LAFAYETTE, LA — Last week’s tie has been broken in our latest SPHL writers poll, and the Pensacola Ice Flyers retake sole possession of the top spot in our rankings. For the second straight week, all four of our writers are in general agreement throughout the list. All of our team rankings are within one position of the consensus order.
The amazing thing about the Ice Flyers is they’re playing winning hockey despite having over a third of their roster – seven players – on ECHL callups. As of press time, the Ice Flyers have only 13 skaters – eight forwards and five defensemen. Pensacola can’t roll out three complete lines right now, yet have won six of their last seven games.
The Birmingham Bulls are threatening to emerge from the league’s cellar, and have already jumped from tenth to eighth for the first time this season. The expansion team has won four of their last six and have scored four or more goals in each of their previous three games. Meanwhile, the RiverKings continue to slide down our rankings after dropping four of their last five – the team’s lone win coming at the hands of ninth-ranked Roanoke.
The record 19 goals the Macon Mayhem dropped on the Fayetteville Marksmen was only good enough to advance one spot to fifth. Since the Marksmen seem to be in a current state of disarray, we just couldn’t justify moving the Mayhem ahead of Huntsville.
Victorious in seven of their last eight, including a pair of come-from-behind road wins against Pensacola and Birmingham, even without the services of leading scorer Justin MacDonald, the Evansville Thunderbolts are gaining more confidence from our writers. The Bolts jump two places in this week’s poll, edging out the Huntsville Havoc for third.
The league appears to be sorted into four tiers. Atop the league are Pensacola and Peoria, followed by Evansville and Huntsville. Macon, Mississippi, and Knoxville follow behind while Birmingham, Roanoke, and Fayetteville bring up the rear.
This Week’s Rankings
|Pensacola Ice Flyers||1||1||2||1||1|
|Knoxville Ice Bears||7||6||7||7||7|
|Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs||9||9||8||9||10|