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Shots from the Point for February 4, 2011

February 4, 2011 - Central Hockey League (CHL) News Release

CHL Headlines for Friday, February 4

Two of the Hottest Clash

In one of the feature match-ups of the weekend, the Wichita Thunder () travel in Indiana to take on the Fort Wayne Komets (16-18-5), the two winningest teams in the CHL since Christmas, on both Friday and Saturday. Fort Wayne is coming off three straight wins on a road trip that saw them play twice in Bossier-Shreveport and once in Texas. The Komets are 10-3-3 since Christmas but are just 1-2-2 in their last five home games. Wichita has earned points in eight straight games going 7-0-1 over that stretch. The Thunder has won four straight games away from home. Fort Wayne is in eighth place in the Turner Conference and the Thunder are in fourth place. Wichita is 12-3-1 since Christmas. A.J. Gale leads Wichita with nine points (5-4=9) in his last five games and former Wichita forward Tab Lardner has four goals in his last five games. Wichita enters the weekend as the second highest-scoring team in the CHL (3.88 goals/g ame) and Fort Wayne ranks last (2.69 goals/game).

Streaking Leaders Look to Continue Winning Ways

The Colorado Eagles (26-15-2) and the Rapid City Rush (25-17-4) have found themselves in the familiar spot of battling for the lead in their conference as they enter this weekend tied with 54 points apiece. Surprisingly, both teams have been doing their damage on the road. The Eagles have won five straight games overall and four straight on the road, while the Rush are 6-0 on their season0long eighth-game road trip. The Eagles face Odessa in a pair of games this weekend and the Rush travel to South Texas for a pair of games versus the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees.

Super Bowl City Home-and-Home

With the Dallas/Fort Worth area overtaken by Super Bowl mania, the Allen Americans (30-8-1) and the Texas Brahmas (21-14-5) are set to keep hockey alive when they battle in a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday. The Berry Conference leading Americans have owned the Brahmas this season winning all five previous match-ups. Allen has won six of their last seven games overall, while Texas has points in three straight games (2-0-1).

1296 and Counting

Mississippi forward Jeff Christian is approaching a remarkable feat as he is just four games shy of playing in 1300 professional games. The veteran began his pro career 20 years ago when he debuted with the Utica Devils in 1990-91 after being a second round draft pick of the New Jersey Devils in 1988. During his rookie season, the Burlington, Ontario native scored 24 goals with 42 assists for the AHL affiliate of New Jersey. In the CHL, Christian has scored 496 points in just 343 games putting him four points from becoming the 23rd player to hit 500 CHL points. This season with the RiverKings, Christian has 12 goals and 24 assists. His best pro season came during the 2006-07 campaign with the Youngstown SteelHounds when he totaled 38 goals and 78 assists earning the CHL Most Valuable Player Award.

Numbers Game

250- The number of goals that Arizona forward Joel Irving has scored in his professional career reaching the milestone on Wednesday night scoring the Sundogs lone goal in a 4-1 loss to Laredo.

6-3- The combined record the Quad City Mallards have versus their two opponents this weekend. On Friday, the Flock hosts the Bloomington PrairieThunder who they are 4-2-0 against this season with goaltender David Brown shutting the PThunder out in each of the last two meetings. On Saturday, the Dayton Gems come calling with QDC owning a 2-1 season series advantage.

6- The number of wins the Tulsa Oilers have in their last seven games as they visit the Mississippi RiverKings on both Friday and Saturday night. The RiverKings present a formidable challenge as they are 10-3-1 in their last 14 home games. In one of the longest rivalries in the CHL, the Oilers own the all-time advantage 69-62-14 and are 2-1-0 this season against Mississippi.

41- The total points scored by the Colorado Eagles ‘big three' of Riley Nelson, Kevin Ulanski and Aaron Schneekloth over the team's last 10 games. The trio were all a part of the 2010 All-CHL Team and as of late, Nelson has been leading the way with eight goals and seven assists along with Ulanski's five goals with 10 assists. Schneekloth, the two-time reigning CHL Defenseman of the Year, has two goals and nine assists and is a team-high +16 in his last 10 contests. The trio has combined to account for four of the Eagles game winning goals over the last 10 games (7-3-0 over that stretch).

Slap Shots

-Last night in Bossier-Shreveport, the Mudbugs looked to be back in early-season form with a 5-1 thumping of the Evansville IceMen. The ‘Bugs offense was aided by a goal and an assist from Shawn Limpright and four helpers from Jamie Milam. Bossier-Shreveport outshot the visitors from Indiana 47-23 in the first of back-to-back games. The re-match is set for Friday at the CenturyTel Center. Evansville has not lost back-to-back games since January 1, 5.

-Tulsa's Chad Costello was named the Sher-Wood CHL Player of the Month for January this week after posting 10 goals and 16 assists in 11 January games. The Oilers went 8-3-0 during the month.

-Arizona and Laredo meet in the third and final game of their three-game set this week that has cured the Bucks ills as they are 2-0 so far outscoring the Sundogs 9-4. Laredo now finds themselves just one point behind the slumping Sundogs for seventh place in the Berry Conference. Arizona has the longest current losing streak in the CHL at six games (0-5-1).

-The CHL's trade deadline is set for Monday, February 7 at 3:00 PM (CST).

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Central Hockey League Stories from February 4, 2011

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