Last week, the Mississippi RiverKings managed to get some separation from the pack with a three-game winning streak. The Kings now have a five point cushion on the second playoff seed, and may become the second team to formally clinch their spot in the postseason with a point when they host the Fayetteville FireAntz tonight, or if the Macon Mayhem – in action tonight against the visiting Knoxville Ice Bears – lose.
Tonight marks the first of four straight nights of SPHL hockey, with 11 games to be decided between tonight and Sunday. In addition to the RiverKings, the Pensacola Ice Flyers and Knoxville Ice Bears have reasonable chances of securing their playoff berths by the time the weekend has ended. Also, the Peoria Rivermen can secure their second straight William B. Coffey Trophy for the league’s best regular season record as soon as Saturday night. Should the Rivermen sweep the Ice Flyers this weekend, the Rivs will also secure SPHL records for most road wins and fewest road regulation losses in a season.
Knoxville Ice Bears (24-19-5) at Macon Mayhem (19-24-5)
- Eighth and final meeting between the teams. Knoxville has dominated the season series with a 6-1-0 record, with one game decided in overtime.
- A victory by the Ice Bears will put them one point in front of the Pensacola Ice Flyers for third place in the league standings. Pensacola will have three games in hand on Knoxville, however.
- If Macon wins, they will pull to within a point of seventh-place Louisiana. The Mayhem will play the IceGators on Saturday night.
- Knoxville goaltender Brian Billett has been exceptional against the Mayhem. Billett is 3-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a .965 SV% when playing Macon.
Fayetteville FireAntz (23-19-3) at Mississippi RiverKings (26-14-7)
- First of four meetings between the teams this season. Mississippi won all five games against Fayetteville last season.
- The FireAntz last victory against the RiverKings was a 2-0 victory on February 8th, 2014 in Fayetteville. Kyle McNeil – now with the Huntsville Havoc – scored both goals in the game, and Peter Skoggard had a 30-save shutout.
- A win by the FireAntz will give them a three-point cushion with two games in hand over the Huntsville Havoc for fifth place in the standings.
- If the RiverKings get at least one point from tonight’s game, or a Macon Mayhem loss, Mississippi will become the second team to secure a playoff berth.
- Louisiana at Macon – 7:30 ET
- Fayetteville at Mississippi – 7:05 CT
- Peoria at Pensacola – 7:05 CT
- Columbus at Huntsville – 7:30 CT