November 26, 2012 - Central Hockey League (CHL)
Three Things You Need to Know
1.) Shootout City- The Rapid City Rush (8-6-3) and Denver Cutthroats (8-7-1) finished off their four-game series last week with the Cutthroats getting the better of the Rush with three wins and a shootout loss. In fact, each of the last three games went to a shootout. He Rush are 1-3 in shootouts this season with all four of them coming in their last five games and the Cutthroats are 3-1 on the season. Damian Surma scored the shootout winner for the Rush on Friday night and A.J. Gale and Jamie MacQueen scored the winners for Denver in their two games. The clubs next meet on December 11th.
2.) Thunder's Streak Hits Four- The Wichita Thunder (10-5-2) have now won four straight games and the CHL Finalists from a year ago have quietly moved all the way up to second place with 22 points (three behind first place Allen). Wichita has outscored their opponents 17-10 during their win streak and next have a pair of games at Denver on Friday and Saturday against the Cutthroats who are 7-3 at home. Wichita has relied on a balanced attack with Ian Lowe, Les Reaney, Kevin Young and R.G. Flath (the reigning Oakley CHL Player of the Week) accounting for five points in their last five games. The Thunder's special teams have been a big reason for their recent success as their power play is now third in the league at 20.5% and their penalty kill is second at 87.9%.
3.) Americans Flex Muscle in Series Vs. Arizona- The Berry Conference leading Allen Americans (12-2-1) showed why they are on top this past week when they went 2-0-1 in their three-game series against the Arizona Sundogs (8-6-3). Allen fell in a shootout on Wednesday night and then responded with a 7-1 pounding on Friday night and a gutty 3-2 win on Saturday night in a game that they were outplayed during a large majority of it. Aaron Dell picked up the wins in the series stopping 66 of 69 shots faced improving to 5-2 on the young season. The rookie leads the CHL with a 1.89 GAA and a .936 save percentage. Dell has allowed two goals or fewer in five of his seven appearances so far. Allen is next in action on Friday night when they play the last placed Tulsa Oilers (6-9-2) who have dropped five straight games (0-4-1).
By the Numbers
71: The combined number of points the league's top three scorers have with Bloomington's Jon Booras sitting with 26 points, Denver's A.J. Gale sitting with 23 points and Bloomington's Nicklas Lindberg sitting with 22 points. The trio will all be on display at the Denver Coliseum on Wednesday night when the Blaze make their first ever visit to Denver to face the Cutthroats.
-What a return for the Batman, Danny Battochio, who rejoined the Rush after more than nine months out of the game. The former CHL Rookie of the Year was seriously injured in mid-February and did not play the rest of the season. His return saw him stop 23 of 25 shots in a 3-2 shootout win over Denver on Friday night. He followed that up with a 34 save effort in a 2-1 shootout loss to Denver on Sunday.
-The Tulsa Oilers penalty kill has been red-hot lately allowing just one PP goal in their last 24 chances. Tulsa killed off all four Bloomington PP chances on Friday night and the Blaze owned the league's top PP at the time. On the season, Tulsa is fourth in the league with an 85.1% PK.
-With wins over Fort Worth on Friday and Bloomington on Saturday, the Missouri Mavericks have their first two-game win streak of the season. More impressively is how the Mavs earned the wins outscoring the opponent 10-2 and getting great goaltending from Mathieu Corbeil who stopped 50 of 52 shots during the two contests.
-Allen forward Scotty Howes has two goals and six assists over his last five games and is currently tied for the league lead with 10 goals on the season.
-Quad City forward Mickey Lang has recorded a point in all but two of the Flock's 15 games this season and he leads the team with 18 points (9-9=18). Dating back to the end of last season, Lang has 20 goals and 23 assists in his last 40 games played.
-Maybe no goaltender in the league is hotter right now than Denver's Kieran Millan who is 4-0-1 in his last five starts allowing just five goals in those games. His 2.12 GAA on the season is second in the league.
-Be sure to catch all of the action on CHL-TV all season long. CHL-TV is powered by America ONE Sports.