CHL Headlines for Monday, March 7
Team of the Week – Dayton Gems
The Dayton Gems are on an active league-best three-game win streak after yesterday’s 6-2 victory over the Missouri Mavericks (ended Missouri’s four-game win streak). Dayton is 5-2-0 in their last seven games and although tied for seventh place in the Turner Conference and just three points out of fifth place. Goaltender Jeff Jakaitis (22-17-3) was called up for his second AHL stint on Saturday (Portland). Seven of Dayton’s last 10 games are on the road where they are 11-13-2 on the season but they have won back-to-back away contests. This week, the Gems play at Bossier-Shreveport on Tuesday, at Mississippi on Thursday, back at Bossier-Shreveport on Friday and then at Evansville on Saturday in what will be one of the most trying trips of the season for the Gems.
Rivals Square Off on Tuesday
Playing for the10th time this season, the Tulsa Oilers and Wichita Thunder will meet for the 212th time in the 19 year rivalry between the two clubs on Tuesday night in the BOK Center. The Oilers have won six of the nine match-ups this season and are 103-86-22 in the all-time series. The teams have combined to score 75 goals in the nine games this season, an average of more than eight scores per game. Tulsa has won three straight games in the series and four of the last five. The two top scorers in the series for the Oilers (Chad Costello and Harrison Reed) are both on re-call with the Lake Erie Monsters in the AHL. The due combined for 10 goals and 15 assists in the games versus Wichita. The trio of A.J. Gale, Matt Robinson and Aaron Davis has scored 18 of the 36 goals netted by the Thunder versus Tulsa. The rivals will meet in a home-and-home series on March 25/26 to close out the season series.
The Dance is Filling Up
Six of the eight teams that will qualify for post-season play in the Turner Conference have been determined after the Wichita Thunder, Quad City Mallards and Missouri Mavericks all claimed their spot this past weekend. Those three teams join the Rapid City Rush, Colorado Eagles and Bloomington PrairieThunder who had already clinched their spots. The Dayton Gems and Fort Wayne Komets could each earn their spot and finalize the Turner field with a win or a regulation loss by the Evansville IceMen. In the Berry Conference, Allen and Texas have earned their berths and Tulsa will be the team with the next chance with a ‘magic number’ of just two points (either the Oilers earning points or the Bucks failing to earn possible points).
By the Numbers
33- The number of goals the suddenly offensive Dayton Gems have scored over their last five wins. Dayton is 5-2-0 in their last seven games and are currently tied with Fort Wayne for seventh place in the Turner Conference. Twice over their last five wins, the Gems have scored eight goals in a game. On Feb. 23, the Gems were 17th in the league averaging 2.82 goals per game but as of March 7 they are 11th averaging 3.05 goals per game.
1- The number of shutouts that have been recorded against the Colorado Eagles at the Budweiser Events Center after Saturday’s 2-0
win for the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees and the 45-save blanking by Juliano Pagliero. The shutout by Pagliero is the first ever in the BEC by an opponent of the Eagles in the regular season and playoffs.
17- The number of career CHL shutouts that Bossier-Shreveport goaltender John DeCaro has after yesterday’s 23-save 6-0 win against the Texas Brahmas. DeCaro’s 17 shutouts are the most among active players and tied him for fourth on the CHL’s all-time shutout list (Mike Gorman). Matt Barnes’ 19 CHL shutouts is next on the list for DeCaro to set his sights on. Former teammate Ken Carroll is the all-time leader with 31 career CHL shutouts.
12- The number of games the Bloomington PrairieThunder have remaining to be played in the final 20 days of the regular season, the most in the league. The PThunder are in third place in the Turner Conference with 69 points, three behind Colorado and Rapid City. Despite trailing in points, Bloomington has the highest winning percentage at .639 based on playing fewer games and having nearly equal wins.
12-5-2- The combined record of the Wichita Thunder versus the Colorado Eagles, Rapid City Rush and Missouri Mavericks during the 2010-11 season. Last year versus those three clubs, the Thunder were winless in 27 games going 0-24-3. The Thunder have 19 more wins than last season’s year-end total (9-50-5) and they still have 11 games remaining in the 2010-11 season.
25- The number of points that Allen’s Colton Yellow Horn has amassed over his current 16-game point streak (11-14=25). The streak is the second longest in the CHL this season (Tulsa’s Chad Costello, 19 games).
-Both the Colorado Eagles and Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees came into the CHL for the 2003-04 season and coincidentally, both played their 500th game in franchise history on Friday night against each other. The Eagles pulled out a 5-4 win and after 500 games carry a 334-125-41 record. The Killer Bees are 212-235-53 after their 500th franchise game.
-Odessa’s Sebastien Thinel is in familiar territory leading the league in scoring with 91 points (25-66=91). He has especially picked it up lately racking up 22 points (6-16=22) over his current 11-game point streak. Thinel’s point lead is 11 over Colorado’s Riley Nelson (32-48-80) and Thinel’s teammate Todd Robinson (25-55=80).
-Allen defenseman Jonathon Zion has made quite an impact for the Americans since joining the team in mid-February. The blue liner has scored five goals with 10 assists in the 12 games he has played. Zion has notched at least a point in 10 of the 12 games he has dressed in.
-After having their four-game win streak snapped in Evansville on Feb. 26, the Fort Wayne Komets have dropped four of their last six games going 2-3-1 over that stretch. The Komets are still one of the top teams in the CHL since Christmas posting a 21-8-5 record since Dec. 22. Fort Wayne is next in action on Friday night in Colorado and then head to Rapid City on Saturday marking the first visits to either venue for the Komets.
-Before Friday’s game at Tim’s Toyota Center, CHL Commissioner Duane Lewis participated in a ceremony awarding the 2012 CHL All-Star Game to the Arizona Sundogs. The format and date of the game will be announced in the future.