The Birmingham Bulls are making history. The Magic City team, which saw its rebirth begin in 2017 to much fanfare, has fought its way back to the Southern Professional Hockey League’s President Cup playoffs and is now in the finals. The Bulls are playing the Roanoke Rail Yard Dogs in a best-of-five matchup that will give the Magic City sensations the opportunity to win their first championship since their reformation! The first game is this Thursday at the Pelham Civic Complex & Ice Arena, with Game 2 also being played in Pelham on Friday. If the series goes to five games, the Bulls will once again have home-rink advantage on May 4th to see who claims the President’s Cup trophy.
The Birmingham Bulls came into the playoffs as a number two seed after finishing the season with an impressive 37-16-4 record. The regular season accomplishments didn’t go unnoticed by the SPHL either. Taylor Brierley was named to the league’s All-Rookie and All-SPHL Second Team as a Defenseman, while Michael Gillespie was named to the All-SPHL First Team as a forward. Bulls coach Craig Simchuk was also named the SPHL Coach of the Year. It’s taken the entire team’s hard work and craftsmanship to get to and through the playoffs though, as exemplified as goalkeepers Austin Lotz and Hayden Stewart who have both played outstandingly in the playoffs to help their team secure some crucial wins.
The Bulls have brought an electric enthusiasm to the Pelham area over the last half-decade. Puck tossing challenges, local celebrities like Will Lochamy participating on ice rink four-wheeler races, Hawaiian shirt nights, and a dedicated fan base ensure that each home game is a good time. This is a testament to the late great Art Clarkson, an early entrepreneur in Birmingham sports with the Barons and Bulls. This team plays hard for the home crowd and is expecting home-ice advantage to play a big role in the upcoming series. The last time the Bulls ventured to the President’s Cup was 2019, with now-coach Simchuk suiting up as a player. This team and this crowd seem ready to take it all the way this year. Let’s go Bulls!
Cover image from Birmingham Bulls Hockey