Friday, October 23, 2009
CENTRAL HOCKEY LEAGUE HEADLINES
Brahmas Continue Tough Trek
No one has it tougher to start than the defending Ray Miron President’s Cup Champion Texas Brahmas who are coming off a two-game split in Colorado on opening weekend. The Brahmas travel to Mississippi on Friday night and then return home for their home opener on Saturday night hosting the RiverKings. Six of Texas’ first seven games are against teams that made the playoffs last year with the lone exception being a Halloween tilt with the expansion Allen Americans. The Brahmas will be without playoff MVP Jason Deitsch on Friday, he’s been suspended by the league for his actions on Oct. 17 in Colorado.
Picking Up Where He Left Off
Odessa goaltender Juha Toivonen saw his first action of the 2009-10 season on Tuesday night in a 7-0 shutout victory over the Killer Bees (24 saves). The CHL All-Rookie team member from a year ago now has three shutouts in his last five decisions dating back to last year’s Southern Conference Finals versus Texas. Toivonen led the Jacks to 2-0 wins in both game four and game six. The Jackalopes Odessa plays at the undefeated Amarillo Gorillas tonight and then is home to Bossier-Shreveport on Saturday.
Welcome to the Team
No team made a bigger splash in the off-season than the Rapid City Rush. Four of their big summer acquisitions got off to great starts in the Rush’s two-game series sweep over the Missouri Mavericks on opening weekend. Brendan Cook, Brendon Hodge, Colt King and Scott Wray combined for seven of the team’s eight goals and added five helpers. The Rush host the winless Arizona Sundogs in a pair of games this weekend.
All-Star Signing in RGV
The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees are off to a bit of a slow start dropping each of their first two home games by a combined 12-3 margin. Head coach Chris Brooks is trying to add a little spark by signing free agent all-star forward Joel Irving. The former Montreal Canadiens draft pick (1994) led the Arizona Sundogs in scoring last season with 35 goals and 69 assists.
On the Move
The early part of the season has seen several players get dealt including Kurtis Dulle from RGV to Colorado, R.G. Flath from Amarillo to Corpus Christi and Karl Sellan’s rights from Arizona to Missouri. Dulle (35 points with Bees last year) should add some offense to the Eagles blue line and Flath scored 19 goals during the 2007-08 season with Austin (coached by current IceRays head coach Brent Hughes). Sellan should be an instant fan favorite for the expansion Mavericks providing versatility. A year ago he scored 29 goals while leading the CHL with 401 penalty minutes.
BY THE NUMBERS
3- The number of shutouts in the CHL through the league’s first week. Last year, the CHL’s third shutout did not come until November 26th. So far this season Mike Brown, Jean-Philippe Levasseur and Juha Toivonen have recorded shutouts for their clubs.
38.5- The league-leading power play percentage of the Laredo Bucks who have scored five PP goals in 13 chances.
20- The number of consecutive power play chances the Odessa Jackalopes penalty killers have stopped through their first three games. Last year, Odessa finished fifth in the league with an 84.4 success rate.
6- The difference in goals for and goals against in the second period of the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees two games this season. The Bees have been outscored 7-1 in the middle frame this year.
874- The number of points that Wichita’s Jason Duda has in his CHL career leaving him just one point behind Doug Lawrence for third place on the CHL’s all-time point list. Duda is currently third on the league’s list in goals (338) and assists (536).
3- The number of goals the Tulsa Oilers scored in the second period of their win last Friday in Mississippi. The Oilers are the only CHL team to not play their second game and will do so on Friday night in Wichita before playing their home opener on Saturday night.
-Be sure to check out the new CHL-TV offering fans an interactive approach to watching their favorite CHL teams. Fans purchasing the CHL-TV Season Pass before October 30th will receive 300 points in the CHL Loyalty Rewards program. Watch CHL-TV at http://chltv.insinc.com.