By: Allan Westerholt
HUNTERSVILLE, NC (October 25, 2022) – The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) announced today that Bailey Brkin of the Quad City Storm and Michael Gillespie of the Birmingham Bulls have been named the Warrior/SPHL Co-Players of the Week for October 20-23.
Gillespie tallied four goals and two assists and was +3 in just two games in a weekend series against the Vermillion County Bobcats. Brkin posted a 2-0-0 record against the defending champion Peoria Rivermen while posting a .960 save percentage.
During Friday night’s game, Gillespie scored the Bulls’ first goal of the season in the first period and added two assists one in each remaining period, as the Bulls defeated the Bobcats 4-1. On Saturday night, Gillespie struck early and often as he scored his first goal just four minutes into the game against the Bobcats. Just 37 seconds later, Gillespie scored his second goal, before adding a third to wrap up the first period hat-trick. The Bulls would go on to defeat the Bobcats 8-4 and sweep the weekend series.
During Quad City’s opening night game on Friday night, Brkin fended off 29 shots on 31 attempts as the Storm defeated the Rivermen 6-2 to open the season. On Saturday, Brkin was lights out, holding the Rivermen without a tally until a power play goal late in the third period cut the lead to 2-1. Brkin was tested in that third period as the Rivermen outshot the Storm 17-2 with Brkin stopping 16 of 17 and 43 of 44 for the game as the Storm defeated the Rivermen 2-1 and swept the defending President’s Cup Champions over the weekend.
Other nominees for the Warrior Player of the Week were: Fredrik Wink, Evansville (2g, 1a), Taylor McCloy, Fayetteville (2g, 1a), Tyler Piacentini, Huntsville (2g, 3a, +4), Brady Fleurent, Knoxville (3g, gwg), Tommy Munichiello, Macon (1g, 1a), Kolten Olynek, Pensacola (3g, 3a), Alec Baer, Peoria (2a), Travis Broughman, Roanoke (1g, 1a)