Friday, December 9, 2011
1.) Leading the Way- The Evansville IceMen (11-4-1) are leading the way in the Turner Conference by a point over the Fort Wayne Komets (11-5-0) and by three points over both the Missouri Mavericks (9-7-2) and Dayton Gems (8-6-4). This weekend, the IceMen play three games in three nights going head-to-head with the Gems on Friday, traveling to Fort Wayne on Saturday and then finishing the weekend by hosting the Bloomington Blaze on Sunday. IceMen forward Todd Robinson has taken over the league lead in scoring with 27 points (6-21=27). In his last five games, the veteran has three goals and six assists.
2.) Brahmas Can Climb the Ladder- The Texas Brahmas (10-6-3) have a big opportunity in front of them this weekend when they put their three-game win streak on the line in a home-and-home series against one of the teams in front of them in the Berry Conference, the Wichita Thunder (12-6-0). On Friday, the Brahmas host Wichita in their first meeting of the season and then on Saturday, the rematch is at the INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita. The Thunder are coming off a 5-3 loss in Allen on Thursday night but have won four of their last six games. The Brahmas lead the all-time series versus the Thunder with 22 wins in 37 games. Texas forward Chad Woollard has started to heat up scoring four goals in his last three games.
3.) Thursday Recap - Berry Conference Battle- The Allen Americans (12-4-3) defeated the Wichita Thunder (12-6-0) by a 5-3 count winning the game with a pair of third period power play goals. Wichita led 2-0 after Matt Robinson scored twice in the opening period but they could not make it hold up. Dominic D’Amour scored a goal and had an assist and Keith Johnson pitched in with three helpers. Marco Cousineau made 28 saves improving his season record to 7-1-1. Allen now leads the Berry Conference by three points over the Thunder.
Inside the Numbers
7: The number of goals that Quad City forward Brandon Marino has scored in his last nine games. The third-year pro ranks fourth in the CHL with 11 goals on the season (22 points) which is one more than he scored in 58 games last season and just two shy of his career-high of 13 (2009-10). Marino is tied for the league lead with three shorthanded goals (one in each of his last two games). The Flock (9-8-0) put their three-game win streak on the line when the host Missouri (9-7-2) on Friday night and then travel to Dayton (8-6-4) for a match-up with the Gems on Saturday night.
On the Fly
-Missouri’s offense has slowed considerably in recent weeks reflecting their struggles to win games (2-6-1 in their last nine games). The Mavs have scored just 18 goals in their last nine games with the team’s leading scorer, Sebastien Thinel, being held without a goal over that span. In their first nine games, the Mavericks scored 36 goals with Thinel chipping in with six of those. The Mavs (9-7-2) play at Quad City (9-8-0) on Friday and then host Allen (11-4-3) on Saturday.
-The reigning Oakley CHL Player of the Week, Bloomington’s Vladimir Nikiforov, will be back in action tonight against Fort Wayne. The recent free agent signing has scored five goals in just four games and has seven points (5-2=7) over that stretch.
-The Laredo Bucks (5-13-0) are the lone CHL team to have not played in a shootout this season. The Bucks have gone to extra time just once winning in overtime on Nov. 25 in Texas. The Bucks have lost four straight games and they host Rio Grande Valley (10-7-2), who has lost three straight games, on both Friday and Saturday.
-Dayton’s goaltending duo of Bryan Hogan (5-5-3) and Larry Sterling (3-0-0) have seen a lot of rubber lately facing an average of more than 45 shots per game over their last three contests. Overall, the duo has stopped 131 of the 137 shots and going 2-1 over that span (the loss was a 2-1 defeat in Missouri).
-The Rapid City Rush (8-9-1) will look to put an end to their three-game losing streak this weekend when they host the Arizona Sundogs (8-9-3) in a pair of games. The Rush has allowed just nine goals during their slide but they have been able to score just five times. The Sundogs have been hot on the road recently with an overall road mark of 5-3-2. Rapid City is 14-5-0 all-time against the Sundogs including currently sitting with an eight game win streak.
-The Fort Wayne Komets (11-5-0) look to win their seventh straight game on Friday night in Bloomington against the Blaze (3-12-2). The win streak would be the longest in the CHL this season. The Komets then head home to face Evansville (11-4-1) on Saturday and Dayton (8-6-4) on Sunday.
-Allen is fresh off of Thursday’s 5-3 win over Wichita but things do not get any easier for the Americans (12-4-3) this weekend with road games in Tulsa (10-7-2) and Missouri (9-7-2). The Americans are 11-2-1 after their 1-2-2 start scoring 57 goals over those 14 games (more than four per game). Bruce Graham (25 points), Jason Deitsch (23 points) and Colton Yellow Horn (21 points) have combined to score 25 goals with 44 assists this season.
-Rookie forward Dylan Clarke has been red-hot for the Tulsa Oilers in recent games scoring four goals with seven assists over his last seven games. Clarke leads all rookies on the season with 24 points (7-17=24) and ranks among the league leaders as well.
-After allowing a pair of power play goals to Arizona on Nov. 25 (a 6-4 loss), the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees have tightened up the penalty kill allowing just one man advantage score for the opposition in their last five games. Over that stretch, the Bees have successfully killed 25 of 26 chances and have climbed to the lead in the CHL with an 86.8% success rate (killed 72 of 83 on the season). In their last outing, a 2-1 shootout loss to Texas, the Bees did not take a single penalty in the entire game.