slumping Ice Flyers, winning their 8th home game of the year in a 5-1 decision. Macon holds a 2-0-2 lead over Pensacola in the season series.
- Over the Ice Flyers’ last five games, only four players have scored goals, paced by Josh Cousineau‘s hat trick two weeks ago.
- One bright spot for Pensacola has been their penalty killing unit. Against Macon, the Flyers’ penalty kill has held Macon to only one power play goal in 17 tries.
- John Siemer and Jake Trask have been in the groove lately, the two have combined for 15 points (5G/10A) over their last five games. Trask has scored in seven straight matches.
- Sin Bin Swami sez: The return of Garrett Milan (14G/51A last season) to Pensacola will hopefully be a spark for a team desperately needing one. Not yet, however. Macon 4, Pensacola 2.
Huntsville Havoc at Evansville Thunderbolts – 7:15 CT
- The Havoc make their third trip to the Ford Center tonight, where they hope to make in three in a row in the season series. Huntsville won the previous two games in the season series – all played in Indiana.
- Huntsville has done a lot of damage on the power play against Evansville, converting on four of eight chances. Rob Darrar has two of the four power play goals against the Thunderbolts’ penalty kill.
- Max Milosek has been a wall in net for the Havoc lately. Over his last five games, Milosek has only allowed seven goals and has a perfect 5-0-0 record.
- There hasn’t been many bright spots in Evansville’s season, but Mark Petaccio has given Bolts fans something to cheer for. Petaccio has a four-game goal-scoring streak, lighting the lamp five times in the process.
- Sin Bin Swami sez: The Bolts have three back from the ECHL this week, perhaps they’ll get Evansville back in the win column. Then again… Huntsville 4, Evansville 3.
Knoxville Ice Bears at Birmingham Bulls – 7:30 CT
- Tonight is the first meeting between the Ice Bears and Bulls this season. Last year, the teams split the six games, with Knoxville holding a 3-1-2 advantage.
- The Ice Bears hold a 3-3-1 record after a win, while the Bulls are 2-0-0 after a loss.
- Jacob Barber has scored goals in his last four games, tied with Evansville’s Petaccio for the longest active streak in the league. Barber has nine points (6G/3A) in his last five games.
- Getting off to a quick start has been key to the Bulls’ success this season. Birmingham has outscored opponents 19-9 in the opening frame, and are unbeaten (10-0-0) when leading after the first period.
- Sin Bin Swami sez: I’ve learned my lesson about picking upsets on Friday nights. Birmingham 5, Knoxville 2.
- Fayetteville at Roanoke – 7:05 ET
- Birmingham at Knoxville – 7:30 ET
- Pensacola at Macon – 7:30 ET
- Evansville at Huntsville – 7:00 CT
- Peoria at Quad City – 7:10 CT
Follow Team Sin Bin SPHL on Twitter
Dana Barker – @SinBinBarker
Mike Campos – @SinBinSPHL
Ronnie Hagood, Jr. – @SinBinBulls
Matthew Harding – @SinBinThunder
Brad Harrison – @SinBinMayhem
Anna Headley – @SinBinStorm
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Bryan Meeks – Instagram: maconhockeyfan
Marc Robinson – @SinBinRivermen