CHL Headlines for Monday, January 24
Bloomington Takes Over First Place
The chase for the Turner Conference lead is as hotly contested as it has been in recent memory with seven teams within four points. The PrairieThunder have taken over first place thanks to a 5-3 victory over Colorado on Sunday. The PThunder have 46 points, two more than the Eagles, the Missouri Mavericks, the Quad City Mallards and the Wichita Thunder. Still within shouting distance are the Dayton Gems (43 points) and the Rapid City Rush (42 points). The Rush will have some pressure on them this week and can turn the standings around somewhat as they play in Wichita on Tuesday and in Quad City on Wednesday.
Widening the Gap
The Berry Conference leading Allen Americans look as if they have no intention of letting anyone else join their party. The Americans have won four straight games outscoring their opposition 17-8 over that stretch and have prevailed in six of their last seven games. Nino Musitelli has three goals in his last four games and has netted the game winner in two of the Americans four games during their win streak. Musitelli finished the 2009-10 season with 23 goals in 62 games but has already netted 20 scores in half the games (31 games) this season. Allen has three games this weekend with a home-and-home with Laredo on Friday/Saturday and a Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup rematch on Sunday versus the Rapid City Rush. Allen leads the league in offense averaging close to four and a half goals per game but amazingly, they have no one in the league’s top 15 in scoring.
Oilers Keep on Winning
Tulsa is riding a four-game win streak and on Saturday night showed they can do it in different ways winning 2-1 in a shootout against the Texas Brahmas. The first three wins on their streak came via the offensive variety as they scored 22 goals. Chad Costello is second in the league in scoring with 63 points (25-38=63) and has five goals, seven assists and a +9 plus/minus rating over his team’s win streak. The Oilers have a big week ahead as they host Colorado on Tuesday and then have a home-and-home with Missouri on Friday/Saturday.
200- The number of CHL goals that Tulsa forward Marty Standish has scored in his career after netting the game winner in Tulsa’s fourth straight win, a 2-1 shootout victory in Texas. Standish becomes just the 22nd player to reach the 200-goal plateau.
0-6-1- The record of the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs during their team-record tying seven game losing streak - the ‘Bugs have scored just 12 goals, no more than three in a single game, during their slide. The Mudbugs will look to get back in the win column on Tuesday night when they host the Texas Brahmas.
16- The number of shots on goal that Odessa’s Mike Ramsay had in Saturday’s 6-5 shootout win in Arizona. The total was three shy of the CHL record (Tulsa’s Luc Beausoleil, 1998) and the most in a single game since the CHL/WPHL merger. Ramsay scored two goals including the game winner in the shootout and last season had the most shots in a CHL game last season when he rattled off 12 on Feb. 5.
6- The number of consecutive games that Wichita’s Jesse Bennefield has found the back of the net scoring a single goal in six straight games. Bennefield was named the Oakley CHL Player of the Week on Monday thanks to four goals and three assists with a +6 plus/minus rating in four games, all wins. Bennefield has scored the game winner for the Thunder in each of the last two games.
1925:30- The league-leading number of minutes that Dayton’s all-star goaltender Jeff Jakaitis has played this season. The netminder has won three of his last four decisions and is 16-13-3 on the season.
+112- The Wichita Thunder plus/minus as a team which ranks second in the league behind only Allen’s +160. Forward Aaron Davis leads the team with a +20.
10:05- The special start time for the Mississippi RiverKings/Bloomington PrairieThunder game on Tuesday in the ‘Kings annual ‘Face-Off Field Trip’ game. Catch all the action LIVE on CHL-TV.
-Wichita’s win over Laredo on Sunday was their fifth straight victory and it marked the first time in eight tries all-time that the Thunder had beaten the Bucks in regulation. Dustin Donaghy, playing in his fifth game with the Thunder since being acquired in a trade from Allen, scored a hat trick marking the first goals he had scored as a member of the Thunder. Chris Greene ended a five-game scoreless drought with three assists.
-Evansville finished a tough road stretch in style last week winning games in Colorado and Rapid City and ending their 14 road games in 17 contests with wins in four of their last five games. The IceMen finished their journey with a 5-7-2 mark. Four of their next six games will be played at home beginning this week when they host Quad City and Dayton.
-Arizona has a couple streaking forwards with Cam Keith recording points in 14 straight games (the longest streak in the CHL this season) and Luke Erickson boasting a 13-game point streak. Keith has totaled 24 points during his streak and Erickson 23 points. Erickson has scored 14 goals in his last 11 games storming to the league lead with 26 goals on the season. The team has a modest streak of their own earning points in five straight home games (4-0-1).
-Quad City’s goaltending duo of Adam Russo and David Brown have been doing their job lately allowing just 12 goals over their last six games and boasting the league’s best defense at a 2.69 goals against per game average. The Flock are 8-3-0 in their last 11 games.
-An interesting stat for the Colorado Eagles focuses on their performance in the first 20 minutes. The Eagles are the only team to not win a game when trailing after 20 minutes (0-9-0). Conversely, the first period means little to the Allen Americans who are 9-6-0 when trailing after one period.
-Tulsa’s Ian Keserich had a big weekend in net winning his only decision but playing five periods thanks to Trevor Cann being removed from Friday’s win versus Laredo after one period (illness). Keserich stopped 57 of 58 shots in the two games and turned away all five Texas shooters in the Oilers 2-1 shootout win on Saturday. On the season, Keserich is 14-10-0 with Tulsa and he leads the league stopping 20 of 22 shooters in shootouts (more than five attempts).