Monday, January 14, 2013
Three Things You Need to Know
1.) Bulling Through the Competition- The team of the week in the CHL is the Fort Worth Brahmas (20-13-4) who won three straight games in less than a 72 hour period over the weekend including beating the top team in the CHL, the Allen Americans (24-6-3), twice. The Brahmas have moved up to third place in the CHL with 44 points and are just one point behind the Wichita Thunder (21-13-3) for second place. Fort Worth topped the Americans on Friday and Saturday by 4-3 counts both nights, Saturday in overtime. Friday’s win put an end to the Americans seven-game win streak (tied for the longest in the CHL this season). The Brahmas had several roster changes last week bringing in a trio of defensemen that had great success; defensemen Greg Eskedjian (two goals, +4), Eric Tallent (one assist and a +2) and Cole Ruwe (one assist). Forward John Snowden has been pacing the offense scoring nine goals over the last five games. He has 11 goals and eight assists and is a +11 in the 12 games he has played with the Brahmas.
2.) Big Weekend for the Rush- One of the best defenses in the CHL came up big this past weekend with the Rapid City Rush (17-15-5) beating the Wichita Thunder (21-13-3) by a 3-1 count on both Friday and Saturday nights. Rapid City is third in the league allowing just 2.68 goals per game and in 10 of their last 18 games, they have held the opposition to two goals or less. Tim Boron was in net for both wins this past weekend combining to stop 77 of 79 shots faced (.975 save percentage). The Rush stopped all seven Wichita power play chances on Friday and Saturday and have turned away 14 straight man advantages taking over the top spot in the league at 86.9%. Currently tied for sixth place with 39 points, the Rush have a big test ahead of them this weekend when they host the fourth place Missouri Mavericks (19-12-4) on both Friday and Saturday.
3.) Log Jam in the Middle- The Allen Americans have separated themselves somewhat at the top of the Berry Conference standings with 51 points (six more than second place Wichita) but after that, things are up in the air. The Thunder’s 45 points are just one better than third place Fort Worth and looking down further, serve as a single-digit gap between themselves and the eighth place Arizona Sundogs (36 points). Only three points separate four teams competing for the fourth through seventh place spots. Denver and Missouri are tied for fourth place with 42 points and Rapid City and Bloomington are tied for sixth place with 39 points. Quad City and Tulsa are currently on the outside looking in but the Mallards are just two points out of a playoff spot. The Oilers have some work to do trialing the final spot by 13 points.
By the Numbers
50: The number of saves that Denver goaltender Kent Patterson made in Saturday’s 2-1 win in Arizona. The save total marked the highest in a single CHL game this season and the win was the Cutthroats first on their 12-game road trip that takes them through the month of January. Denver is now 1-2-2 on their trip that heads to Bloomington on Friday night and Patterson, the CHL’s top goalie and rookie in December, is now 11-6-2 on the season with a .920 save percentage.
-A couple members of the CHL's coaching fraternity reached milestones last week with Rapid City's Joe Ferras moving past Bill McDonald for fifth on the league's all-time wins list with 320 victories and Fort Worth's Dan Wildfong becoming the 14th coach to reach 200 CHL wins with his victory over Allen on Saturday night.
-Arizona forward Chad Nehring continued his torrid pace last week scoring five goals in the Sundogs three games giving him a league leading 25 goals on the season and 16 strikes in his last 13 games. Nehring has scored goals in all but three of his team’s last 13 contests.
-Fort Worth defenseman Ross Rouleau was a league-best +6 in the Brahmas 6-2 win in Tulsa on Sunday afternoon. Although he entered the game as -1 on the season, Rouleau has posted a +13 mark in his last eight games.
-The Tulsa Oilers put an end to their 12-game road losing streak with an impressive 4-1 win in Missouri on Friday night. Oiler newcomer and former Mav Patrick Schafer scored a goal in his first game with Tulsa and Shane Madolora stopped 31 of 32 shots.
-The Bloomington Blaze and the Quad City Mallards boast the top scoring rookie duos in the league with Bloomington’s Tyler Gron and Sebastien Trudeau combining for 61 points (33-28=61) and Quad City’s Mike Stinziani and Mike Hellyer combining for 52 points (23-29=52).
-The CHL takes a mid-season break this week with no action scheduled until Friday night when Allen plays at Arizona, Fort Worth is at Quad City, Denver is at Bloomington, Missouri is at Rapid City and Tulsa is at Wichita.
-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.