The Birmingham Bulls will take the ice once again back in the confines of the Pelham Civic Complex this Thursday January 7th at 7:30 PM against once again the Pensacola Ice Flyers. This will mark the third game against the familiar foe in the first four games of the season. Pensacola is 2-0 so far against the Bulls with one of the wins coming in OT on opening night. Then the Bulls turn right back around and make the smooth three and half hour bus ride back down south to once again take on the Ice Flyers on Friday night. Then Bulls return on Saturday night to take on the Knoxville Ice Bears in the first meeting of the two clubs in this season.
The two home games this weekend will feature Promos both nights. Thursday January 8 will be “What you missed night” a night that the Birmingham front office is putting together to give the fans all the promotions they missed with season getting cut short last year. Thursday they will be giving away St. Patricks Day pucks, Magnetic Schedule AND the best special of all 1/2 priced BEER night. This is usually one of the more crowd favorite nights based off purely half priced beer. Saturday night is Hawaiian Night in Birmingham, and that will be for the first 1,000 adults through the door to receive a Birmingham Bulls Hawaiian Shirt. The team will be wearing a specialty jersey that will be actioned off online. Links will be at the bottom for both the jersey auction and a link to purchase tickets. If you do attend masks are required to be worn the whole time unless eating and drinking. Your temperature will be taken upon entry and seats are general admission so social distancing is required. Parking is open to everyone for $5 cash.
First thing of note this week should be the transactions that have gone within the roster over the last 7 days. Bulls placed Alec Baer on the 21 day IR with a lower leg injury suffered in game 1. The Bulls have decided to release Defensman Thomas Lenchyshyn who never saw any action for the bulls. One of the returnig forwards for Birmingham from last season also got shown the door in Forward Peter De Coppi, who announced Wednesday this was it and has decided to hang up the skates. With those releases Bulls added Forawrd Alex Gilmour a 24 year old rookie who played last season for St. Lawrence University. Second signing was a D man by the name of Theodore Calvas who played 27 games last year in the ECHL for the Tulsa Oilers. He looks to add some depth to the back line of Bulls which was a huge problem with the Bulls last season. Final addition of the week was adding a Forward who Huntsville let go this week, Jared Legien. According to Coach Craig Simchuk after having a conversation today with him he says “one of the more skilled kids we have”. Here is hoping he can make his way onto the Power Play and we can finally convert one.
Pensacola this season has become a real headache, since the bulls went up 3-0 the Ice Flyers have outscored them 10-1. What will be interesting to see from Simchuk will be who he decides to put into net this week. Austin Lotz has the veteran leadership and presence on the ice that you want in a goaltender, but with the performance on Saturday by the rookie Hayden Lavigne one has to think maybe show the Ice Flyers someone different. The Ice Flyers have 8 out of the top 10 point scorers in the SPHL thru 4 games. So this might give coach something hard to think about when choosing who to put in net. Lavigne did save 40 of 42 shots faced against Macon, and with Bulls having three games in three days you might see how he fares to save Lotz legs. Regardless the Bulls need to convert on the Power Play, a terrible 0-12 on the season is just not going to cut it. Especially giving up 3 short handed goals in the last contest against the Ice Flyers. Playing each other back to back nights should make for an interesting two games on the physical side. One would love to see the Bulls take both games but splitting these 1-1 would be alright too.
The third and final game of the week comes at home in Pelham Saturday night 7:00 PM against the Knoxville Ice Bears. This will be the first time seeing the Ice Bears this season and with only 5 teams in the league this season obviously not the last will see of them. Knoxville comes into this game 1-1 so far on the season but have a game Friday against Macon before facing the Bulls so that record will be different come Saturday. Scoring 5 goals in 2 games proves that Knoxville is going to come out fast and firing the puck at the net. Will need the D men to show up early for this one and looking like only 15 penalty minutes through the first two games shows a little bit of discipline to stay out of the box. They dropped a nail biter to Huntsville 3-2 in their opener and then bounced back with a solid 3-0 perfomance against Macon to pick up their first W.
Jersey Auction Link: http://bit.ly/BullsDASH
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