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Shots from the Point for March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013 - Central Hockey League (CHL) News Release

Three Things You Need to Know

1.) CHL Man of the Year- The CHL Man of the Year Award will be announced next Tuesday and this week the five finalists for the award were unveiled. Earning the honor of being one of the candidates are Bloomington's Jon Booras, Missouri's David Simoes, Rapid City's Scott Wray, Tulsa's Gary Steffes and Wichita's Travis Wight. The award goes to the CHL player who does the best work not only on the ice, but more importantly off the ice with their community initiatives and endeavors. Rapid City's Riley Weselowski won the award last season. Other year-end awards will be announced throughout next week.

2.) Rush Need One More- The Rapid City Rush (32-23-6) have a magic number of just one to clinch their fourth straight playoff berth. The Rush entered the month of February just one game over .500 but have since gone 13-5-1 and have climbed into sole possession of fourth place in the Berry Conference. They host Tulsa (21-35-4) on both Friday and Saturday nights and need just one point to clinch their ticket to the post-season. The Rush can also earn their spot should Bloomington falter in Quad City on Friday night. Any loss by the Blaze would clinch the berth for the Rush.

3.) Goal Scoring Scorchers- As the season winds down, a trio of players are battling for the league goals coring title with Denver's A.J. Gale leading the way with 38 scores followed by Quad City's Mickey Lang (36) and Wichita's Neil Trimm (33). All three are heating up at the right time as Gale just recently had a five-game goal scoring streak snapped and overall has seven scores in his last six games. Lang is currently riding a five-game streak and has 11 goals in his last 12 games and Trimm also had his five-game streak stopped in his last game and overall has scored 12 times in his last dozen games. Tulsa's Ryan Menei (31) and Arizona's Chad Nehring (30) are the other 30-goal scorers in the CHL and they round out the top five.

By the Numbers

699: The number of CHL games that Quad City Head Coach Terry Ruskowski has coached in his career ranking third on the league's all-time games coached list. Ruskowski is fourth in wins with 403. On Friday when the Flock host the Bloomington Blaze, Ruskowski will be just the third coach to join the 700-club.


-The Fort Worth Brahmas and Allen Americans will renew their love for each other this weekend when they play three straight games with the first two in Fort Worth and Sunday's game in Allen. The Americans are 8-3-3 on the season against the Brahmas and have a six point lead over them in the conference standings.

-The Wichita Thunder put an end to their seven-game road losing streak (0-3-4) last Sunday with a shootout win in Missouri but they will need to continue to solve those road woes as they play in Arizona twice this weekend and then head to Allen next Tuesday. The Thunder are one point behind Allen for first place but on the road this season are just 11-12-6.

-Denver's Brad Smyth is currently riding an 11-game point streak scoring five goals with 15 helpers during his hot stretch. Earlier in the season, the veteran had a league-best 16-game point streak which he can top before the end of the season as the Cutthroats have six games remaining.

-Bloomington got back on the winning track on Tuesday with an 8-5 win over Quad City keeping the Blaze in the playoff picture sitting just six points in back of both Arizona and the Mallards. The win ended a five-game losing streak overall for the Blaze who on Friday in Quad City will look to end their seven-game road slide. Their last road win came in Quad City over a month ago (Feb. 12).

-Allen's MVP, Rookie of the Year and Goaltender of the Year candidate Aaron Dell has been on quite a roll lately going 6-2 in his last eight decisions with two shutouts and a 1.76 GAA over that stretch. Dell is 20-7-6 on the season with a league-best 2.13 GAA and a league-best .925 save percentage.

-The Arizona Sundogs are one of the best teams in the league when getting out to an early lead going 21-3-4 when scoring first. This weekend, the Sundogs will host the only team better than them when striking early, Wichita, who have gone 22-1-5 when scoring first.

-Be sure to catch all of the action on CHL-TV all season long.

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Central Hockey League Stories from March 15, 2013

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