By Caleb Turrentine | ABC 33|40
The Birmingham Bulls capped off the team's best regular season since 2019 with a 3-2 win over the Evansville Thunderbolts Saturday night at the Pelham Civic Complex. Birmingham finishes in second place in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) and will start its quest in the 2023 President's Cup Playoffs later this week.
The Bulls will being their playoff run on the road, traveling to play the seventh-seeded Fayetteville Marksmen on Thursday night. The first round is a best-of-three series with Game 2 set for Saturday and a possible Game 3 set for Sunday at the Pelham Civic Complex.
Birmingham finished the regular season with a 37-16-4 record, finishing four points back of first-place Peoria Rivermen. The Bulls finished second in the league with 217 goals scored, outscoring their opponents by 55 goals across the 57-game season.
Despite missing a chunk of the season, Michael Gillespie led the Bulls in goals (27), assists (33) and points (60) while having the team's highest +/- at 24.
The four teams that advance from the quarterfinals will play each other based on original playoff seeding, with the highest-seeded team playing the lowest and the remaining teams playing each other. Both series are best-of-three. The final two teams will meet in a best-of-three series in the President's Cup Final.
Birmingham's best finish in the SPHL playoffs came in 2019 when the Bulls made it to the final before losing to the Huntsville Havoc.