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Rivalry Week Kicks Off Tonight vs. Kings

February 23, 2007 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Youngstown SteelHounds News Release

Every year the month of March always seems to bring excitement with "March Madness," "WrestleMania," and the last dash to the Central Hockey League Playoffs and with March right around the corner it makes perfect sense that the Youngstown SteelHounds begin "Rivalry Week" tonight when they play the first place Memphis RiverKings at 8:05pm in Memphis. The Hounds will be playing division rivals Memphis and Bossier-Shreveport this weekend and in seven of their next nine games and these teams do not play nice.

Tonight it's the Hounds at 24-16-9 (57pts) look to take their first victory over Memphis since this opening week of the season when these rivals drop the puck from DeSoto Civic Center at 8:05. The RiverKings at 34-12-3 (71pts) lead the Northeast division and only trail Colorado by three points for the first seed in not just the Northern Conference Playoffs but possibly for home ice advantage throughout the CHL President's Cup Playoffs, have defeated the Hounds four straight times including two by way of the shootout.

Youngstown comes in on a hot streak winning three of their last four and getting a point in every game against the Wichita Thunder going 3-0-1 during the four game stretch and currently sit in the fifth position for the Northern Conference Playoffs, only trailing Oklahoma City by two points for the coveted fourth seed. In this new playoff system it is important to remember that in the first round the highest seeded team that loses will still advance to the second round. The Hounds are 6-2-1 in February tying the franchise record for most wins in a month, a win tonight or tomorrow would break that record set in December of this season when Y-Town went 6-3-1.

The SteelHounds are certainly in the middle of a rivalry week as they play at Memphis tonight and then go to Louisiana to play the second place and fellow division rival Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs on Saturday night for another 8:05pm start. Then the Hounds return home to host the RiverKings for three in a row starting on the first of March before having the team they are trying to catch for fourth place in the Oklahoma City Blazers come to town for a two game weekday affair starting on the sixth when they play a kids day game presented by Youngstown State at 10:30am. Rivlary week certainly isn't over as after the two game set with Oklahoma CIty the Hounds come back south for a back to back weekend at Bossier-Shreveport and then Memphis.

The Hounds as always are powered by the veteran leadership and scoring of the league's two best point producers in Jeff Christian and Chris Richards but will look for defensemen Jeff Alcombrack to keep his point streak going (currently at seven games) to help propel the SteelHounds to victory against a Memphis team that now has two good goalies they can rely on in Larry Sterling who is 27-8-3 and leads the league with most games played at 41 and now Kevin Schieve who just won Oakley CHL Goalie of the Week honors and in just a short time is already 5-3-0 with a shutout.

It is sure to be a great night in Memphis tonight when the Hounds take on the Kings and you can tune in for all of the action on ESPN Radio 1240am-The Fan and as Hounds Game Night starts at 7:50pm and we will drop the puck at 8:05.

*Don't forget Hounds fans that the Hounds host these very same Memphis RiverKings for three in a row from March 1-3 with the famous Hanson Brothers from the movie "Slap Shot" appearing on Friday the second for a 7:05pm start. Seats are still available by calling the SteelHounds today at (330) 747-PUCK.*

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Central Hockey League Stories from February 23, 2007

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