Hot streaks, cold streaks, and everything in between! While the top and bottom spots remain the same, take a look at how things have shaken up in volume three of the SPHL Power Rankings!
#1: Huntsville Havoc (Last Week: #1)
The Havoc had a fairly average week since last volume, going 3-2-0. Huntsville started nicely with a 3-0 victory hosting the Ice Bears. However, the Havoc, would drop their next two, falling at home against the Bulls and in Pensacola. The Havoc would finish by avenging these loses, beating the Bulls on the road and the Ice Flyers at home. This wasn’t a great stretch by any means, however the Havoc kept the top spot by highly improving in an aspect that was once shaky: goaltending. The Havoc shut out Knoxville and Birmingham, through the efforts of Jason Pawloski and Max Milosek respectively. Additionally, Milosek stopped 43 of 44 shots in the Havoc’s most recent win.
#2: Pensacola Ice Flyers (Last Week: #4)
Surging their way back up the rankings, the Ice Flyers had themselves a fantastic two weeks, without a single regulation loss. Pensacola would win three straight by defeating Birmingham, Macon and Huntsville, and would close things out by losing the rematch to the Havoc in Overtime. It is noteworthy that nothing sticks out as far as weaknesses go for the Flyers. Goaltender Chase Perry has the second best save percentage in the league, and the offense continues to put up enough goals to stay in games. If the Ice Flyers can replicate a stretch like this, they will easily find themselves in the top spot.
#3: Birmingham Bulls (Last Week: #2)
The Bulls find themselves dropping a spot for the second straight Volume, as it was a rather rough stretch for Birmingham. Things would begin with a 1-4 loss in Pensacola. It was here where Goaltender Austin Lotz would receive an eight-game suspension for attacking Alex Hagaman, after Hagaman delivered a dirty hit to a Bull right behind Lotz. This would cause the Bulls to call on Hayden Stewart behind the net, as former backup Hayden Lavigne was called up to the ECHL. The Bulls would answer the adversity with an impressive 4-1 win in Huntsville. However, the situation would eventually catch up to Birmingham as they would drop three straight games. The Bulls would blow a 3-1 lead in Knoxville, and lose in an ugly 7-0 game against the Havoc and lose 2-1 to Macon during this streak. However, the Bulls would see light at the end of the tunnel with a 2-1 win against the Mayhem in their most recent contest. In addition to Stewart stopping 37 shots in his latest effort, Austin Lotz awaits his return with three games left on the suspension. If the Bulls can fix a struggling power play unit, find consistency with Stewart, and have Lotz come hot out of the gate, it will certainly be enough to buck this downward trend.
#4: Macon Mayhem (Last Week: #4)
The Mayhem finally returned to the ice since their COVID situation, going 3-1-1 since then. A slight drop in the rankings despite a winning record seems puzzling however, two of the three wins were against the league’s worst Ice Bears. Otherwise, the Mayhem lost to Pensacola and split a home and home with the Bulls. The most glaring issue for Macon thus far is in quality of shots. Despite outshooting their opponents in almost every game, their offense has been sub-par. Other than a 7-2 win against Knoxville, Macon’s offense has averaged 1.5 goals per game during this stretch. In their most recent contest, they only put up one goal late in the third against essentially the Bulls’ third string goaltender.
#5: Knoxville IceBears (Last Week: #5)
As there has been lots of movement throughout these three volumes, one thing has remained consistent: Knoxville in last place. It’s hard to make a case otherwise, as the IceBears find themselves in the cellar of the standings as the only SPHL team with a losing record. This week was no different for the Bears, going 1-3-0 since the last volume. The lone win was a comeback down 3-1 against the Bulls, scoring three straight and winning 3-4. The ugliest loss was 2-7 defeat in Macon, against an offense that hasn’t looked the greatest. The most monumental problem for Knoxville is their power play, which went a dreadful 0 for 12 in this span. The IceBears will need to see improvement on both ends to scratch and claw thier way up the rankings.