CHL Headlines for Friday, February 18
Statement Weekend for the Brahmas
The Texas Brahmas (24-15-5) have quietly become a team to watch out for winning three straight games and going 9-3-2 in their 14 games. This weekend will be a big test for the Brahmas who host rivals Odessa (20-23-6) on Friday night and Allen (34-10-1) on Saturday. Texas is 5-2-0 versus the Jacks this season but have been stymied by the Americans losing all six games thus far. Texas has 53 points sitting alone in third place in the Berry Conference just one point behind the second place Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (26-20-2). Rookie goaltender Wayne Savage has been a big reason for the Brahmas success ranking fourth in the league with a 2.53 GAA and sitting with a 5-1-1 record in his last seven decisions. Forward Chad Woollard is on a five-game goal scoring streak notching six scores over that span. His seven-game goal scoring streak between Jan. 1 and Jan. 21 is tied for the longest in the league this season.
Rush Collide with Another Hot Team
Two of the hottest teams in the CHL battle on Friday night when the Rapid City Rush (30-17-4) and their 11-game win streak take on the Missouri Mavericks (25-17-5) who are on a five-game point streak (4-0-1) and are 5-1-1 in their last seven games. The Rush have a tough two games playing at Missouri on Friday and then returning home (717 miles) to host the Arizona Sundogs (19-25-5) on Saturday. On the Rush’s franchise record 11-game win streak, the team has doubled-up the opposition 42-21 on the scoreboard and forward Ryan Menei has led the charge with nine multiple-point games during the 11 games totaling 21 points (12-9=21) and accumulating a +16 plus/minus rating. Menei’s surge has him third in the league in scoring with 71 points (33-38=71) and his 33 goals lead the league. In the goaltending department, Danny Battochio has won eight straight decisions with two shutouts over that stretch. His 22 wins lead the league.
Looking for Three
The Mississippi RiverKings (24-22-4) will look to win three straight games for the first time this season on Friday night when they travel to Wichita (25-18-4) to play the Thunder, a team they defeated 4-1 on Sunday in Mississippi. The RiverKings have won back-to-back games seven times this season but have yet to manage three straight victories. Should Mississippi beat the Thunder, the fourth straight win would have to come in Colorado as the ‘Kings finish their brief road trip against the Eagles (29-18-3). Mississippi’s 16 home wins are tied with Allen for the most in the CHL but their eight road wins are tied for the fewest in the league. The RiverKings are tied for fourth place with Tulsa sitting with 52 points. All-star defenseman Nathan Lutz leads the team with 21 points (6-15=21) in 22 road games played.
By the Numbers
17- The current point streak of Tulsa forward Chad Costello who returns to the Oilers from the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL) in time for tonight’s game versus Evansville. His 72 points (28-44=72) were the most in the league at the time of his call-up on Feb. 10 and currently rank second to Odessa’s Sebastien Thinel (76 points).
1-8-1- The record of the Odessa Jackalopes (20-23-6) over their last 10 games seeing them fall to the sixth spot in the Berry Conference just one point ahead of Rio Grande Valley and three points ahead of the eighth place Arizona Sundogs (19-25-5). The Jacks lone game over the next seven days is on Friday night in Texas versus the Brahmas who have won three straight games.
-16- The goal differential for the Fort Wayne Komets (21-20-5) in the second period of games this season. Fort Wayne has had the advantage in the other two frames (+3 in the first period and +6 in the third period). The -16 is the third largest differential in the middle frame in the league.
5- The number of shorthanded goals that Mississippi’s Louis Dumont has scored this season leading the CHL. The veteran has two SHG’s in his last six games and the RiverKings as a team lead the league with 14 SHG’s.
2- The current season-long losing streak of the league-leading Allen Americans (34-10-1) who dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season in their last two outings (both against the RGV Killer Bees). Allen will look to put an end to the unfamiliar losing ways when they play at the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (26-20-2) on Friday night. Allen is 6-1-0 this season versus the ‘Bugs. The game features the league’s two top power plays with Allen leading the way at 25.4% and Bossier-Shreveport sitting second at 19.2%.
7- The number of games the Dayton Gems (23-19-4) have outshot their opponents this season going 2-5-0 in those games. The seven games are the fewest among any CHL team as far as out-gunning the opposition. The Gems are 21-14-4 when earning fewer shots than the other guys including last night’s 2-1 win over Quad City who outshot the Gems 46-29.
-Bossier-Shreveport defenseman Jamie Milam has been surging up the leaders among blue-liners in scoring ranking third currently with 40 points (12-28=40). In his last 10 games, Milam has six goals and 10 helpers. Six of those 10 games have seen Milam record multiple-point games.
-The Laredo Bucks will look to put an end to their six-game home losing streak (0-4-2) and their five-game losing streak overall (0-4-1) when they play at Rio Grande Valley on Friday night. The Bees have won seven of the 11 match-ups so far this season and are 3-1-1 on home ice versus the Bucks. RGV has points in five straight games going 3-0-2 over that stretch with back-to-back wins over the league’s top team (Allen) to their credit.
-After a seven-game win streak was snapped on Feb. 8 in Quad City, the Colorado Eagles have lost four of their last five games going 1-3-1 over that span. The Eagles have scored just nine goals in those five games but are still alone in second place in the Turner Conference and are just three points behind the first place Rapid City Rush. Colorado hosts Arizona on Friday and Mississippi on Saturday.
-The Quad City Mallards and the Bloomington PrairieThunder renew their rivalry on Friday night in a battle between a couple of 55-point teams. The Mallards have owned the season series so far winning five of the seven head-to-head contests. The Mallards and the PThunder boast two of the top three defenses in the league with QDC allowing a league-best 2.71 goals/game and Bloomington permitting just 2.98 goals/game.