Monday, December 5, 2011
1.) Still Rolling- The Fort Wayne Komets (11-5-0) enjoyed a successful trip to Rapid City sweeping the host Rush in a pair of games (3-2 on Friday and 3-1 on Saturday). The wins gave the Komets the season series advantage on the Rush four games to one. Fort Wayne has won six straight games (tied with Missouri for the longest win streak in the CHL this season) and for the first time in the CHL enjoyed first place in the Turner Conference after Saturday’s game (Evansville’s win on Sunday moved the IceMen back into first place). Fort Wayne has not lost a game since Nov. 18 and after their 3-4-0 start have caught fire going 8-1-0. Goaltender Nick Boucher was in net for both wins against the Rush and now leads the league with 10 wins and a 2.25 goals against average. Forwards Brett Smith (24 points) and Bobby Chaumont (22 points) are both amongst the league’s top 10 in scoring. The Komets will look for number seven in a row on Friday night in Bloomington.
2.) Road Warriors- The Quad City Mallards (8-8-0) enjoyed their first ever visit to South Texas beating the Laredo Bucks (5-12-0) in back-to-back games by a combined 9-2 scoring margin. David McKee earned both wins in net stopping 58 of 60 shots (.967 save %). In Saturday’s 5-1 win over the Bucks, 11 different skaters notched a point and no skater had more than one point in the Flock’s balanced attack. Quad City’s special teams were outstanding going 3 for 7 with the man advantage while scoring two shorthanded goals when a man-down. The Mallards have won three straight road games overall but next will be at home when they host the Rapid City Rush (8-8-1) on Tuesday night with a chance to leapfrog the Rush in the standings. The Rush beat the Mallards on Oct. 22 by a 5-1 score- the only meeting so far this season.
3.) Busy Bees- The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (10-6-1) have been as good as any team in the league over the past couple weeks as only the Fort Wayne Komets (8-2-0) can top RGV’s 7-2-1 mark in their last 10 games. The Bees have four games this week with home contests against Allen on Tuesday and Texas on Wednesday before heading to Laredo for a pair of games over the weekend. The Killer Bees have points in three straight games overall (2-0-1) and have gone 4-0-1 in their last five games at the State Farm Arena. Their eight home wins are tied for the most in the league (Wichita). Goalie John Murray has not lost a game since Nov. 9 going 5-0 since that date. On the season, Murray is 6-3-0 with a 2.56 GAA.
Inside the Numbers
4: The number of times this season that the Berry Conference leading Wichita Thunder have come back to win a game after trailing through two periods. Wichita is 4-3-0 when sitting in a deficit after 40 minutes winning for the fourth time on Sunday against Tulsa when they trailed 2-1 after two periods and 3-1 in the third period. All other 13 CHL teams have combined to just win nine times when trailing after two frames and no one else is even scratching .500 in such scenarios. Last year, Wichita was 4-21-1 when trailing after two periods.
On the Fly
-The Allen Americans (10-4-3) will win their 100th game as a franchise with their next victory, Allen plays at Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday night. The Americans are 99-37-11, in this their third season. Head Coach Dwight Mullins has the league’s best all-time win percentage at .710.
-Rio Grande Valley’s Aaron Lee remains tied for the top spot in the league with 13 goals (Tulsa’s Mile Ullrich also has 13) and on Monday, Lee was named the Oakley Three Star Player of the Month for November earning 26 points. His total was 10 points higher than the next competitor (FTW’s Nick Boucher and EVA’s Todd Robinson).
-The Evansville IceMen (11-4-1) have moved back into first place in the Turner Conference thanks to their 3-2 win over Bloomington on Sunday, their first home game in 16 days. Evansville has set the table nicely for themselves with 11 of their first 16 games this season on the road and going 7-3-1 in those contests. The IceMen will play eight of their remaining 10 games in 2011 at their new home, the Ford Center, starting Friday night versus the Dayton Gems (8-6-4).
-The Missouri Mavericks established a new franchise high with 51 shots on goal in Friday’s loss to Dayton. The Mavs eclipsed their previous high shot total of 50 (09-10 season) and also set a new franchise record with 27 shots on goal in one period (third).
-What an impact forward Vladimir Nikiforov has made for the Bloomington Blaze (3-12-2). Signed just after Thanksgiving, Nikiforov has scored five goals with two assists in just four games with the Blaze. His efforts last week (5g, 1a) earned him the Oakley CHL Player of the Week award. His presence helped end the Blaze’s 12-game losing streak on Nov. 26 and since he joined the team they have gone 2-2 with wins over Allen and Evansville (both were conference leaders at the time of their losses to BLM).
-The Texas Brahmas (8-6-3) ended a four-game slide on Saturday night with a 4-1 win over Allen. The win marked the first time since Nov. 12 (seven games) that the Brahmas scored more than three goals in a game. Although Texas had lost four straight, three of those came in OT or SO (0-1-3).
-On Friday night, in Fort Wayne’s 3-2 win at Rapid City, Komets forward Colin Chaulk earned his 500th assist with the Komets. The veteran has a goal (the game winner in Friday’s game) and six assists in his last five games – all Komet wins.
-Arizona’s 3-2 shootout win on Saturday night at Rio Grande Valley marked their league-leading 12th one-goal game of the season. The Sundogs six one-goal victories are tied with Wichita for the most in the league. Arizona was won three straight one-goal games they have played, all in either a shootout or overtime. The Sundogs are 5-2-0 in their last seven games.
-After losing their third straight game on Saturday night, the Laredo Bucks (5-12-0) waived forwards Todd Griffith and Jason Reese along with defenseman John Kearns. The trio combined to score nine goals with 16 assists and collectively were a -33 during their time with Laredo.