LAFAYETTE, LA – Week eight of the SPHL season is in the books.

The Columbus Cottonmouths continue to work their way up the standings as they work out their defensive issues. Leo Thomas returns from his nine game suspension as his Mississippi RiverKings get a big road test in Peoria. Louisiana gets their first power-play goal in three weeks – with another asterisk.

Today, we bring you the recaps from the past weekend, hand out stars, and shake up our rankings a bit.

League Standings

Mississippi 18 13 4 1 27 55 43 274 8-1-1 5-3-0
Fayetteville 16 11 3 2 24 56 38 296 6-0-1 5-3-1
Huntsville 17 11 6 0 22 54 39 495 7-1-0 4-5-0
Peoria 17 10 5 2 22 47 41 310 6-2-2 4-3-0
Pensacola 16 9 6 1 19 51 48 332 5-2-0 4-4-1
Columbus 17 6 7 4 16 44 58 231 4-3-2 2-4-2
Knoxville 20 7 11 2 16 55 71 323 3-3-1 4-8-1
Louisiana 16 6 8 2 14 40 46 276 2-5-2 4-3-0
Macon 17 4 10 3 11 39 57 199 2-6-2 2-4-1

For complete AHL, ECHL and SPHL standings, visit

Friday Night’s Results

Title Belt Game: Peoria 5, Mississippi 2

The fourth try, and a little home cooking, are what the Peoria Rivermen needed to finally beat the Mississippi RiverKings this season. The Rivermen scored three consecutive first period goals by Garrett Vermeersch, Adam Stuart, and Dan Bremner, then proceeded to cruise to a decisive win over the league leading RiverKings. Kyle Rank made 31 saves in a solid performance in net for Peoria.

Pensacola 5, Louisiana 2

The Pensacola Ice Flyers have scored five goals in both previous match-ups with the Louisiana IceGators, and this game would be no exception. The IceGators gave the Ice Flyers 11 power play opportunities, which the Flyers cashed in on three of them. John Clewlow scored two second-period goals and Stephen Buco had a pair of assists in the first game against his former team. The IceGators scored their third power play goal of the season with 2:18 remaining after coach Drew Omicioli elected to pull Alex Vazzano from the net for a 6-on-4 advantage. Louisiana has yet to score a 5-on-4 power play goal this season.

Huntsville 3, Knoxville 2

The Ice Bears jumped out to an early 2-0 lead early in the second period before the Havoc took control of the game. Huntsville scored three unanswered goals, including Nolan Kaiser’s game winner with 12:16 remaining in regulation as the Havoc defeated the Ice Bears for the fourth time in five games. The Bears’ Todd Hosmer’s second period goal extended his point scoring streak to seven games.

Fayetteville 5, Macon 2

The Fayetteville FireAntz got two goals from both Nick Lazorko and Kyle Gibbons as the Antz avenged their overtime loss from Thurday night in a 5-2 victory at the Macon Centroplex. Parker Van Buskirk picked up his seventh win of the season with a 31-save effort.

Saturday Night’s Results

Title Belt Game: Mississippi 2, Peoria 1 (SO)

The RiverKings avenged their 5-2 loss from Friday night as goaltender Dalton McGrath out-dueled Peoria’s Kyle Rank in a 2-1 shootout win at Carver Arena. McGrath stopped all four Peoria shooters, but Rank allowed goals from Linden Bahm and Ian Young in the shootout’s final two rounds to give Mississippi the victory. Mississippi gets to defend their title belt against the Louisiana IceGators on Saturday night.

Columbus 2, Fayetteville 1

Columbus’ Shannon Szabados stopped 35 of 36 shots in a sensational effort, and Patrick McCadden scored the game winner with 4:45 remaining in the game as the Snakes beat the FireAntz for the first time this season.

Knoxville 3, Macon 2

Bryan Hince made 33 saves on 35 shots against the Macon Mayhem, Todd Hosmer got two assists to extend his scoring streak to an eighth game, and Corey Fulton scored the game winner early in the third period as the defending champs held on to defeat the Mayhem. Connor Toomey had a goal and an assist in his final game with the Mayhem before getting traded to the Peoria Rivermen.

TSB’s Three Stars

★: Kyle Gibbons, RW, Fayetteville (3G, 2A)
★★: Nick Lazorko, C, Fayetteville (3G, 1A)
★★★: Kyle Rank, G, Peoria (1-0-1, 3GA, 62 SVS)

Power Poll

  1. Mississippi RiverKings (13-4-1, LW: 1)  The RiverKings did exactly what was expected of them in Peoria – come away with at least two points.
  2. Huntsville Havoc (11-6-0, LW: 4) – Huntsville has a difficult stretch of their schedule upcoming with games against Peoria, Mississippi, and Pensacola.
  3. Peoria Rivermen (10-5-2, LW: 2) – The ranking drop is more of a nod to Huntsville than a slam of Peoria.  The Rivs will be on the road for 11 of their next 13 games.
  4. Fayetteville FireAntz (11-3-2. LW: 3) – Thursday was Guaranteed Win Night. The FireAntz lost to Macon in overtime. The loss of defensive ace Zach Carriveau is huge.
  5. Pensacola Ice Flyers (9-6-1, LW: 5) – The Flyers play the IceGators seven more times. They’ll score 35 more goals at their current pace.
  6. Columbus Cottonmouths (6-7-4. LW: 7) – Boom Boom has righted the ship in Columbus. The Snakes are starting to play defense again.
  7. Knoxville Ice Bears (7-11-2, LW: 8) – The defending champs may as well keep Hincey in the pipes for the rest of the season.
  8. Louisiana IceGators (6-8-2, LW: 6) – Louisiana is giving up too many penalties, especially when they can’t score at 5-on-4.
  9. Macon Mayhem (4-10-3, LW: 9) – Macon visits the IceGators at the end of the month. Great time to climb out of the cellar.

Next Week’s Games

Friday, December 18

  • Peoria at Columbus: 7:30 ET
  • Fayetteville at Macon: 7:30 ET
  • Huntsville at Knoxville: 7:35 ET
  • Louisiana at Pensacola: 7:05 CT

Saturday, December 19

  • Peoria at Columbus: 7:30 ET
  • Fayetteville at Macon: 7:30 ET
  • Huntsville at Knoxville: 7:35 ET
  • Mississippi at Louisiana: 7:05 CT

Sunday, December 20

  • Pensacola at Louisiana: 3:05 CT
  • Peoria at Huntsville: 5:00 CT

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