Monday, October 31, 2011
1.) Still Perfect- After two weeks of play in the 2011-12 regular season, two CHL clubs remain undefeated and four total teams are without a regulation loss. The Missouri Mavericks (5-0-0) and the Wichita Thunder (4-0-0) are both undefeated and both have been quite impressive to start the season. The clubs will meet this Friday in a classic showdown between unbeaten clubs. The game will be played at the INTRUST Bank Arena and will be the sixth and final game of a season-opening six-game road trip for the Mavs. Wichita has played three of their four contests at home and have won three shootouts so far this season. Also without a regulation loss are the Rapid City Rush (3-0-1) and the Evansville IceMen (1-0-1). The Rush are next in action on Friday night in Fort Wayne and the IceMen play at Bloomington on Friday.
2.) Shootouts Galore- Nearly a quarter of the games to start the season have been decided by shootouts with eight total games needing time past regulation to determine the outcome. The Wichita Thunder lead the way needing a shootout three times, while Allen, Bloomington and Rapid City have all been past regulation twice. The Thunder are 3-0 in shootouts while Allen is at the other end of the spectrum at 0-2 (both losses coming to Wichita). Wichita’s Brett Hemingway and Matt Robinson have each scored twice during shootouts leading all skaters in the CHL. Last year through as many games, there were half as many shootouts (3) and overtime games (4).
3.) In Front of the Home Crowd- The final three CHL teams yet to play in front of the home fans will do so on Saturday night with Missouri hosting Wichita, Evansville hosting Fort Wayne and Dayton hosting Quad City. The IceMen will be celebrating the first hockey game ever in the brand new state-of-the-art Ford Center on Saturday night. The building seats close to 9,000 fans for hockey and the currently unbeaten in regulation IceMen are excited to show their fans this year’s club.
Inside the Numbers
9: The season-long home stand of the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees that begins this weekend when they host the Texas Brahmas on Friday night. The Bees will be on home ice from November 4th through the 19th and will see Allen three times, Arizona and Laredo twice each and Tulsa and Texas once during the stretch. Rio Grande Valley dropped both their home games so far this season, both to Missouri on Oct. 21 and 22.
On the Fly
-The Dayton Gems are the lone CHL club looking for their first win after Texas’ 3-1 victory over Tulsa on Sunday. The Gems have earned points in two of their three games so far and have played all three games away from home. This weekend, the Gems play a home-and-home with Quad City with their home opener set for Saturday night at Hara Arena.
-It was a big weekend for Quad City forward Eric Giosa who helped his team to back-to-back road wins over the Bloomington Blaze accounting for the game winner each night. Giosa’s three goals and one assist were good enough to be named the Oakley CHL Player of the Week.
-Forward Kyle Laughlin was quite an opening day edition for Bloomington Blaze head coach Paul Gardner. The former Providence College standout has scored goals in each of the Blaze’s first three games this season and leads his team in goals and shots (17).
-A couple of Arizona Sundogs veterans reached milestones this past weekend with Tyler Butler playing in his 500th professional game and Adam Smyth playing in his 400th pro contest. Both achieved their feats on Saturday night at Tim’s Toyota Center.
- The Tulsa Oilers have been quick starters this season scoring the game’s first goal in four of their five contests. When scoring first, the Oilers are 3-1-0. Defenseman Sean Erickson has scored two of their four first goals for Tulsa.
-The Rapid City Rush have been maybe the best special teams club in the CHL through 26 games as they are second in the league on the man advantage and tops in the penalty kill department. The Rush are 6 for 20 on the power play including going an amazing 5 for 12 (41.7%) over the weekend in their two victories over Dayton. When shorthanded, the Rush have successfully killed off all 18 chances they have had.
-Fort Wayne center Brett Smith scored two goals on Saturday in the Komets 4-3 shootout win over the Evansville IceMen in his 399th professional game. Smith should reach the 400-game plateau on Friday when the Komets host the Rapid City Rush.