Friday, December 12th, 2008
CENTRAL HOCKEY LEAGUE HEADLINES
1) Bucks Burning Up the Southeast
2) Oil Prices Going Up?
3) New Position for Ftorek
1- The Laredo Bucks (16-5-1, 33 points) have picked things up in dramatic fashion after a bit of a slow start sitting with a 4-3 record after seven games. Since that time, the Bucks have gone 12-2-1 including winning six of their last seven games and 10 of their last 12. The catalyst to the Bucks success is the line of Jeff Bes-Rick Kozak-Darryl Smith who have combined to score 60 points (21-39=60) with an astounding +30 plus/minus rating in their last 12 games. Laredo has outscored their opponents 45-26 over their last 12 games. The Bucks are at Odessa on Saturday in a battle of the two top teams in the Southern Conference.
2- The Tulsa Oilers (6-11-2) could be ready to make their move winning two of their last three games including a 3-1 win versus the Northeast Division’s best team, the Oklahoma City Blazers, on December 6th. The Oilers have been busy in recent days signing Sean Collins on November 29th (four points in four games with Tulsa) and then adding Mike Mullin and R.J. Linder prior to this weekend’s games. Tulsa has tons of firepower up front with Michel Beausoleil (29 points), Jeff Christian (29 points) and Brendon Hodge (25 points). Getting offense elsewhere has been the challenge with the team’s fourth leading scorer being Jason Lawmaster with 12 points and no other skater with double-digit points. The Oilers will be challenged this weekend with games at Odessa (15-5-2) and Oklahoma City (15-3-2).
3- Amarillo player/assistant coach Sam Ftorek is having an outstanding season with 23 points (8-15=23) for the Gorillas with much of his success coming after switching from forward to defense early in the season. The high-powered veteran started the season as a winger for Amarillo and went scoreless in the team’s first two games. Due to injuries and need, Gorillas coach Tom Coolen moved Ftorek to d-man before the team’s third game and he promptly went on an 11-game point streak. He currently leads all defensemen in points and goals.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
7 The number of goals that Laredo rookie Darryl Smith has scored in his last six games including a five-game goal scoring streak that was snapped last night in Corpus Christi…The longest streak in the CHL this season is six games reached twice (Arizona’s Adam Perry and Rocky Mountain’s Aaron Davis)…Smith has vaulted up to the top of the ranks with his 17 goals on the season (tied with Colorado’s Greg Pankewicz)
3-0 The Colorado Eagles record versus the Southern Conference this season…They host the Amarillo Gorillas and Arizona Sundogs of the South this weekend
1.75 The team goals against average of the Oklahoma City Blazers leading the CHL…The Blazers have allowed a league-low 35 goals and have allowed two goals or fewer in 14 of their 20 games so far…OKC has not allowed more than three goals in a game this season
0-7-1 The Wichita Thunder’s record when outshooting their opponent…The Thunder are the only team in the CHL without a win when earning more shots than their opposition
121:54 Brett Jaeger’s (TEX) current shutout streak dating back to a Laredo goal in the first period of a game on December 6th…Jaeger fell to Laredo 2-1 allowing a shootout goal as the game winner (not officially a goal against)…Jaeger, 9-2-2 on the season, came back and shutout RGV on Tuesday
Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – The Bees went through the first nine games of the schedule with a 6-1-2 record but have faltered in their last 10 games going 3-7-0. RGV outscored their opponents by 10 goals in the first stretch but have been outdone by 11 goals in their last 10 games. A telling stat deals with the Killer Bees penalty kill which was near the top of the league in mid-November stopping 67 of 77 chances (87%) but over their last 10 games, they have stopped just 46 of 60 chances (76.7%).
THIS DATE IN CHL HISTORY (December 12, 2004)
Oklahoma City’s Michel Beausoleil scored a goal and had an assist in the Blazers 4-2 win over Memphis…It was part of a seven-game point streak for Beausoleil in a season that saw him finish with 45 goals and 24 assists…This season, Beausoleil is with Tulsa and is currently on a 17-game point streak tied with Jeff Bes of Laredo for the longest point streak in the league this season.