It is another exciting action-packed Friday night here in the Central Hockey League as all fourteen teams will take the ice. There is only a month left of games so this final stretch is vital for any team trying to make a playoff push.
You can catch every game on every night LIVE on CHL-TV
Wichita (34-14-2) @ Evansville (33-13-4)
The matchup of the night will take place in Evansville as the Icemen and the Wichita Thunder showdown for the third time of the year. Both teams have won a game while in the other’s building, and have the chance tonight to take the series advantage tonight.
As well, both squads lead their respective conferences and are tied with each other for the league lead. Wichita has 70 points and sits three points above the second place Americans in the Berry. Likewise, Evansville has 70 points and sits three points above the second place Komets in the Turner.
Evansville is currently on a seven game win streak and have really stepped up this second half of the season. A large part of this success is due to veteran Todd Robinson (who is riding an 11-game point streak) and goaltender Brian Gillis who is having a career-best season.
The Wichita Thunder have also been on fire and have gone 9-2-0 in their past 11 games and have been solid at home this whole season. They lead the league with the best home record and the fans make it difficult for every team that comes into Wichita. However, if they want to keep their number one spot they will have to win games while on the road as well.
Tonight will be a preview of what could possibly be a championship matchup of two powerhouse teams.
Arizona (16-28-7) @ Fort Wayne (32-16-3)
The Fort Wayne Komets will host the Arizona Sundogs tonight as they travel into town for the third and final game in this series. The only two games played were back-to-back games on Jan.27 and Jan. 28 which resulted in a win for each team. The rubber match will take place tonight as bragging rights are on the line.
The Komets are fighting for more than just bragging rights as they look to keep their second place spot in the Turner Conference. They sit comfortably in the Turner with 67 points, only three shy of the first place Icemen, and six above the third place Mavericks. The Komets are 3-1-1 in their past five games and will look to keep things rolling tonight.
The Sundogs have slipped out of the playoff push but are still fighting for their pride. They are in seventh place in the Berry and see a large thirteen point gap out of a playoff spot but are still fighting game in and game out. They find themselves on a 3-game losing streak and will work to snap that tonight.
It will be a good game between unfamiliar teams tonight when the puck drops and the skates start moving.
Missouri (28-17-5) @ Dayton (17-24-10)
The Missouri Mavericks and the Dayton Gems will battle it out tonight for the fourth and final time on this season’s series. Although in the same conference, these teams have only seen each other three times before this (Dayton has the series advantage with two games won). Missouri will have a chance to settle the scores tonight in the last game against each other.
Missouri is currently fighting to keep their third spot in the Turner as they sit with 61 points, only two above the fourth place Rush. The Mavs are 2-2-1 in their past five games and know that they can perform better. They will need to keep finding ways to win if they want to make the playoffs when the season ends.
Dayton is in sixth place in the Turner with 44 points and have slowly slipped out of a playoff chance. The Gems are in the midst of their 5-game home streak and will look to get a win in front of the fans tonight. Not only will they be battling for two points, but also for pride as the hungry Mavericks come into town.
Laredo (19-29-1) @ Allen (29-12-9)
It will be a battle between two Texas teams as the Laredo Bucks come into Allen for a matchup against the Americans. These teams have played eight times on the season with each team winning four of those games.
These teams will battle it out tonight in Allen before both traveling to Laredo for another game tomorrow night. Including tonight, these two teams have five more games on the schedule before the season ends.
The Americans find themselves in second place in the Berry with 67 points, only three points shy of the first place Thunder, and will look to keep winning games to get that number one spot. They have a comfortable spot in the standings, but should not let that get to their heads tonight.
Laredo finds themselves in sixth place in the Berry with 39 points tied for last place with the Sundogs. They have fallen out of the playoff race and a large reason is the lack of scoring this team brings. They have the lowest total for “Goals For” and have only won one of their last seven games played. They will look to get things turned around tonight, for their pride and for their fans.
Texas (27-17-8) @ Tulsa (23-20-6)
Two teams fighting for their playoff lives will go at it tonight in Tulsa as the Oilers host the Texas Brahmas. This will be the sixth time these two teams have played (Tulsa has the advantage with three wins) as they only have four more games on the schedule.
They will play tonight in Tulsa before traveling to Texas for two more back-to-back games. Both teams see a tough three-games-in-three-days schedule a head of them.
The Texas Brahmas find themselves in third place in the Berry with 62 points, ten points above the fourth place Oilers. They are 7-0-1 in their past 8 games played and keep finding ways to win games; a large reason is due to rookie goaltender Mark Guggenberger who has stepped up his play immensely.
Tulsa, with their 52 points, only have a three point advantage that is keeping them in the playoff picture. The Oilers will need to step up their play in this final stretch; they have gone 2-5-1 in their past 8 games and realize that this is not the best hockey they can play.
This game will be important for both teams as they strive to keep their spot in the standings.
Bloomington (18-26-6) @ Rio Grande Valley (21-24-7)
The Bloomington Blaze will travel into Rio Grande Valley for the weekend for back-to-back games against the Killer Bees. This will be the first time these two teams have played as their three game series goes under way.
The Blaze are seventh in the Turner with their 42 points and have dropped out of the playoff race. On top of that, they have gone 2-2-2 in their past six and will look to get that record to a winning one tonight while on the road. Bloomington will play in four straight road games before traveling back home for a matchup against the Mallards.
The Killer Bees are in fifth place in the Berry and still have a fighting chance of making the playoffs. They have 49 points and only sit three points shy of the final spot in the Berry. If they can manage to string a couple of wins together they will be able to make a push for that spot.
Quad City (28-21-1) @ Rapid City (27-17-5)
The Quad City Mallards will find themselves in Rapid City for the weekend for back-to-back games against the Rush for the final time these teams see each other. This weekend will be the fifth and sixth time these two teams have played; the Mallards have the series advantage with three wins already.
Each of these teams is currently fighting to keep their playoff spot and have the last two playoff spots in the Turner. Rapid City sits in third with 59 points and only have two points on the fourth place Mallards.
Rapid City is 3-1-1 in their past five games and have the least amount of “Goals Against” in their conference. If they keep this up, the future after March will definitely look good for them.
Quad City is 3-2-0 in their past five games and need to remain solid as well if they want to keep going when the season ends.
This game is vital for both these teams as two important points are on the line. The battle will commence when the puck hits the ice.