-As they fight for the final playoff spot in their final season in Worcester, the Sharks are getting a great boost from Aaron Dell, the goalie who has turned his “brief” call up from the Allen Americans into a NHL contract from San Jose. With two wins this weekend for the Sharks, Dell improved his record to 10-5-2 with a 1.87 GAA and .931 save percentage. The wins kept the Sharks in the hunt as they are a point out of a playoff spot with three games in hand over eighth-place Springfield. In their wins this weekend against St. John’s and Lehigh Valley, captain Bryan Lerg put up three goals, with Rylan Schwartz having two goals, and Jimmy Bonneau put up two assists on Sunday.
-With new acquistion Sven Baertschi putting up four goals in their three wins, the Utica Comets have all but sealed the North Division title, which will put them in the top-three spots in the Western Conference. The three wins this weekend extends the point streak for the Comets to six games. To match the four goals by Baertschi, captain Cal O’Reilly added four assists, with Joacim Eriksson winning Friday and Sunday with Joe Cannata winning Saturday’s game.
Photo from Allen Americans Facebook Page
-Despite going through a bit of a slump, the Allen Americans kicked it back into shape this weekend with two big wins; helping them clinch the Central Division. Gary Steffes put up two goals and three assists on the weekend while league leading scorer Chad Costello had two goals and two assists. Aaron Gens and Tyler Ludwig added from the blue line with Gens having four assists and Ludwig putting up a goal and two assists. The two wins also put Riley Gill as the first goalie in the ECHL to record 30 wins and the first of his career.
-The Toledo Walleye clinched a playoff spot this weekend with three big wins thanks to Shane Berschbach contributing two goals and four assists, as well as Troy Schwab‘s two goals and three assists and potential rookie of the year Tyler Barnes adding three goals and three assists. Jeff Lerg stopped 56 of 58 shots taken at him in two of the games, with Neil Conway stopping 22 in his win on Saturday. The Walleye have had an amazing turnaround as they currently are 43 points better than they were last season, with that number sure to grow in the last month of the season.
-The dismal season for the Huntsville Havoc is near a close, as they will go down in history as the worst SPHL team to date. With only three games remaining, the Havoc can only max out at 12 wins, with the old lowest win total being at 14 with the Winston-Salem Polar Twins. One of the few bright spots for the Havoc has been the play of Stuart Stefan, who sits second in goals (10) for defensemen in the league and is fourth in points with 28. While it is well off his career-high pace from last season, Stefan has been a decent story for the Havoc.
-With one week until the playoffs starts, the SPHL has all the contenders into the playoffs with only Fayetteville and Huntsville not making the cut. The only thing to be determined is the positioning of the teams. Peoria needs three points in their weekend set against the Mississippi River Kings to clinch first-overall or need the Columbus Cottonmouths to drop one of their last three games, as they play Louisiana once and Huntsville on the weekend.