Photo by Michael McSweeney, Portland Pirates
-Despite only winning two of their three games– the Providence Bruins only allowed two goals this entire weekend. Malcolm Subban had a 19-save shutout on Saturday with Jeremy Smith stopping 54 of 56 shots in a shootout loss and win Friday and Sunday, respectively. Cory Kane had two goals and an assist on the weekend, Zack Phillips had a goal and two assists, and Tommy Cross had three assists. This weekend extended the points streak for the P-Bruins to nine games, putting them to second in the Atlantic Division, seven points behind Manchester, and fifth overall in the Eastern Conference.
-With three wins this weekend, the Hartford Wolf Pack are in the top-8 in the East. Chris Bourque put in two goals Sunday to help cap the weekend’s wins, but it started off by a thrilling overtime game which saw Conor Allen pot the winner helping Yann Danis‘ 26-save performance. Danis followed that up with a 37-save performance in Saturday’s win with Ryan Haggerty scoring two goals (as well as adding two assists this weekend). The Wolf Pack are four points up on 9th place and one point ahead of eighth place Springfield.
Photo by Gary Bassing, Orlando Solar Bears
-In one game, Garret Sparks almost matched what his tandem partner Maxime Clermont had in two games this weekend. The Orlando Solar Bears won all three, but in Sparks game– the defense didn’t show up; but the offense did. On Saturday, the Solar Bears won 10-3 over Evansville with Brock Montgomery putting up two goals and Brady Vail having three assists. However, the Solar Bears gave up 56 shots, which Sparks was able to stop 53. On Friday and Sunday, the Solar Bears gave up a total of 63 with Clermont stopping all but three in those two games. In all three games Patrick Watling shined by posting four goals and two assists this weekend, with Peter Sivak adding a goal and three assists. Orlando is three points up on Elmira for the final spot in the East Division, with the Solar Bears having a game in hand.
-Thanks to Winston Day Chief‘s two goals and assist on Friday, coupled with Jesse Schultz and Kale Kerbashian putting up a goal and three assists each helped the Rapid City Rush get into a better playoff position; especially coming at the expense of the Central Division leading Allen Americans. Danny Battochio got both the wins in net stopping 26 on Friday and 39 on Saturday. The Rush are now third in the Central, but will have to fight off an equally hot Tulsa team that will be jockeying for position to stay away from Allen in the playoffs.
-With points in 25 of his 32 games, Jake Hauswirth has revitalized his career in Louisiana after bouncing around the past couple years all amongst minor league hockey. With two goals and an assist this weekend, Hauswirth extended his point streak to four games and has 17 points in his last 13 games since February 13th. Hauswirth will be under a bit of a spotlight as they are still jockeying for position, despite being up nine points on 7th place Fayetteville.
-Five of the six playoff spots have been clinched in the SPHL, with the fight for the sixth spot almost all but done as the Fayetteville FireAntz look defeated by getting swept this weekend only getting a goal in each game against Mississippi. The only possible saving grace of the FireAntz is that they play the league-worst Huntsville Havoc this weekend after playing the Knoxville Ice Bears Thursday. The team they are battling, the Louisiana Ice Gators, have two games against the floundering Pensacola Ice Flyers this weekend. By this time next week, it could be only the positioning to be determined in the SPHL.