SPHL Today: Playoff Edition 03-13-23

Contact: awest@thesphl.com

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (April 13, 2023) – The Southern Professional Hockey League begins the 2023 SPHL Presidents Cup Playoffs with four games tonight. You can follow all the action this postseason at www.sphltv.com

Birmingham @ Fayetteville (7:15 p.m. EST, 6:15 p.m. CST)

Birmingham Bulls (37-16-4 | 2nd Seed)

• Michael Gillespie finished tied for second in the league with 27 goals.
• 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.
• Birmingham was 4-1-0 against Fayetteville in the regular season.

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.

Knoxville @ Huntsville (8:00 p.m. EST, 7:00 p.m. CST)

Knoxville Ice Bears (32-22-3 | 6th Seed)

Center Justin MacDonald captured the 2022-2023 Kevin Swider Leading Scorer Award, leading the SPHL with 79 points.
• MacDonald’s 45 assists were tied for the top spot in the league.
• MacDonald’s 13 power play goals were the most in the SPHL.
• MacDonald was a two-time SPHL Player of the Month winner (January/February).
• When outshooting their opponents this season, Knoxville was 10-5-1.
• Knoxville was 2-5-0 against Huntsville in the regular season.

Huntsville Havoc (34-19-3 | 3rd Seed)

• Sy Nutkevitch finished tied for first in the league with 45 assists.
• Nutkevitch was fourth overall with 63 points (18g, 45a)
• Dominick Procopio finished second in the league with a +29 rating.
• Huntsville was 5-2-0 against Knoxville in the regular season.

Roanoke @ Evansville (8:00 p.m. EST, 7:00 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.

Evansville Thunderbolts (32-22-2 | 5th Seed)

Goaltender Trevor Gorsuch was Loaned to ECHL Wichita retroactively on 04-03-23. Due to this, he is not on the 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.

Pensacola @ Peoria (8:05 p.m. EST, 7:05 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.

Peoria Rivermen (39-14-4 | 1st Seed)

• Alec Hagaman led the Rivermen in goals (24), assists (37), and points (61)
• Zach Wilkie led the league with a +42 rating.
• Nick 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.