Friday, December 21, 2012
Three Things You Need to Know
1.) Blaze/Rush Showdown- The Bloomington Blaze (14-10-1, 29 points) and Rapid City Rush (12-9-5, 29 points) meet twice this weekend playing at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum on both Friday and Saturday nights. The two teams are tied for fourth place in the league and with a big four points on the line this weekend, could see some separation with a sweep by one of the clubs. The teams have a bit of a contrasting style as the Blaze lead the league averaging 4.16 points per game and are the top power play squad in the CHL connecting 24.8% of the time. Rapid City scores the fewest goals in the league (2.38 per game) but has the third best penalty kill (86.4%). The two teams are two of the top three penalized teams in the league combining to average more than 35 PIM’s per game.
2.) Allen Facing Tough Weekend- The Allen Americans (17-5-1) take their four-game win streak and three-game road win streak into Missouri on Friday night to take on an angry Mavericks club. Allen is 3-0 on their current four-game road trip that ends on Friday in Independence before they head home to play first place Wichita in a battle of the top teams in the CHL. Allen is a league-best 10-2-1 on the road this season and currently trail Wichita by one point for first place in the Berry Conference. Missouri has lost back-to-back games and is coming off a disappointing 6-3 defeat to Arizona on Tuesday where they let a 3-1 third period lead slip out of their hands. Missouri has struggled on home ice this season with a 5-6 record at the Independence Events Center.
3.) Looking for Some Momentum- The Quad City Mallards (9-12-3) and the Tulsa Oilers (8-16-2) battle on Friday and Saturday night in Moline, Illinois in a pair of games between the two clubs with the fewest points in the CHL. A sweep by either club could significantly get some momentum heading in that team’s direction. Quad City has played much better in their last three games winning two of them and losing by a goal in Rapid City on Saturday. Prior to that, the Flock had lost four straight games and six out of their previous seven. Tulsa is currently stuck in a six-game losing streak last winning on December 2 versus Arizona. The last road win for Tulsa was back even further on November 10 in Fort Worth, a span of seven straight game since their last road victory. With eight of the league’s 10 clubs making the playoffs, a win or two this weekend by the Mallards or Oilers can have them right back into the post-season discussion.
By the Numbers
5: The number of third period goals the Arizona Sundogs scored on Tuesday night beating the Missouri Mavericks 6-3 (tied for the most goals in a period this season by any CHL team). Arizona, stuck in a seven-game losing streak, was behind 3-1 to the Mavs entering the final period before former Missouri forward Derek LeBlanc scored twice, Jake Hauswirth scored twice and newcomer Matt Tassone scored once helping the ‘dogs end their losing streak. Arizona outshot Missouri 18-6 in the final period. The game marked the first regulation loss for the Mavs when leading after 40 minutes (10-1-1).
-Phil Fox has been on a goal scoring tear lately tallying six goals in his last three games (two per game). He now has 16 on the season, leading a group of five players who have 15 goals (Denver’s A.J. Gale and Brad Smyth, Wichita’s Neil Trimm, Allen’s Scotty Howes and Tulsa’s Ben Gordon).
-The Tulsa Oilers are the only CHL team to have yet been involved in a shootout. The Oilers have had three games decided in overtime winning one of them. Four teams (Allen, Arizona, Denver and Rapid City) have played in six shootouts, the most in the league.
-Denver forward Brad Smyth scored a goal in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Rapid City thus extending his point streak to a league-best 13 games. Smyth has 17 points during his streak and 32 points (15-17=32) on the season, fourth in the CHL. His five game winning goals are tied with Fort Worth’s Phil Fox for the most in the league.
-The Rapid City Rush are the only CHL team to have gone the whole season thus far without allowing a shorthanded goal. Both Missouri and Tulsa have each allowed five SHG’s leading the way. Quad City has scored the most with five.
-Be sure to catch all of the action on CHL-TV all season long. CHL-TV is powered by America ONE Sports, CLICK HERE for more information.