-With three big wins, the Worcester Sharks moved themselves into a playoff position in their last season at the DCU Center. Willie Coetzee had a goal a game this weekend, with Travis Oleksuk and Bryan Lerg adding three assists on the weekend. Aside from Coetzee, Trevor Parkes added two goals on the weekend with eight other Sharks adding a goal, showing the scoring was being spread around. Aaron Dell had two wins and a shutout, with Troy Grosenick getting the third win. The Sharks are two points up on 8th place Providence and five points up on 9th place Portland and only two points back of Springfield for 6th.
-Despite their quick start, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers dropped two more games this weekend– extending their losing streak to six and putting them in last place of the Eastern Conference. Granted, they’ve dropped their last three games by a goal apiece, it still doesn’t calm a team who was on top of the East in the early going. Granted their game Saturday was a spirited affair with the Hershey Bears, seeing goalie Kevin Poulin getting thrown out and leaving David Leggio to get the loss in that game. While they have shown some fight on the ice and put up some goal support; the Sound Tigers defense is the issue and it could be on the blueline and goaltending for the downfall when all is said and done.
-The Toledo Walleye are good….and they showed it this weekend allowing only one goal in three games while putting up 20 including a 12-0 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators Sunday. Jeff Lerg had two wins and let up the lone goal, while Neil Conway was able to be perfect in his game Saturday. Scoring was plentiful with Shane Berschbach and Anthony Luciani each having two goals and six assists, Alden Hirschfeld had two goals and five assists, and Justin Mercier put up four goals and two assists. With a goal-differential of +79, the Walleye have gotten it done on both ends of the ice as they are second to the Allen Americans in goals for and 1st in the ECHL for fewest goals given up.
-One of the better races to look at will be for that 4th and final spot in the Central Division, as the Rapid City Rush and Wichita Thunder are tied for that final spot, and with Rapid City’s two wins and Wichita’s two losses this weekend– it seems both teams are going to need every point they can muster going into the final weeks. There will be a lot of scoreboard watch, however, as these two teams only play once more in the season.
-Thanks to two goals and an assist from Linden Bahm, the Mississippi RiverKings won both their games this weekend, helping them up to 5th spot and only three points out of 2nd place in the SPHL. Paul Ciarelli and Andrew Randazzo added a goal and assist each with Peter Di Salvo putting up his first career shutout on Saturday night against Huntsville. Getting the 2nd spot would give that team a buy into the league semi-finals, which would be a nice jumpstart for the team.
-A team ahead of the RiverKings is the Columbus Cottonmouths, who kept themselves ahead with two wins of their own to keep them in 3rd place. Along with the shootout winner Saturday, Nick Curry added two goals and one assist. Craig Simchuk had a goal and two assists on Saturday, while Andy Willgar and Louis Belisle had a goal and assist on opposite days of the weekend. Both Shannon Szabados and Andrew Loewen got wins, putting Szabados at 10 wins on the seasons and making them the third tandem in the SPHL to have double-digit wins.