It’s time for an Alabama v. Alabama game tonight, as Birmingham faces off against Huntsville in the Pelham Civic Complex. Tonight’s game is an interesting one, as both teams have already secured their slot in the SPHL playoffs. This means that these teams are competing for a higher seed rather than an invitation to the playoffs. With the teams occupying the number two (Huntsville) and three (Birmingham) spots in the rankings, you can expect tonight’s game to be of high skill!
Photo Cred: SPHL
These two teams have proven themselves to be even matches for each other throughout the season. Only a single win places the Havoc above the Bulls in the rankings, and that may be quick to change. Both teams have won three matches against each other this season, with Huntsville having lost the last matchup between them. Looking at the two teams from a five-season point of view, Huntsville pulls ahead with 27 victories as opposed to Birmingham’s 15. Furthermore, only a difference of .3% separates the two teams’ scoring percentages!
Photo Cred: Shelby County Reporter
There are several other statistics we can look at to determine who has the advantage, though. Birmingham has proved over the season that they excel at home games, which tonight’s game will be. As mentioned before, they also have the most recent win in their matchups against the Havocs, which might either unbalance or embolden Huntsville. This is not to say that the Havocs do not have several advantages of their own, however.
Photo Cred: Birmingham Bulls
The Huntsville roster remains strong, with four top-20 players (including Sy Nutkevitch) and the number-one goalie in the league. To contrast, Birmingham only has one top-20 player, although the Bulls’ #17 (Michael Gillespie) is the fourth-best skater in the league. Huntsville is also coming straight off of a four-game winning streak, although that may just lull them into complacency instead. Overall, tonight’s game looks like it could go to anyone, and it is a must-watch for any SPHL fans!
Photo Creds: (L) Waay-tv (Nutkevitch, the fifth-best skater in the league), (R) SPHL (Gillespie)