It could be a momentous night for the Peoria Rivermen and their fans, as they could lock up the SPHL regular season title and home-ice advantage in the upcoming Presidents’ Cup playoffs. Here is a look at last night’s action and a preview of tonight’s slate of games.
Macon Mayhem 4, Pensacola Ice Flyers 2
Last night, the Macon Mayhem and Pensacola Ice Flyers had a track meet of a hockey game at the Macon Centroplex. Normally, this is the kind of game which favors the Ice Flyers’ uptempo style. However, the Mayhem, on the strength of a defensive scheme which held Pensacola’s vaunted Banfield-Pawlick-Caveney line to a single assist and the lethal combination of SPHL scoring leader Shawn Skelly & linemate Jake Trask, came away with a solid 4-2 victory. Mayhem goaltender Garrett Bartus had another quality performance, turning away 33 of 35 Ice Flyers’ shots.
Columbus Cottonmouths (18-23-8) at Fayetteville FireAntz (25-20-3)
- Tonight is the seventh time the teams have played this season. Columbus leads the series, 4-2.
- Columbus forward Shawn Bates, recently returned from the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators, leads the series in scoring with seven points (4G/3A).
- Fayetteville’s Nick Lazorko and Josh McQuade both have two goals and five assists in the FireAntz’ last five games.
- The Snakes have the league’s best penalty kill on the road at 94.3%.
Huntsville Havoc (23-24-4) at Knoxville Ice Bears (26-19-5)
- Ninth game between the teams this season. Huntsville leads the series, six games to two, with two games decided in overtime.
- Tonight marks the 130th regular season game between Huntsville and Knoxville. The Ice Bears lead the all-time series, 76-39-14.
- This is the first meeting in two months between the teams. Knoxville goaltender Brian Billett has not faced the Havoc this season.
- Havoc forward Kyle McNeil is the leading scorer in this season’s series, scoring eight goals with two assists.
Louisiana IceGators (22-24-4) at Pensacola Ice Flyers (28-18-4)
- The IceGators are 0-7-1 this season against the Ice Flyers. Tonight’s game is the first of a home-and-home series this weekend.
- March 21, 2015, was the last time the IceGators defeated Pensacola. Louisiana took a 2-1 decision.
- In this series, Pensacola have outscored Louisiana 13-3 in the first period.
- The Ice Flyers are 13-5-2 after a loss.
Mississippi RiverKings (26-15-8) at Peoria Rivermen (34-12-3)
- Sixth of seven games in this season’s series. The RiverKings lead the season series, 4-1, with one game decided in a shootout.
- Peoria can clinch the top seed in the SPHL President’s Cup Playoffs with a win.
- Tonight is the first game between the teams since December 12th.
- During this series, Mississippi has outscored Peoria 5-1 in the third period.
- The Rivermen have not scored a power play goal against the RiverKings this season. Peoria are 0/20 with the man advantage.
- Knoxville at Columbus – 7:30 ET
- Fayetteville at Macon – 7:30 ET
- Pensacola at Louisiana – 7:05 CT
- Mississippi at Peoria – 7:05 CT