By: Allan Westerholt
HUNTERSVILLE, NC (April 4, 2023) – The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) announced today that Mitch Atkins of the Pensacola Ice Flyers has been named the Warrior/SPHL Player of the Week for March, 27- April 2.
Atkins scored once, picked up seven assists, and was +7 in two games as Pensacola split games against the Huntsville Havoc last weekend.
On Friday, Atkins got the Ice Flyers started as he picked up the first assist on the opening goal just 1:12 into the first period. He would add a goal at the 8:42 mark of the period which saw Pensacola take a 2-1 lead into the intermission. In the third period, Atkins picked up his second assist, this time on the game-tying goal with just 31 seconds left to tie the score at three. However, the Ice Flyers would drop the opener to the Havoc in overtime by a final of 4-3. On Saturday, Atkins wasted no time getting his name on the scoresheet, picking up the first of five assists just 40 seconds into the game. He would add three more first-period assists as Pensacola jumped out to a 4-2 lead at the first break. After Huntsville roared back in the third period to tie the score at 4-4, Atkins found Ivan Bondarenko for the game-winning goal and his fifth assist of the game as the Ice Flyers would hang on for a 5-4 victory over the Havoc. For the weekend, Atkins was involved in every goal that was scored by Pensacola, including picking up a team-record, five assists on Saturday. His five assist game also tied the second most assists in a single game by a single player in SPHL history.
The Kitchener, ON native is third on the Ice Flyers in points (46), and assists (37) all of which are career highs for the Center.
Other nominees for the Warrior Player of the Week: Scott Donahue, Birmingham, (4g, 1a, +4), Austin Alger, Fayetteville, (1g, 3a, +4), Tyler Piacentini, Huntsville, (1g, 3a, -2), Kristian Stead, Knoxville, (1-0-0, 2.00 gaa ,0.961 sv%), Aaron Aragon, Macon, (4g, 3a, 2 ppg), Joseph Widmar, Peoria, (1g, 2a, -1), Leif Mattson, Quad City, (3g, 1a), Jordan Xavier, Roanoke, (2g, +3)