Monday, February 6, 2012
1.) Making Noise on the Road-
After losing the first two games on their seven-game road trip, the Rapid City Rush (24-14-3) have caught fire winning four straight games including back-to-back wins this past weekend over the, then, Turner Conference leading Evansville IceMen (25-12-4). A big reason for the recent surge is veteran forward Scott Wray who has awakened from a three month scoring slump with 11 goals over his last nine games (had four goals in his first 32 games). During his hot streak, Wray scored goals in six consecutive games (the longest goal streak in the CHL this season). On Monday, Wray was named the Oakley CHL Player of the Week. Veteran Shawn Limpright has also helped pick up the slack with Jesse Schultz (52 points) out of the line-up with an injury. Limpright has five goals and six assists in his last seven games. The Rush are in fourth place in the Turner Conference, just one point behind Missouri (24-15-4), who they go head-to-head with on Tuesday night in their final game on their road trip and then the Mavs and Rush will shift venues heading to South Dakota for games on Thursday and Friday.
2.) Berry Battle for the Top-
Both the Wichita Thunder (29-12-2) and the Allen Americans (26-10-7) are earning wins with regularity keeping things tight at the top of the Berry Conference. The Thunder currently lead the Americans by one point as the Thunder have won four straight games and the Americans have won three in a row. The two teams will see each other on Thursday night in at the Allen Event Center in the final regular season meeting until the last weekend of the season. The clubs will meet twice in the regular season’s final weekend in what could be very telling games. Each team has won twice in the season series but Allen had the upper hand earning points in all four games (2-0-2). Bruce Graham leads all skaters with four goals in the head-to-head games so far.
3.) Trade Deadline Day Wrap-Up-
Not much action on the CHL Trade Deadline as just two deals were made involving all defensemen. The Dayton Gems sent rookie Chad Langlais to Evansville in exchange for Nick Schneider and Allen traded Dominic D’Amour to Rapid City in exchange for future considerations.
Inside the Numbers
The number of wins the Fort Wayne Komets (27-13-2) have over their last five games as they have reclaimed first place in the Turner Conference leading Evansville (25-12-4) by two points. Fort Wayne is coming off back-to-back wins in Quad City and versus Dayton and have a huge showdown with the second place IceMen on Wednesday night in Evansville. The Komets are 6-3 on the season versus Evansville as Chris Auger has scored eight goals in eight games head-to-head against the IceMen.
On the Fly
-Quad City (24-18-1) forward and All-Star Game MVP Brandon Marino has reclaimed the league-lead in scoring with 61 points (28-33=61) thanks to notching 12 points (4G, 7A) in his last six games. His 28 goals are the most in the league as well and the Flock are back in action on Tuesday when they host Dayton (15-20-8).
-Missouri forward Sebastien Thinel has four assists over his last three games and has moved his all-time total to 698 points. That total ranks him seventh on the league’s all-time list and with two more points he will become just the seventh player in CHL history to notch 700 points.
-Going 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, the Laredo Bucks (18-24-1) have moved out of last place in the Berry Conference and now have a four point cushion between them and the last placed Arizona Sundogs (13-24-7). Goalie Torrie Jung has been playing very well over their recent turnaround posting a 5-1-1 record with two shutouts since Jan. 20. Neil Trimm has paced the team offensively with points in nine of his last 10 games scoring two goals with 13 assists over that stretch.
-In last Friday’s 3-2 win at Quad City, Fort Wayne goaltender Nick Boucher reached two milestones winning his 200th professional game in his 200th game as a Komet. Boucher is 24-9-1 this season with a 2.38 goals against average.
-The Arizona Sundogs are now tied for third in the CHL with eight shorthanded goals after scoring a ‘shortie’ in four straight games (Jan. 25-Feb. 3). Prior to last week, they had the fourth fewest SHG’s in the league.
-RGV’s Dan Gendur recorded his first pro hat trick on Tuesday in a 5-4 loss at Tulsa and the first for a Bee since March 6, 2010 (Aaron Lee). Gendur has 19 points (9-10=19) in 15 games in 2012.
-Despite falling 5-4 in overtime, Saturday’s game versus Rio Grande Valley may be a blessing in disguise for the Texas Brahmas (20-17-8) who are currently in third place in the Berry Conference leading the Tulsa Oilers (21-17-5) by one point. The big positive from the game is that veteran sniper Chad Woollard notched his first hat trick of the season and put an end to his 10-game goalless drought (longest of the season). Woollard currently ranks 11th on the CHL’s all-time goal scoring list with 273 goals and needs just three more scores to tie Chris Richards for 10th on the list.
-In his last season in the CHL, Missouri forward Ed McGrane recorded 44 goals while playing with the Colorado Eagles. Over the past two weeks, he is once again looking like that constant scoring threat as he has chalked up six goals in his last five games helping the Mavs go 3-1-1 over that stretch. McGrane has 20 goals on the season trailing John-Scott Dickson for the team lead by one score.
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