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.