HUNTERSVILLE, NC (April 15, 2023) – The Southern Professional Hockey League begins the 2023 SPHL Presidents Cup Playoffs with three games tonight. You can follow all the action this season at www.sphltv.com
Evansville @ Roanoke (7:05 p.m. EST, 6:05 p.m. CST)
Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs (32-19-5 | 4th Seed)
• Billy Vizzo and Mac Jansen led the Dawgs with 19 goals.
• Nick Ford (16g, 38a) led the Dawgs with 54 points.
• Ford’s 38 assists led the Dawgs in the regular season.
• Goalie Austyn Roudebush posted a league-best 24 wins and was third with a 2.52 goals-against average.
• Roanoke and Evansville did not play each other in the regular season. They are 1-0-0 in the playoffs.
Evansville Thunderbolts (32-22-2 | 5th Seed)
• Goaltender Trevor Gorsuch was named to the All-SPHL 1st team after leading the league in goals against average (2.26) and save percentage (0.936). (Loaned to ECHL retroactive to 04-03-23. *Not on Playoff Roster*)
• Aaron Huffnagle (10g, 41a) led the Thunderbolts with 51 points.
• Huffnagle led Evansville and was third in the league with 41 assists.
• The Thunderbolts were 21-5-0 when scoring first, good for the second-best record when scoring first in the SPHL.
• Evansville and Roanoke did not play each other in the regular season. They are 0-1-0 in the playoffs.
Fayetteville @ Birmingham (8:00 p.m. EST, 7:00 p.m. CST)
Fayetteville Marksmen (26-22-8 | 7th Seed)
• Austin Alger led the Marksmen with 21 goals.
• Alger was named to the SPHL All-Rookie team after his 51-point season (21g, 30a).
• Alger led all rookies with 51 points, while also ranking second with 19 power play points.
• Set SPHL single-game attendance record with 9,500 in attendance on education day vs. Pensacola on March 16th.
• Fayetteville was 1-4-0 against Birmingham in the regular season.
Birmingham Bulls (37-16-4 | 2nd Seed)
• Michael Gillespie finished tied for second in the league with 27 goals.
• Gillespie was named to the All-SPHL 1st team after recording 60 points (27g, 33a)
• Mike Davis finished tied for sixth in the league with 23 goals.
• Goalie Austin Lotz finished tied for the league lead with 24 wins and his 2.73 gaa was seventh-best in the league.
• Hayden Stewart became the first goalie in SPHL history to score a goal when he netted an empty-net goal in the waning seconds against Evansville on March 18, 2023.
• Birmingham was a league-best 28-2-1 this season when scoring first.
• Head coach Craig Simchuk was named the SPHL Coach of the Year after having the best single-season point turnaround (36-point differential) in SPHL history after going from 42 points last year to 78 points this season.
• Birmingham was 4-1-0 against Fayetteville in the regular season. They are 0-0-1 in the playoffs.
Pensacola @ Peoria (8:15 p.m. EST, 7:15 p.m. CST)
Pensacola Ice Flyers (26-25-6 | 8th Seed)
• Garrett Milan finished second in the league with 43 assists.
• Milan was also second in the SPHL in scoring with 69 points (26g, 43a)
• Milan became Pensacola’s all-time points leader on February 3rd, securing his 207th point as a member of the Ice Flyers.
• Kolten Olynek was named to the SPHL All-Rookie team after his 41-point season (20g, 21a) which saw him finish third in rookie scoring.
• Ryan Orgel finished fourth among rookies in power-play assists (10) and fifth with 12 power play points.
• The Ice Flyers secured the top home and overall power play. Converting 40 of 105 chances at home (38.1%), while also having the top-ranked power play overall with 58 goals in 203 chances (28.6%)
• Pensacola was 1-2-1 against Peoria in the regular season. They are 0-1-0 in the playoffs.
Peoria Rivermen (39-14-4 | 1st Seed)
• Alec Hagaman was named to the All-SPHL 2nd team after leading the Rivermen in goals (24), assists (37), and points (61)
• Zach Wilkie and Nick Neville were also All-SPHL 1st team selections on defense with Wilkie leading the league with a +42 rating. Neville was second among all defensemen with 41 points (5g, 36a) and his 36 assists were the most by a blue-liner this season.
• Tyler Barrow was tied for 10th among rookies with 30 points (11g, 19a)
• Eric Levine led the league with five shutouts.
• Won the William B. Coffey Trophy as regular season champions for the fifth time in team history and their first since the 2019 season.
• Peoria was 3-1-0 against Pensacola in the regular season. They are 1-0-0 in the playoffs.