SPHL Power Rankings Volume 5

   Merely two volumes ago, these rankings looked completely different. Since Volume Four, the SPHL saw the top team prove why it leads the rankings, along with another team catching fire to shake things up once again.

#1- Macon Mayhem (Last Week: #1)

    After a red start stretch in the last volume, the Mayhem has continued to play very well.  The team began with two straight victories to extend their win streak to eight, one in Huntsville and the other at home against the Ice Flyers. In the rematch four days later, the win streak would come to an end as Macon fell in overtime 3-4. The Mayhem would then continue its dominance against the Havoc with a 4-1 win at home. In next outing, the Mayhem was shut out 4-0 in Knoxville and suffered their first regulation loss since February 11th against the Bulls. Their last two games of this stretch were against the Bulls, both victories for the Mayhem in Pelham. Overall, this was 5-1-1 stretch for Macon, as its play over the past two volumes has made it league leaders by a sizeable margin. They sit four points above the Ice Bears, while third place Pensacola is a vast nine points behind.

#2- Knoxville Ice Bears (Last Week: #5)

       The Ice Bears see a three-team jump in the Power Rankings similar to Mayhem last week, but not without reason. If the Mayhem has been red-hot as of late, the Ice Bears have been white-hot. The Bears have gone an astounding 8-0-0 since the last Volume. Knoxville defeated Macon once, Birmingham once, Huntsville twice and Pensacola four times in the span. In other words, the Ice Bears have played great hockey and proved they can beat any team in the league. A big reason for their success is goaltender Austyn Roudebush. Roudebush recently signed with the Ice Bears after being a backup for Birmingham and has been exceptional since. He has a 1.11 goals against average, by far the best in the SPHL. Knoxville sits in second place in the SPHL standings, three points behind Macon and five points ahead of the third place Ice Flyers. Currently, the Mayhem and Ice Bears seem to be in a different league and have played very well against the bottom three teams.

#3- Pensacola Ice Flyers (Last Week: #3)

       The Ice Flyers are the only team stays in place in this Volume’s Power Rankings, remaining in third for the second straight week. The Flyers began by dropping two games in Knoxville and taking one of two in Macon. Pensacola would then dominate the Bulls 6-0 in Pelham, only to lose two more games to Knoxville to close out the stretch. This makes a 2-4-1 record for the Ice Flyers since the last issue, and the only thing keeping them in the third spot is worse play from the bottom two teams. The Flyers sit dead in the middle of the SPHL standings, five points behind Knoxville for second place and four points ahead of the fourth place Havoc.

#4- Huntsville Havoc (Last Week: #2)

       The Havoc has experienced a recent freefall in the Power Rankings, as this team led the list only two Volumes ago. Huntsville has gone 1-5-0 since the Volume 4, beginning with a 4-1 loss at home against Mayhem. The Havoc would garner its lone win of the stretch one night later against the Bulls. Huntsville then lost two against Knoxville, one to Macon, and would close things out with a 3-2 loss against the Bulls at home. Additionally, apart from the loss against Birmingham, every Havoc defeat was by three goals or more. Despite the struggles, Huntsville is only three points out of third place. That being said, the Havoc only hold a one-point lead over the Bulls for fourth place. With still plenty of time for things to go either way, the Havoc must accrue wins quickly to work its way up the Power Rankings.

#5- Birmingham Bulls (Last Week: #4)

        The Bulls experienced a stretch identical to Huntsville, going 1-5-0 since the last Volume. Birmingham lost its first five of the stretch, falling to Huntsville, Knoxville, Pensacola, and Macon twice. The Bulls ended the span with a 3-2 win in Huntsville, ending a six-game losing streak. Penalty Minutes continues to be an issue for Birmingham. It has been down a man 110 more minutes than the Mayhem, the team with the second most penalty minutes. Bad goaltending luck seems late another theme for the Bulls this season, as Austin Lotz was injured in Sunday’s win in Hunstville. The Bulls have previously seen a solid goaltender sign with the ECHL, a suspension to their starter, a backup sign with Knoxville and suddenly get red hot, and now an injury to their starter. All in a single season, mind you. That being said, the Bulls are only a point out of a playoff spot and six points out of third. Perhaps Birmingham can rally behind its recent win and get their season back on track.

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