In what was an unremarkable stint for most teams, the SPHL saw the surge of a new contender in the past two weeks.
#1: Macon Mayhem (Last Week: #4)
A three-team jump seems drastic, but it’s hard to deny the Macon Mayhem right now. The Mayhem has gone a perfect 6-0-0 since last volume, with three wins over second place Pensacola (two of which were shutouts), and closing things out with a win over last week’s Power Rankings leaders in the Havoc. Macon has simply been well-rounded and has continually found ways to win games. There have been some games where the offense has been explosive, scoring 4 or 5 goals against quality opponents. In days that the offense isn’t so great, defense and goaltending is, as seen in 2-1 and 2-0 wins in this stretch. The Mayhem sits comfortably atop the SPHL Standings, with a record of 11-2-1 and 24 points. The closest team to them is Pensacola, who has 21 points, but has played four more games than Macon. If the Mayhem continues this dominance, it will lead the Power Rankings for a long time.
#2: Huntsville Havoc (Last Week: #1)
The Havoc once again had a mediocre week this week, going 1-2-1. Huntsville began with a 2-5 loss in Knoxville, split a home-and-home with the Ice Flyers, and closed things out with an overtime loss in Macon. Had it not been for similarly subpar stretches amongst other teams, Huntsville would have seen a much deeper dive in the Power Rankings. That being said, the Havoc finds itself in third place of the SPHL standings, five points behind Macon for first place, and only two points out of second. Huntsville played well enough before this volume that it is still very much in the mix.
#3 Pensacola Ice Flyers (Last Week: #2)
These past few games have not been the kindest to Pensacola, going 2-4-1 since the last volume. The Ice Flyers would start things out with a crushing 5-0 loss at home to Macon but would make up for it with a win in Huntsville in their next game. The team would then go on a four-game losing streak, falling to Macon twice as well as Birmingham and Huntsville. The Ice Flyers closed things out with an overtime win against the Bulls in Pelham. This should be alarming for Flyers fans, as they were shut out twice in this stretch, and their only two wins were one goal games. However, their hot streak noted in last week’s Power Rankings is keeping the Flyers afloat. Despite the recent struggles, Pensacola is still second in the standings, and three points out of first place.
#4: Birmingham Bulls (Last Week: #3)
Continuing the trend of lackluster stretches, we have the Birmingham Bulls. The Bulls went 1-1-2 since the last Volume and began with an overtime and regulation loss to Knoxville. Birmingham would get its first win of the stretch in Pensacola and would fall in overtime to the Ice Flyers to close things out. The Bulls’ penalty minutes seems to be a concern, as they have served a total of 276 minutes on the penalty kill. To put that in perspective, the team with the second most penalty minutes, the Mayhem, have given up 233. Regardless, the Bulls were still able to pick up four points in this stretch and sit in fourth place in the standings with a .500 record. Additionally, starting goaltender Austin Lotz returned from suspension in the Bulls’ most recent contest, and having him on a consistent basis should bode well for Birmingham.
#5: Knoxville Ice Bears (Last Week : #5)
No worries, Ice Bears fans, your team could escape the cellar of the power rankings very soon. This was a very impressive stretch for Knoxville, going 3-1-1 since the last volume. The Bears started with a three-game win streak, including a win over the Havoc and two over the Bulls. Knoxville would then lose in regulation and overtime to the red-hot Mayhem. It’s worth noting that both losses were one goal games and could’ve easily gone Knoxville’s way. Despite their improvements, the Ice Bears are still in 5th place in the SPHL standings at 7-8-1, yet only three points behind Birmingham. In other words, a long climb up the power rankings seems like much more of a reality for Knoxville than it did in weeks passed.