Friday, March 26, 2010
CENTRAL HOCKEY LEAGUE HEADLINES
Conference Semifinals Get Underway this Weekend
The CHL post-season is down to its final eight teams as both the Texas Brahmas and the Missouri Mavericks have advanced to the semifinals thanks to their best-of-3 Opening Round series victories. The South features Allen versus Laredo and Odessa versus Texas (both series’ get underway on Friday night) and the North has Colorado versus Bossier-Shreveport and Rapid City versus Missouri. The Eagles/Mudbugs series starts Friday and the Rush/Mavericks begins on Saturday night. Catch all the action LIVE on CHL-TV (visit http://chltv.insinc.com for ordering information).
Odessa Coach On Quite a Run
Odessa Head Coach Paul Gillis has had a remarkable run during his three seasons with the Jacks winning 119 games averaging close to 40 wins a season. This year, Gillis’ club won 48 games reaching 101 points winning the Bud Poile Governors’ Cup (CHL regular season championship). His 119 wins moved him into the league’s top 25 and his overall win percentage of .667 ranks him fourth on the league’s all-time list behind Chris Stewart, Terry Ruskowski and Doug Shedden.
Mavericks Christian Wins Oakley Three Star Player of the Year Award
Despite not winning the award for one particular month, Missouri Mavericks forward Jeff Christian held on to win the Oakley Three Star Player of the Year Award totaling 64 points, two more than Colorado’s Ed McGrane. The Mavs veteran was named a first star eight times, a second star six times and a third star six times. Christian finished the season with 29 goals and 49 assists for 78 points in 55 games. He helped lead the expansion Mavericks to a post-season berth.
Monthly Awards Handed Out
The CHL announced the winners of the Sher-Wood/TPS CHL Player/Goaltender of the Month for March this week with Colorado’s Ed McGrane winning the player award and Rio Grande Valley’s Andy Franck winning the goaltender award. McGrane scored 14 goals and had six assists in 10 games during the month, while Franck went 5-1-1 with a 1.93 GAA and one shutout during the month.
BY THE NUMBERS
19-7-3- The playoff record of Texas goaltender Brett Jaeger who is 2-0 this post-season with one shutout. Jaeger led the Brahmas past the Corpus Christi IceRays on the Opening round allowing four goals on 52 shots.
63- The number of playoff points that Laredo forward Brent Cullaton has scored in his CHL post-season career, all 54 games coming with the Bucks. Cullaton has scored 12 goals with 51 assists and was a part of both Laredo championships (2004, 2006). The veteran scored two goals with one assist in three regular season games with Laredo this season.
1.68- The goals against average of Missouri goaltender Charlie Effinger after the Mavs Opening Round best-of-3 series win over the Mississippi RiverKings. The rookie goaltender stopped 93 of 98 shots for a .949 save percentage. Missouri hosts Rapid City on Saturday and Sunday.
2- The number of CHL playoff series’ that Missouri veteran Jeff Christian has played in winning his first series on Thursday night in Mississippi. Christian has played in nine career CHL playoff games scoring five goals and nine assists in those games. This season, Christian has helped on four of the Mavs eight goals.
3- The number of consecutive seasons that a rookie CHL head coach has won an Opening Round best-of-3 series as Scott Hillman keeps the trend in tact with the Mavericks win over the RiverKings on Thursday. Last season, Rio Grande Valley’s Chris Brooks beat the Corpus Christi IceRays and two seasons ago Texas’ Dan Wildfong and Odessa’s Paul Gillis each won series’ in the Opening Round.
-Several suspensions could play a big role in this weekend’s games as Rapid City will be without forward Colt King (one game) and Colorado will be without forward Fraser Filipic (two games). Both players were automatically suspended by the CHL for accumulating misconduct penalties during the final weekend of the regular season.
-Tyler Skworchinski is at it again for the defending champion Brahmas scoring goals in each of their first two games in their year’s post-season. Skworchinski was one of the heroes of last year’s championship run scoring 13 goals in 16 games including five game winners.
-Odessa forward Jean Bourbeau was re-called by the Bridgeport SoundTigers of the AHL on Thursday (the AHL affiliate of the NY Islanders). The second-year player scored 12 goals during the regular season for the Jacks.
-The Missouri Mavericks became the first visiting team to win a deciding game in the Opening Round since the mini-round inception in the 2007-08 season. Coming into tonight’s game, the home team was 15-1 in the Opening Round with the lone visiting win coming on Monday night in Corpus Christi when the Brahmas won in overtime.