LAFAYETTE, LA — In one form or another, cancer will affect your life. It may be you, a family member, a friend, or a courageous nine-year-old boy celebrating his last Christmas early. I’ve been fortunate enough to see my godmother win her battle against breast cancer, learn about another friend of mine getting the better of lymphoma as a child, and cheer on another friend who continues to fight the good fight against breast cancer.

Cancer, however, is a killer. I still remember losing my grandmother 31 years ago when I was a senior in high school. There have been too many funerals I’ve attended, paying my last respects to relatives and loved ones taken too soon, all of them determined to live their lives to the fullest, battling while facing the inevitable.

November is the month of the year the hockey community comes together to battle a disease which, worldwide, kills over 24,000 people a day. Despite this harrowing statistic, there are many forms of cancer which, when diagnosed early enough, are treatable and survivable.

This month, we at The Sin Bin unite against this relentless foe who neither plays fair or cares how old or how young the person is. This year, I’m supporting my fellow writer Adam Twenter, who wrote a touching piece earlier this month about an 11-year-old girl who has since lost her battle with neuroblastoma. Twenter will be skating in his second charity hockey game on December 2nd benefitting the Have a Skate with Bob foundation. Have A Skate With Bob is a charitable organization dedicated to raising funding for pancreatic cancer research, youth hockey programs, and families dealing with pancreatic cancer through the love of ice hockey. Pancreatic cancer is one of the disease’s most difficult forms to diagnose and with only a five percent five-year survivability rate – one of the deadliest.

In support of my friend and cancer patients everywhere, I’ll donate a dollar for every goal scored this week in the SPHL – including the games played in Mississippi on Tuesday and last night’s game in Roanoke – to support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network through Twenter’s fundraising page. This month, please find the time to donate to a cancer charity of your choice as the hockey community fights this killer together.

Earlier this week

The Pensacola Ice Flyers’ seven-game winning streak to open the 2017-18 season came to an abrupt end in Southaven, Mississippi on Tuesday night. Devin Mantha popped in two goals and helped on a third, Daniel Tedesco had a three-apple evening, Don Olivieri scored his first goal in his first game since his return to the Mississippi RiverKings, and Tyler Green made 23 of 24 saves in a convincing 4-1 RiverKings (5-2-0) victory over the previously unbeaten Ice Flyers (7-1-0).

Last night in Roanoke, the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs had a couple of franchise firsts. The Dawgs, in a 6-5 overtime barnburner against the defending champion Macon Mayhem, won their first-ever game in franchise history where they out-shot their opponent. Steve Mele became the first Dawgs player to record five assists in a game, including Colin Murray‘s game-winner at 1:03 into the extra period. Macon’s Caleb Cameron popped in his first professional hat trick in a losing cause.

Tonight’s Games

Title Belt Game

Mississippi RiverKings at Birmingham Bulls – 7:35 CT

  • The RiverKings won the previous contest between the teams, a 3-1 win in Southaven on October 21st.
  • The Bulls have struggled to find the back of the net so far this season. No Birmingham player has more than two points in their first six games.
  • With Pensacola’s loss on Tuesday night, the RiverKings have the league’s longest win streak at three games.
  • Despite their offensive troubles, the Bulls own the league’s top penalty kill with an 88.4% success rate.
  • @SinBinSwami sez – Birmingham has struggled to score goals and I am not sure that changes tonight. I’ll give them two tonight  – Mississippi 5, Birmingham 2

Fayetteville Marksmen at Knoxville Ice Bears – 7:35 ET

  • On November 4th and 5th, the Ice Bears swept the Marksmen in Fayetteville in a two-game weekend set, 4-3 (OT) and 6-3.
  • Danny Cesarz (3G/1A) and Berkley Scott (4A) lead the Ice Bears in scoring against the Marksmen.
  • Fayetteville center Jake Hauswirth continues to lead the league in scoring with 15 points (4G/11A) and is tied for the league in assists (11).
  • The Marksmen have allowed a league-high 21 goals on the road in four games.
  • @SinBinSwami sez: Fayetteville has been on a streak, the wrong kind of streak; It changes tonight. Fayetteville 4, Knoxville 3 OT

Peoria Rivermen at Evansville Thunderbolts – 7:15 CT

  • Tonight is the third of 13 regular season games between the teams. Evansville and Peoria have split the previous two games.
  • Evansville forward Justin MacDonald is leading the league with seven goals scored.
  • Peoria’s Dave Pszenyczny leads all SPHL defensemen with 11 points (2G/9A) and assists (9).
  • The Rivermen are the league’s most-penalized team with 173 penalty minutes and 64 minors.
  • @SinBinSwami sez: Evansville is a different team this season. Peoria is still better. Peoria 6, Evansville 3

Saturday’s Games

  • Knoxville at Roanoke – 7:05 ET
  • Fayetteville at Macon – 7:35 ET
  • Evansville at Mississippi – 7:00 CT
  • Peoria at Birmingham – 7:05 CT
  • Huntsville at Pensacola – 7:05 CT

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