The defending Southern Professional Hockey League champs, the Huntsville Havoc, start playoffs this week. The Havoc ended the regular season third in the overall standings, so Sunday night they got to pick who they wanted to face in the first round.
The Havoc chose the Pensacola Ice Flyers to face in what the SPHL calls the Challenge Round where the higher team in the standings gets to pick their first round competitor. The Havoc ended the season 36-17-3, and six of those wins were against the Ice Flyers.
The Ice Flyers had a difficult start to the season, according to Havoc Head Coach Glenn Detulleo, but he said this isn't the same team they faced earlier this season, and his team needs to be ready for that.
"The good thing about the playoffs when you're a lower seed is everything goes out the window. The stats, everything's at zero, both teams are even and all starts from scratch," Coach Detulleo said. "We're certainly not taking anything for granted and we're certainly not over confident. We know they're going to be a really, really good team and they're going to be tough and our motto's always been if we play our best game, we think we'll beat anyone else's best game, so our focus is entirely on us. The things we're going to do, how we're going to play and if we can take care of that we'll be successful."
The first game of the Challenge Round starts in the Rocket City on Thursday, April 11, at the Huntsville Ice Plex. The first puck drop is at 7 p.m. CT.