LAFAYETTE, La. — We’re halfway through the 2019 SPHL All-Star fan voting. We’ve yet again had a fantastic response from fans and teams across the league. Thanks to all y’all for making this such a fun and special event for us!
On Monday night, we’ll reveal the fan vote winners and the rest of the Team North and Team South All-Star squads on a special episode of our Inside the SPHL Podcast with Commissioner Doug Price.
SPHL PowerFive Staff Rankings – Week 16
The Peoria Rivermen completed their six-game, nine-night road trip last week – a stretch of the season long anticipated by the writers as a true benchmark of Peoria’s season. The Rivermen passed with flying colors, gaining 11 of a possible 12 over the stretch. In this week’s PowerFive rankings, the Rivermen are now a unanimous choice atop our writers’ poll.
Ronald Hagood Jr.
Birmingham Bulls at Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs – 7:05 ET
- Two weeks ago, the Bulls and Dawgs played a pair which couldn’t be settled in 60 minutes. The Bulls pulled out both games, one in overtime and one by shootout. The Bulls hold a 2-1-0 lead in the season series.
- The Dawgs have been held without a power play goal in their last five games. Roanoke’s power play is ninth in the league at 14.7%.
- Justin Larson has been showing up on the scoresheet a lot recently. Larson has three goals and four assists in his last five games, leading all Bulls players with seven points.
- The Bulls and Dawgs are the two teams with the most shorthanded goals scored in the league. Roanoke leads the league with seven shorties, with Birmingham trailing with four.
- Sin Bin Swami sez: The Dawgs have played tough against the Bulls all season long. If Roanoke can get their power play going, another upset is possible. Birmingham 4, Roanoke 3.
Fayetteville Marksmen at Knoxville Ice Bears – 7:30 ET
- Tonight is the seventh match between the Original Three rivals. The teams have split the previous six games, with the Ice Bears holding a slight 3-1-2 advantage.
- Stanislav Dzakhov has six points in his four games since returning from ECHL Utah. Dzakhov leads the Ice Bears with 11 points (5G/6A) against the Marksmen.
- David Mazurek (8G/7A in 13 games) is back with Fayetteville after a lengthy stint with ECHL Atlanta, but the Marksmen lose leading scorer Brian Bowen (13G/16A) to the Norfolk Admirals.
- Both Fayetteville’s Jake Hauswirth and Knoxville’s Marcus Ortiz are riding three-game goal-scoring streaks. Last week, Ortiz had a four-goal outburst against the Marksmen in Saturday’s 8-2 blowout win.
- Sin Bin Swami sez: The Ice Bears usually play well at home, but the Marksmen are 2-0-1 in Knoxville this season. Law of averages, y’all. Knoxville 4, Fayetteville 2.
Pensacola Ice Flyers at Macon Mayhem – 7:30 ET
- The Mayhem and Ice Flyers meet for the seventh time this season and the sixth at the Mausoleum. The Mayhem are 4-0-2 against the Ice Flyers this season and have taken three straight contests.
- Both teams are winless in four straight games. The Ice Flyers have two shootout losses, while all four Mayhem defeats are in regulation.
- Pensacola has played more overtime games than any other team in the league with nine. The Ice Flyers are 2-2 in overtime games and 3-2 in shootouts.
- Third-period goal differentials: Macon is a +12, while Pensacola is a league-low -21.
- Sin Bin Swami sez: The Mayhem getting Dakota Klecha back from IR should give the home team a good boost. Macon 5, Pensacola 3.
Huntsville Havoc at Evansville Thunderbolts – 7:15 CT
- The Havoc make their fourth trip to the Ford Center for tonight’s game. Huntsville has won all of the previous four games against Evansville.
- The Thunderbolts have shown some improvement lately, going 2-3-0 over the past two weekends. Still, Evansville’s last regulation win was back on December 29 vs Quad City.
- Christian Powers has been lighting the lamp lately for the Havoc. Powers leads Huntsville with four goals in his last five games.
- In the five home games the Thunderbolts have led in after the first period, they are 3-1-1 but 1-12-0 in the remainder of the contests.
- Sin Bin Swami sez: The Bolts appear to be finally on the upswing, but they draw a tough opponent in a hot Havoc squad. Huntsville 4, Evansville 1.
Quad City Storm at Peoria Rivermen – 7:15 CT
- The Cold War on 74 enters round 12 of 16 tonight. The Rivermen are 9-1-1 overall against the Storm and winners of two straight.
- Ben Blasko has seen the most success against the Storm in this series. The Rivermen center has six goals and seven assists over 11 games.
- After a four-win November, Quad City has only four wins, going 4-15-5, since.
- When allowing the first goal of the game, the Rivermen are still 11-3-2.
- Sin Bin Swami sez: Peoria has won the first game of every homestand this season, and they’re riding high after this latest road trip. Peoria 3, Quad City 1.
- Birmingham at Roanoke – 7:05 ET
- Fayetteville at Knoxville – 7:30 ET
- Evansville at Huntsville – 7:00 CT
- Macon at Pensacola – 7:05 CT
- Peoria at Quad City – 7:10 CT