Monday, January 16, 2012
1.) Offense Rolling- The Quad City Mallards offense is rolling lately taking over the league lead averaging 3.71 goals per game. The highlight of this past week for the Flock came in Friday’s 9-1 win over the Dayton Gems. The nine goals were the most scored in a CHL game this season and it was fueled by players who don’t normally light up the score sheet. Jason Kostadine scored a goal and had three assists, Jeremy Boyer had two goals and two assists and Mickey Lang had two goals and an assist. The trio accounted for 11 points (5-6=11). During all their previous games this season, Lang, Boyer and Kostadine combined to score 14 goals and 11 assists (25 points). The Flock are tied for second place in the Turner Conference sitting three points behind Fort Wayne for first place. The team the Mallards are tied with (Evansville) come visiting on Tuesday night in a huge Turner Conference showdown.
2.) Home Ice is Nice- Three CHL clubs have been taking care of business on home ice recently as the Wichita Thunder (eight games), Quad City Mallards (seven games) and the Missouri Mavericks (six games) are all on extended home ice win streaks. The Thunder have not lost in front of the home fans since Dec. 2 (a 5-2 loss to Evansville), the Mallards have been perfect at home since a 4-2 loss to Bloomington on Dec. 20 and the Mavs last home loss came on Dec. 20 against Laredo. The longest home win streak in the league this season is eight games (Rapid City and Wichita’s current streak). The Flock will put their streak on the line Tuesday when they host Evansville, winners of three straight games and seven of their last 10 overall. For the Mavs, their six-game win streak will be tested Saturday versus Bloomington and the Thunder don’t return home until Sunday when the host Texas.
3.) South Texas Rivalry Renewed- It has been more than a month since the South Texas duo of Laredo and Rio Grande Valley have gone head-to-head, but for the rest of the month of January, they will reacquaint themselves meeting four times starting Tuesday night in Hidalgo. So far this season, the two teams have split six games with Laredo winning the last two meetings. Aaron Lee leads the Bees with six goals and nine points versus the Bucks and Adam Rivet has four goals in six games against RGV. Laredo is coming off back-to-back losses in Arizona and have lost four of their last six overall, while the Bees have been playing solid hockey since falling below .500 on Dec. 18 by going 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.
Inside the Numbers
184:55: The number of minutes that Missouri goaltender Charlie Effinger played this past weekend winning all three starts. Effinger allowed seven goals while facing 116 shots (.940 save percentage) earning wins against Allen, Bloomington and Fort Wayne. The win in Bloomington was a 36-save shutout (his second straight shutout against the Blaze) and his win on Sunday against the Komets came in a shootout. Effinger is 14-7-1 on the season and he is 8-2 in his last 10 decisions.
On the Fly
-The Tulsa Oilers are hoping the Martin Luther King Day holiday will bring them some luck as they play the Allen Americans in a special matinee game at the Allen Event Center. The Oilers are on a season-long losing streak (0-4-1) and for the first time this season are outside the conference’s top four clubs.
-The Rapid City Rush saw their eight-game home win streak end on Friday against Wichita but they still have been nearly unbeatable at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center winning nine of their last 10 home games while earning a point in all 10 (9-0-1).
-When Evansville’s Pier Pelletier went down with an injury on Dec. 17, there was some cause for concern, but rookie Bryan Gillis has jumped into the everyday role for the IceMen and responded with some of the best numbers in the league. In his first five games as the starter, Gillis went 2-2-1 allowing 20 goals. However, in his last five games, the Halifax, Nova Scotia native is undefeated allowing just seven goals. Gillis is 12-3-1 on the season.
-Quad City forward Brandon Marino saw his 13-game point streak come to an end in Sunday’s loss at Bloomington but what a stretch the All-Star Game MVP had for nearly a month. The 13-game streak is tied for the second longest in the league this season (12 goals, 10 assists) and during his streak he celebrated a five-game goal streak (tied for the longest goal streak in the league this season). His hot play saw him score 10 goals over a 10 game stretch recording a marker in nine of those 10 games. He has taken over the league lead with 50 points and tops the CHL with 24 goals.
-Not having the All-Star Break has seemingly agreed with the Arizona Sundogs who hosted this year’s game and got the opportunity to play the CHL All-Stars. The Sundogs have won the two games following the break with goaltender Scott Reid playing outstanding in net turning away 58 of 62 shots (.935 save percentage). Arizona will have a tough stretch over their next seven games as they host Wichita on Wednesday, Allen on Friday/Saturday and then play in Allen and in Wichita before returning home for a pair of games against Fort Wayne next Friday/Saturday.
-The Fort Wayne Komets celebrated a couple milestones this past weekend with Jesse Bennefield skating in his 200th CHL game on Saturday in Evansville and Bobby Chaumont recording his 200th career point (assist) Friday against Bloomington.
-Wichita’s Brett Hemingway continues to be the go-to-guy for the Thunder in shootouts scoring his league-best fourth shootout goal in Friday’s win at Rapid City. Hemingway is 4 for 6 this season accounting for three game winning goals. Wichita has won five of the six shootouts they have been in this season.
-Coming off a tough six-game road trip, the Texas Brahmas were happy to be back home on Sunday playing in front of a sold out crowd and beating the RGV Killer Bees, 4-2. The Brahmas went 1-4-1 on their journey but didn’t lose much ground in the standings still sitting in third place in the Berry Conference with 39 points (16-13-7). The Brahmas head south to Laredo on Wednesday and then return back home for a pair of games against conference leading Wichita.