LAFAYETTE, LA. — A full slate of hockey tonight in the Southern Professional Hockey resulted in some exciting finishes, including three overtime games.

The Five-Goal Lead is the Worst Lead in Hockey

After 39 minutes of play in Moline, Ill., the Quad City Storm seemed glad to be playing someone besides the Peoria Rivermen. The Storm blew into a full-on gale early on against the visiting Birmingham Bulls, opening up a five-goal lead with four scores during the middle frame before the Bulls began their run. In the third period, the Bulls scored three goals in just under two minutes to close the game to a single goal before Garrett Schmitz sent the game to overtime. Justin Larson finished off the Storm with his hat trick goal in the bonus hockey round. The moral of the story… Never sit on a lead.

Evansville had a Serious Case of the Bus Legs

One team who didn’t sit on a lead tonight was the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs. After Evansville’s John Schiavo – with three goals and two assists after being traded from Pensacola earlier this week – singlehandedly tied the game early in the second period with two goals in under two minutes, the Dawgs chomped down on the Bolts and didn’t let go. Roanoke was dominant the entire game, while the Thunderbolts seemed out of sorts after yesterday’s win at home against Fayetteville.

Bazevics in Hot Water

During the third period of the Macon Mayhem’s win in Knoxville against the Ice Bears, Macon’s Kristaps Bazevics laid down the fury on Knoxville’s Scott Cuthrell on a neutral-zone hit. It was the kind of hit NHL legend Scott Stevens would be proud of. Unfortunately in today’s game, when you run a guy high, you’re going to get in trouble. Bazevics’ hit on Cuthrell caught him in the jaw and resulted in a match penalty – an automatic one-game suspension. Unlike Craig Simchuk‘s hit last week, don’t expect this call to get overturned. Not a smart play by Bazevics, considering the Mayhem were hanging on to a one-goal lead with 1:38 remaining in regulation. Fortunately for Macon, the penalty kill held, and they closed out the game.

Nobody Circles the Wagons like the Peoria Rivermen

With time running down in the second period at Carver Arena, the Fayetteville Marksmen were rolling with a 3-0 lead over the Rivermen. No worries if you’re Rivermen coach Jean-Guy Trudel. Two goals in 34 seconds before the second period ended put the Rivermen within one goal by the second break, and Joe Kalisz tied it up at the 1:10 mark of the third period on the power play. Sure, the Marksmen were game and managed to force overtime, but we all knew how this would end. Kevin Patterson‘s overtime blast made sure of it.

Tonight’s SPHL Three Stars

★ – Justin Larson (Birmingham) – Hat Trick, OT winner, 2 Assists, +4
★★ – Maxime Guyon (Roanoke) – Goal, 3 Assists, +3
★★★ – Kevin Patterson (Peoria) – 2 Goals, OT Winner

On Deck Tomorrow

Evansville at Roanoke – 7:05 ET
Knoxville at Macon – 7:30 ET
Huntsville at Pensacola – 7:05 CT
Birmingham at Quad City – 7:10 CT
Fayetteville at Peoria – 7:15 CT

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