Friday, December 5th, 2008
CENTRAL HOCKEY LEAGUE HEADLINES
1) Homecoming in Wichita
2) Heart and Soul of Blazers Hockey
1- The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (11-5-2, 24 points) take on the Wichita Thunder (6-12-1, 13 points) in the Kansas Coliseum on Saturday night in what will be the first return visit for long-time Thunder player Travis Clayton (now a Mudbug). Clayton played 696 career games with Wichita prior to joining Bossier-Shreveport before the season. The two teams met on Thursday night in Bossier City with the ‘Bugs winning 1-0 with Clayton, in storybook fashion, scoring the lone goal. Prior to the game, Clayton was recognized for breaking the CHL’s all-time record for games played with 709. Along with Clayton, three other Mudbugs have ties to Wichita: Todd Paul, Joe Blaznek and Jon Horrell. Horrell earned the shutout on Thursday night making 31 saves, he is 3-0-1 on the season.
2- Oklahoma City defenseman and Captain Tyler Fleck will reach a historic milestone on Saturday night in Tulsa when he plays in his 500th professional game, all with the Blazers. In his career, the hard-nosed d-man has scored 30 goals with 127 assists for 157 points. He has also added 1168 penalty minutes. He joins Joe Burton and Hardy Sauter as Blazers to reach 500 games. The Blazers are off to their best start in franchise history with a 14-2-2 record. Fleck has a goal and two assists is near the top of the team with a +7 plus/minus rating.
3- The Laredo Bucks (13-5-0) had head coach Terry Ruskowski scratching his head earlier in the season losing two of their first three games and at one point sitting 4-3-0 which is not were Ruskowski wants his team. Recently, the Bucks have been looking like their old selves taking over first place in the Southeast Division with a 13-5-0 record and winners of eight of their last nine games. The reigning CHL MVP, Jeff Bes, has fueled the team’s strong play with 16 assists over those same nine games and currently sitting with the league’s longest point streak at 16 games (29 points). He leads the league with 33 points and 28 assists. Rookie goaltender Ryan Gibb has won four straight decisions and is 6-1-0 on the season. The Bucks are home to Arizona on Friday and at Texas on Saturday in what should be a telling weekend.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
0-11-1 The Wichita Thunder’s record when trailing after two periods…Conversely, the Thunder are 6-1-0 when leading after two period
22-9 The goal differential between the Odessa Jackalopes (12-5-2) and their opponents during their current five-game win streak…Odessa has pushed their lead in the Southwest Division to nine points over Arizona
2 The number of shutouts New Mexico’s Jason Wolfe has recorded this year leading the CHL..The Scorps netminder is 3-5-1 on the season with 66% of his wins coming via shutouts
-Odessa placed defenseman Mario Joly on the 30-day injured reserve this week and goaltender Juha Toivonen (9-3-1 on the season) injured his knee and could be out for more than a month
-Both Jason Deitsch (Texas) and Sean Zimmerman (Arizona) have been re-called by their AHL affiliates (Houston and San Antonio respectively)
-The Rocky Mountain Rage have scored the first goal in eight of their last nine games and are 5-4-1 on the season when scoring first
-Trevor Weisgerber (RGV’s leading scorer with 19 points) joins Rob Voltera on the injured reserve leaving the RGV Killer Bees without two of their most threatening offensive weapons
-Tulsa’s Michel Beausoleil stretched his point streak to 15 games with a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Texas…The reigning Sher-Wood CHL Player of the Month for November has eight goals and 19 assists over his streak
-Texas defenseman Justin Kinnunen scored a pair of goals in the Brahmas 5-1 win over Bossier-Shreveport on November 29th marking the first time in his pro career he has scored two goals in a game
THIS DATE IN CHL HISTORY (December 5, 2003)
Jay Woodcroft scored four goals and had two assists for six points in the Corpus Christi IceRays 6-4 win over the Colorado Eagles…It was Woodcroft’s only season in the CHL (31 points in 47 games)…This past summer, Woodcroft was named an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks after spending the last three seasons as the video coach of the Detroit Red Wings winning a Stanley Cup ring with the Wings a year ago.