-It was a five-alive weekend for the Portland Pirates, as they scored five goals in each of their three wins this weekend; taking down Syracuse, Lehigh Valley, and Hershey– all on the road. Jordan Martinook had two goals and five assists, Henrik Samuelsson had two goals and three assists, and Dylan Reese had two goals and two assists for the defensive contribution. Mike McKenna took the wins on Friday and Saturday, with newcomer David Leggio getting the decision on Sunday. Currently, the Pirates sit in 6th and are two points up from 9th place in the tight Eastern Conference. They have points in their last six games and have won seven of their last ten.
-While it might be too little, too late; the Binghamton Senators aren’t going out without a fight. Despite losing Andrew Hammond to Ottawa, the B-Sens put up two wins this weekend, but sit 10 points back of the 8th playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Though they have points in their last five games, the goaltending has been facing an insane amount of rubber– this weekend having Scott Greenham stop 49 of 51 on Friday and Peter Mannino stop 38 of 40 on Sunday. Carter Camper had two goals and an assist this weekend, while Shane Prince chipped in three assists of his own. Though it’s a long-shot, the hits that the B-Sens have taken with call-ups and injury will be the undoing of the team if they can’t find a miraculous comeback in this season.
-The Florida Everblades continue to expand their lead in the East Division and keep up with 1st overall in the Conference with three wins over the weekend– two against Greenville and one against lowly Gwinnett. Adam Brace had a goal and four assists, Brent Harris had four goals on the weekend, and Cameron Burt had a goal and three assists; as Andy Iles had two wins and Anthony Peters won his first professional win with a shutout in his first game out of Canadian University (St. Mary’s). The Everblades are tied with Reading for tops in the East Division and tied with Fort Wayne and Reading for first overall in conference.
-If not for the South Carolina Stingrays’ torrid pace, the Idaho Steelheads would be the talk of the ECHL with nine straight wins, which includes the two against the ECHL cellar dweller Stockton Thunder. Brett Robinson had a goal and four assists, which compliment Rob Linsmayer‘s goal and three assists. The wins were split by Henri Kiviaho and Chris Rawlings, who have filled in solidly for the injured Olivier Roy. The Steelheads three more games against the Thunder, which could help them keep top spot in the Pacific Division.
-A split was enough for the Peoria Rivermen to clinch the first playoff spot in the SPHL playoffs. The Rivermen won Friday, but lost Saturday to Mississippi. Josh Harris had two goals and two assists with newcomer Ryan Raven having a goal and three assists. The Rivermen threw a total of 91 shots at Adam Courchaine and Peter Di Salvo of Mississippi, but only were able to get five past them. Luckily, Kyle Rank stopped 45 of the 49 shots he faced and with the win Friday, tied him with Max Strang of Pensacola with the SPHL lead in wins with 24.
-Though they took a split in a home-and-home, the Fayetteville FireAntz have the worst luck when it comes to their team being picked apart. Matt Robertson had a goal and two assists in the series with Josh McQuade chipping in two goal in Friday’s loss. As I mentioned last week, the FireAntz really took a hit with Kevin Murdock getting called-up to the ECHL, McQuade being suspend Saturday, four season-ending injuries, and as they are six points out of a playoff spot and do-or-die three-game set with the Mississippi RiverKings coming up– the FireAntz could be looking at their hopes going out the window.