Birmingham Bulls and Huntsville Havoc: The History of the Battle for Bama
This Monday marked the first meeting of the season between the Birmingham Bulls and Huntsville Havoc. This marks the fourth season of action between the in-state adversaries, who have now met each other 29 times (including postseason). Huntsville has gotten the better of Birmingham overall, taking 21 of 29. Not to say this has been easy for the Havoc, as six of those wins were in overtime, and the Bulls have improved against them every season.
Season One: (2017-2018)
The Bulls struggled against the Havoc in their inaugural season, with a record of 1-5-3 against them. The first ever meeting between the two was on November 10,2017 in Pelham, a 4-0 victory for the Havoc. The Bulls would pick up their first and only win 4-1 of the season against them on January 21st. To be fair, Birmingham was the new kid on the block, a new franchise finding their way in the league. They finished 22-28-6 that season, and ninth place out of ten teams in the SPHL standings.
Season Two: (2018-2019)
Birmingham fared much better against Huntsville in their second season, going 4-5-0 in the regular season against them. The Bulls set the tone with a season opening 5-4 victory over the Havoc, and would win the first three meetings against them. However, the Havoc would bounce back, taking four of the last five to close the regular season. The Bulls’ improvement over their rivals was also seen in the SPHL standings, achieving second place in the league. In their first SPHL playoff run in team history, the Bulls would advance to the President’s Cup Final against none other than their in-state rivals.The Best-of 3 series between the two was very back and forth and hard fought. The Havoc would steal the first game 4-3 in Overtime, and would close the series out in game two with a 4-2 triumph.
Season Three: (2019-2020)
With a bad taste in their mouths after being swept in the President’s Cup Finals, the Bulls would see their best season against Huntsville this season at 3-3-2. With the Bulls would win the latest meeting of the season between the two, a 3-2 overtime win. Shortly after, the season would be canceled due to the spread of COVID-19.
As the Birmingham Bulls are still a fairly young franchise, there is still a great deal of history to be written between these two rivals. While the Havoc have seen more success throughout the handful of matchups between them, it could only be a matter of time before Birmingham makes things much more interesting. Only a point separates the two in the SPHL standings as of today, with the Havoc in first and the Bulls in second. The Battle for Bama will see nine more matchups this season, with the soonest being this Saturday in Pelham.