Monday, January 28th, 2008
JACKS JUMP TO TOP SPOT IN THE SW DIVISION
The Odessa Jackalopes (22-10-7) used a three-game win streak last week to jump past the Arizona Sundogs (23-12-4) into first place in the Southwest Division. Odessa played great hockey all week starting with a 2-0 shutout win on Tuesday at Amarillo versus the Gorillas. The Jackalopes then returned home taking on two of the hottest teams in the Southern Conference in the New Mexico Scorpions and the Austin Ice Bats. On Friday versus the Scorpions, the Jacks won 6-3 and then followed that up with a 5-1 victory over the Ice Bats on Saturday night putting an end to the Bats six-game win streak.
The “French Connection” all had an outstanding week led by Sebastien Thinel who totaled two goals with six assists. Olivier Proulx had two goals with four assists and Dominic Leveille had three points (1-2=3). Defenseman Mario Joly contributed two goals in the Jacks efforts.
The goaltending for Odessa remained strong with rookie Alexandre Vincent going 2-0 on the week including earning fourth shutout of the season. Overall, he is 12-4-4 with a 2.18 goals against average. The veteran of the duo, Mike Gorman, is 10-6-3 with a 2.90 goals against average.
The Jacks are home for three games this week with Amarillo, Youngstown and Arizona all visiting the Jack Shack.
THINGS TIGHTEN UP IN THE NORTHWEST
The Colorado Eagles (24-9-5) are making a run and putting a little bit of pressure on the Rocky Mountain Rage (28-7-3) who for the majority of the season has been cruising with a double-digit lead in the Northwest Division. The Eagles are fresh off a two-game sweep in Arizona (a place they had never won) and are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. Riley Nelson, just named the Oakley CHL Player of the Week, had three goals and three assists during the 3-0 week for Colorado. Goaltender Marco Emond has done nothing but win as of late going 10-1-0 in his last 11 starts and 6-0 in his last six. Rocky Mountain has been steady all season but in their last seven games are 4-3-0. The Eagles are 18-4-3 (39 points) over their last 25 games, the Rage are 17-6-2 (36 points) over that same 25-game stretch.
OILERS HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
The Tulsa Oilers (12-23-3) are coming off back-to-back wins over the Wichita Thunder (12-24-1) ending a five-game losing streak. The struggles this season for Tulsa are an enigma as on paper they appeared to be primed for a run at the Northwest Division championship. Injuries have hurt the team with one of those missing significant time being Brendan Hodge who just recently rejoined the club. In 16 games this season, Hodge has scored five goals with eight assists. The Oilers announced last week that veteran goaltender Kevin St. Pierre will be out the remainder of the season (wrist surgery). Veteran Jeff Christian (last season’s league MVP) got off to a slow start scoring seven points (1-6=7) in his first 13 games but since has been on fire scoring 11 goals with 27 assists in his next 25 games. Christian is currently on CHL season-high 22-game point streak that has seen him amass 34 points. First-year Oiler Warren McCutcheon (essentially a rookie, 27 games last season in the ECHL) has been a scoring threat since his first game. He has scored a goal in 18 of the 30 games he has played totaling 21 markers.
RYCROFT APPROACHING LEAGUE RECORD
Daymen Rycroft notched a goal in each of the four games the Rage played last week putting his goal-scoring streak to 10 games. The CHL record is 13 games set on two occasions first by Daniel Larin of OKC (1992-93) and then again by Memphis’ Carl Menard (1995-96). Rycroft could potentially tie the record on Saturday at Rio Grande Valley. The Rage play Laredo on Wednesday and Corpus Christi on Friday. On the season, Rycroft is the CHL’s leading goal scorer with 34 and ranks fifth on the scoring list with 58 points (34-24=58). His 15 power play goals and eight game winning goals also lead the league.
The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs have not lost a game in regulation since December 8th in Colorado. They are currently on a 19-game point streak (18-0-1) and have won a franchise-record 17 straight home games (CHL record is 21 set by Laredo during the 2003-04 season)…Ken Carroll has won 13 straight decisions…Texas’ Anders Strome is on a six-game scoring streak (5g, 2a)…The Austin goaltending duo of Miguel Beaudry and Doug Groenestege have combined to go 8-2-0 in January with a 2.20 GAA and .936 save %...Mississippi goaltender Ian Keserich is 3-0 with a 1.33 GAA since joining the RiverKings…The Blazers scoreless streak of 171:19 set a new franchise record…Colorado’s Ed McGrane has a point in 10 straight games (3-14=17)…Half of the Eagles games have been decided by a goal with Colorado posting a 11-3-5 record in those games…Rocky Mountain has not lost back-to-back regulation games this season...Wichita leads the CHL with 76 major penalties…RGV’s Travis Banga is two goals shy of 100 in his career.