Friday, February 20th, 2009
CENTRAL HOCKEY LEAGUE HEADLINES
1) Mississippi’s Magic Number
2) Hughes to the Rescue
3) Mudbugs Visit Sundogs
1- The Mississippi RiverKings (32-14-3) can clinch a playoff spot with a magic number of three points heading into this weekend’s pair of games versus the Wichita Thunder (16-30-3). Any combination of the ‘Kings earning points or Rapid City not earning possible points will move Mississippi into the post-season. The RiverKings have jumped into the division lead in the Northeast topping Bossier-Shreveport by two points and Oklahoma City by three points. Overall, Mississippi has won three straight games and are 16-3-3 since December 27th. Stephen Margeson is the hottest scoring King with four goals in his last five games.
2- The Corpus Christi IceRays became the third CHL team (Amarillo and Tulsa) to make a coaching change this season when they removed Sylvain Cloutier as head coach and replaced him with Brent Hughes. The Rays are one point from a playoff spot at 21-25-4 with 14 games remaining. Hughes comes to the team with an outstanding track record at 208-119-28 (.625 win percentage), all with the Austin Ice Bats. Hughes coached parts of six seasons with the Bats making the playoffs in five of those six years. The only miss was when he took over the Ice Bats with 21 games remaining during the 2006-07 season. Hughes first test will be on Friday versus Oklahoma City.
3- The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (31-14-3) visit Prescott Valley for the first time in team history when they play the Arizona Sundogs (22-25-3) in a pair of games this weekend. The Mudbugs are two points behind the RiverKings for first place in the Northeast Division and are just one point ahead of Oklahoma City. Arizona is one point ahead of Corpus Christi for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Southern Conference.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
33 The number of goals that are out of the lineup for the RiverKings with both Bobby Chaumont (25 goals) and Darrell Stoddard (eight goals) on the 14-day injured reserve
199 The number of goals that Greg Pankewicz has scored in his CHL career ranking 17th on the league’s all-time goal list…He trails #16 Derek Grant by six goals
0-3-3 The Southwest Division leading Odessa Jackalopes record over their six-game losing streak…Four of the six losses have come by one goal
91 The number of one-goal games the teams from the Southeast Division have been a part of (Corpus Christi, Laredo, Rio Grande Valley, Texas)…The teams have won 50 of those games with Texas owning the best mark at 15-3-4 in games decided by a lone goal
10 of 11 The number of games that Corpus Christi’s Chris Richards has been an even or plus in his last 11 games…Over that stretch, the veteran is a +7 with 11 points (4-7=11)…On the season, he is tied for third in the CHL with 64 points (26-38=64)
20-5-4 The Oklahoma City Blazers record outside the Northeast Division…The Blazers travel to Corpus Christi, Rio Grande Valley and Texas this weekend…Versus the Southern Conference, the Blazers are 9-3-1
11 The number of consecutive home wins the Texas Brahmas have, the longest home winning streak in the CHL this season…Texas has outscored their opponents 51-25 during their 11-game home winning streak
-Bossier-Shreveport’s Head Coach Scott Muscutt will be just the third coach to manage 350 CHL wins with his next victory…The ‘Bugs visit Arizona on Friday night making their first ever appearance in the state of Arizona…Muscutt is third on the all-time win list trailing Chris Stewart-375 and Doug Sauter-534
-Rocky Mountain’s Simon Watson has the longest active point streak in the CHL at 10 games…He has nine goals and five assists over his hot streak
-Colorado’s Ryan Tobler and Greg Pankewicz are tied atop the CHL’s goal scoring list with 30 goals apiece…Tobler also leads the league with 18 power play goals
-The Texas Brahmas have lost just two regulation games this season when scoring the first goal…Overall, the Brahmas are 21-2-2 in the 25 games they have scored the first goal…Tyler Skworchinski leads the team by scoring four first goals
-Last year’s CHL Most Outstanding Goaltender, John DeCaro when with the Mudbugs, is 3-0 with the Portland Pirates (AHL) with a .922 save percentage