Friday, December 2, 2011
1.) November to Remember- The month of November has passed and several teams made big moves during the month with Allen, Evansville, Fort Wayne and Rio Grande Valley all winning eight games. The Americans finished with an 8-2-1 record earning the most points for the month (17). The clubs that struggled were Bloomington (1-9-1), Laredo (3-8-0), Missouri (3-5-2) and Quad City (4-7-0). On Thursday, Fort Wayne’s Brett Smith (7-13=20 pts in Nov.) and Allen’s Marco Cousineau (5-0-1, 13 GA) were named the Sher-Wood Central Hockey League Player/Goaltender of the Month, respectively. The 50/50 Central/CHL Rookie of the Month will be announced on Friday and the Oakley Three Stars of the Month will be announced on Monday.
2.) Komets and Rush Tangle in South Dakota- Two of the top teams in the Turner Conference battle this weekend when the Fort Wayne Komets (9-5-0) take on the Rapid City Rush (8-6-1) on Friday and Saturday nights. The Komets have won four straight games overall and have not lost in their last four road games. The Komets have won two of the three match-ups this season including splitting a pair of games at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center on Nov. 11 and 12. Nick Boucher is 2-0 with a 2.14 GAA against the Rush and he is coming off a stellar month of November that saw him go 7-2 with a 2.05 GAA. The Rush are a beat-up bunch with Andrew Smale, Patrick Knowlton, Anthony Perdicaro, Wade Poplawski, Collin Circelli, Derek Knowles and Joe Grimaldi all on injured reserve. Despite the short bench, the Rush are 5-2-0 on home ice this season and are coming off a series win over Evansville last week that saw Rapid City win two of the three games. Fort Wayne’s Brett Smith enters the game on a league-best 13-game point streak followed by Rapid City’s Jesse Schultz who has a point in 12 straight games.
3.) Two of League’s Best Meet in Wichita- Two of the best and most consistent clubs in the CHL go at it when the Wichita Thunder (11-4-0) and Evansville IceMen (9-4-1) battle in a big showdown on Friday night at the INTRUST Bank Arena. Wichita leads the Berry Conference with a CHL best 22 points and the IceMen are in first place in the Turner Conference. Evansville is 6-3-1 on the road this season and the Thunder are 7-2-0 at home. The game features the CHL’s best offense (Wichita is averaging 3.73 goals per game) and the CHL’s best defense (Evansville is allowing just 2.54 goals per game). The Thunder has won three straight games and the IceMen have dropped two of their last four decisions including a 6-2 decision last night in Bloomington.
Inside the Numbers
14: The number of victories the Allen Americans have in 21 games against their Dallas/Fort Worth rival Texas Brahmas in the all-time series. Allen owns the only win this season, 5-1 back on Oct. 28, and is carrying a 14-5-2 all-time record against the Brahmas. The two clubs meet this weekend on Friday and Saturday night at the NYTEX Sports Centre.
On the Fly
-On Thursday night the Mavs continued to struggle losing for the sixth time in their last seven games (1-5-1 over that stretch). Missouri fell in Dayton 4-1 in the first of three straight meetings between the two Turner Conference clubs.
-The Tulsa Oilers have scored a league-high 20 power play goals this season and currently rank fourth in the league with a 22.5% success rate. Most of their damage has been done on home ice were 15 of their 20 man-advantage goals have come. The Oilers host Bloomington, who has given up the fourth fewest power plays, on Friday at the BOK Center.
-The Arizona Sundogs (7-8-3), winners of three straight road games, face-off twice this weekend against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (9-6-0). The two clubs split a pair of games in Arizona last weekend. The Sundogs are one of seven CHL clubs with an above .500 road record (Arizona is 4-2-2).
-Dayton’s dynamic duo of Damian Surma and Brett Lutes has been tough to slow down lately as the two have combined to score four goals with 12 assists in their last five games. The strong play has helped the Gems to a 3-1-1 mark over that stretch. Lutes has nine points over that span and Surma has seven points with each skater scoring two goals.
-Texas forward Chad Woollard has scored two goals on 15 shots in his last three games (2g, 2a during that stretch). The veteran sniper ranks 11th on the league’s all-time goal scoring list with 259 scores and leads all active CHL players.
-Wichita’s Aaron Davis and Brett Hemingway each have scored goals in all the games during the Thunder’s current three-game win streak. Davis has four goals over that stretch and Hemingway has scored three times. The Thunder are at home for two games this weekend battling Evansville on Friday and Tulsa on Sunday.
-The Quad City Mallards (6-8-0) and the Laredo Bucks (5-10-0) will play each other twice this weekend in the first ever meetings between the two storied franchises. The Bucks have won two CHL Championships (2004 and 2006) as a part of four straight Finals appearances and the Flock have won three titles (1997, 1998 and 2001).
-After having a four-game stretch that saw him score six times, Tulsa rookie Mike Ullrich has been held scoreless in each of his last two games. The slowdown is overshadowed by the first-year player’s strong start to the season and the fact that he is tied with RGV’s Aaron Lee at the top of the CHL’s goal scoring list with 12 strikes.