Photo by Chris Marion/Springfield Falcons
-With their backs against the wall during a huge freefall on the the season, the Springfield Falcons were only able to muster one point in their three games; losing two of those to the Worcester Sharks; who have passed them for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference standings. A lot of this could be attributed to the injuries that the Falcons have had, as well as their parent club in Columbus. One of the main injuries was to Anton Forsberg, who was lights-out in net for the Falcons. The trio of Oscar Dansk, Scott Munroe, and newcomer Joonas Korpisalo haven’t gotten the job done as of yet. With the addition of Sonny Milano to the offense to help combat those call-ups and injuries; the Falcons will really have to dig in to make sure this collapse from the regular season won’t be the last memory of the year.
-With the Eastern Conference having the Sharks surging; the Chicago Wolves have made their way into a playoff spot, despite only being five points up on 12th place Lake Erie. The Wolves swept the home-and-home with the Milwaukee Admirals this weekend and then came back home to beat the Iowa Wild. Jeremy Welsh had three goals and three assists this weekend, with Magnus Paajarvi notching a hat-trick Saturday night, and Ty Rattie putting up two goals and five assists on the weekend. Matt Clime had two book-end wins with Jordan Binnington putting up the win on Saturday.
-The Stockton Thunder were swept over the weekend against Alaska. The Bakersfield Condors have lost eight-straight. For two of the three teams leaving the ECHL next season, they are going out with a whimper rather than fanfare, as they would have hoped. Luckily, the Ontario Reign were able to go ahead and make the most– they even swept Bakersfield this weekend, as Judd Blackwater had a hat-trick on Friday, then another goal on Saturday. Rocco Carzo (1g, 3a), Matt White (2g, 1a), and Gary Nunn (3a) played a supporting role as Jussi Olkinuora won both games in turning up for the playoffs.
-There’s something about the East Division. The South Carolina Stingrays finally had their 23-game win streak broken by the Indy Fuel, but were able to get back on the horse the next day. The Reading Royals had a 12-game winning streak earlier in the year and now the Florida Everblades have gotten points in 14 straight games, only losing in a shootout last weekend. All three of those teams have clinched a playoff spot, only leaving one left for Orlando and Greenville to fight over.
Photo from Huntsville Havoc Facebook
-Despite having the worst record in SPHL history, the Huntsville Havoc beat the Columbus Cottonmouths twice this weekend– even though the Cottonmouths were possibly thinking ahead to the playoffs. Jordan Reed put in three goals on the weekend, while Stuart Stefan and Nick Wheeler added two assists. One of the big performances was Kevin Genoe‘s play on Saturday, as he stopped all 51 shots on Saturday night, his first of the year in the last game of the year.
-As the playoffs start on Wednesday, you can check out my first round primer for the SPHL action.