SPHL Trade Deadline Passes With a Pair of Deals

Yesterday, the SPHL’s trade deadline passed with minor fanfare. Only a pair of trades were completed on Monday. First, Pensacola shipped center Mark Rivera to Macon to complete a trade which we assume was the Ice Flyers’ acquisition of goaltender John McLean’s rights. Rivera played in eleven games for the Flyers, scoring eight points (4G/4A). McLean, now out for the season with an injury, played in 18 games for Pensacola with a 9-6-2 record, a 2.43 GAA, and a .915 SV%.

The Mayhem were also involved in the other trade deadline swap, as they gained the rights for Louisiana IceGators defenseman Nicholas Kuqali – currently on a call-up with the ECHL Adirondack Thunder – for the rights to veteran forward Ryan Salvis. This season, Salvis has been playing senior AAA league hockey with the Corner Brook (Newfoundland) Royals of the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League.

The March to the Postseason Tightens Up

The playoff race tightened up significantly this week with the Louisiana IceGators, Columbus Cottonmouths, and Macon Mayhem going a combined 5-1-1 last week. With seven weeks remaining in the regular season, there are only seven points separating third and ninth place in the overall standings.

Current Playoff Matchups (sorted by percentages)

  • #1 Peoria Rivermen vs. #8 Columbus Cottonmouths
  • #2 Mississippi RiverKings vs. #7 Louisiana IceGators
  • #3 Fayetteville FireAntz vs. #6 Huntsville Havoc
  • #4 Pensacola Ice Flyers vs. #5 Knoxville Ice Bears

Macon’s Skelly is the New Scoring Leader

The Macon Mayhem caught a break last week with the slumping Pensacola Ice Flyers coming to town. The Flyers, playing with journeyman emergency backup Brent Troyan and longtime Cottomouths netminder Andrew Loewen due to John McLean’s season-ending injury, were lit up by the Mayhem in a weekend series at the Macon Centroplex. Mayhem winger Shawn Skelly made the most of the opportunity, scoring three goals with an assist against the Ice Flyers along with an additional helper on Sunday against the FireAntz. After last weekend, Skelly became the SPHL’s leading scorer with 39 points (17G/22A) on the season.

This Week’s Three Stars

★ – Shawn Skelly, Macon Mayhem – Skelly scored three goals on nine shots, including a game winner on Saturday against the Ice Flyers. With 39 points in 34 games, Skelly has surpassed Pensacola’s Corey Banfield as the SPHL’s scoring leader.

★ – Linden Bahm, Mississippi RiverKings – Bahm made the most of a short week with a hat trick with a helper (including a very controversial goal and an absolutely filthy shootout winner) against the Louisiana IceGators on Sunday. Bahm now has four goals and three assists in his last four games.

★★★ – Adam Courchaine, Louisiana IceGators – Courchaine emerged from a recent slump in a big way, getting the week’s lone shutout, and allowing only one goal on 57 shots against the Huntsville Havoc. Courchaine would allow four goals (including one which shouldn’t have been allowed) in a shootout loss against the RiverKings on Sunday.

Team Sin Bin’s Power Poll

  1. Peoria Rivermen (28-8-3, LW: 1) – The Rivs were inactive this week, thanks to this season’s quirky schedule.
  2. Mississippi RiverKings (22-11-6, LW: 2) – The RiverKings close the gap on Peoria to nine points with a come-from-behind win against the Gators
  3. Knoxville Ice Bears (20-18-3, LW: 4) – The Ice Bears win their only game this week despite a sub-par outing from Brian Billett.
  4. Pensacola Ice Flyers (20-15-3, LW: 3) – Pensacola cannot get Matt Zenzola back from his ECHL Evansville call-up soon enough.
  5. Fayetteville FireAntz (20-14-3, LW: 5) – After dropping their fourth in a row against the Cottonmouths, the Antz pick up a win against the Mayhem in Garrett Bartus’ return.
  6. Louisiana IceGators (18-18-3, LW: 7) – The Gators return to the Cajundome after a six-week absence, and completely shut down the Havoc in a five-point weekend.
  7. Huntsville Havoc (20-19-2, LW: 6) – The sticks went silent on the road in Louisiana this weekend. Good thing their next six are at home.
  8. Columbus Cottonmouths (15-20-6, LW: 8) – The Snakes, and goalie Brandon Jaeger, pick up their fourth straight win in a short work week.
  9. Macon Mayhem (16-22-4, LW: 9) – A pair of wins against the Ice Flyers, but anyone would have beaten Pensacola last week.

This Week’s Games

Tuesday, Feb. 23

Mississippi at Huntsville

Friday, Feb. 26

Macon at Mississippi
Louisiana at Pensacola
Knoxville at Peoria
Fayetteville at Huntsville

Saturday, Feb. 27

Columbus at Louisiana
Macon at Mississippi
Knoxville at Peoria
Fayetteville at Huntsville

Sunday, Feb. 28

Macon at Louisiana
Fayetteville at Pensacola

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