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Shots from the Point

March 6, 2009 - Central Hockey League (CHL) News Release

1- The Corpus Christi began their biggest road trip of the season last Saturday with a 4-3 win at Rio Grande Valley. The five-game trip is the longest of the season and the biggest in terms of the implications. Thus far, Corpus Christi is 2-0 beating the Bees and the Laredo Bucks (also a 4-3 final). Standing in the way for the Rays during the remainder of the trip are the three top teams in the South beginning tonight in Texas versus the conference leading Brahmas. The journey continues on Sunday at Laredo and then concludes on Thursday in Odessa. The Rays are one point ahead of the Arizona Sundogs for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Southern Conference.

2- The Odessa Jackalopes (33-16-6) will travel to Texas to play the Brahmas (37-13-5) on Saturday night in the final meeting of the two club's six-game regular season series. The Brahmas are 3-1-1 this season versus Odessa and currently lead the Jacks by seven points in the conference standings. Odessa has already clinched the Southwest Division but Texas is still a few points away from claiming the Southeast Division from Laredo. Each of the last two games between the two teams went to a shootout taking a total of 22 rounds to determine the winner (each team won once). Scott Sheppard and Kevin McLeod each have three goals in the season series versus the Jackalopes. Going into Friday's game versus Corpus Christi, Texas has won 14 straight home games.

3- The Laredo Bucks (31-19-5) clinched a playoff spot for the seventh straight season with a shootout loss versus Corpus Christi on Wednesday night...The Bucks had won five straight Southeast Division titles coming into the season but it looks inevitable that the Texas Brahmas will end that streak (12 point lead over the Bucks)...Laredo has averaged close to 42 wins per season in the franchise's first six seasons and have won less than 40 games just once (35 in 2004-05). The Bucks have to look over their shoulders as the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees are just six points behind with one more head-to-head match-up remaining.

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INSIDE THE NUMBERS

6 The number of goals RGV's Evan Rankin has scored during his four-game goal scoring streak...Rankin is second among rookies with 24 goals on the season and is sixth among first year players with 43 points

9 The current win streak for the Northeast Division leading Mississippi RiverKings (38-14-3) which is the longest in the Northern Conference this season and second in the CHL to Odessa's 11-game win streak (Nov. 22- Dec. 14)...The 'Kings play at Tulsa on Friday...Mississippi has not lost a game in regulation since January 27th and have just two regulation losses since January 6th

15 The number of points that Colorado's Ed McGrane has on his current 12-game point streak...He has five goals and 10 assists during his point streak and 67 points on the season (19-48-67)

11 The point difference between Laredo's Darryl Smith and Odessa's Jeff Pierce, the two top scoring rookies in the CHL and arguably the two top candidates for the CHL Rookie of the Year...The duo will go head-to-head tonight when the Bucks play at the Jack Shack...Smith has 65 points and is tied for the overall league-lead in goals with 34...Pierce has 54 points and leads all first year players with 40 helpers

TIDBITS

-Corpus Christi's Josef Sladok's goal on Wednesday night in the Rays 4-3 SO win over Laredo was his first professional goal and the first since the 2005-06 season while playing in Slovakia...The rookie went without a goal during his 88 game junior career in the Ontario Hockey League with Plymouth

-The Rapid City Rush ended their five-game home stand with a pair of wins versus Amarillo (Tuesday and Wednesday)...The Rush started the home stretch losing three straight but finished with a bang outscoring the Gorillas 12-3...Rapid City plays at New Mexico on Friday night with a chance to reach the 20-win plateau in their expansion season

-The Blazers 3-1 win over Wichita on Thursday night gave OKC seven wins in eight games versus the Thunder...Bill Vandermeer led the way with a goal and an assist

-The Killer Bees will play two more games at Arizona this weekend where they won for the first time in franchise history on Wednesday night...RGV is 9-5-2 versus the Southwest Division teams this season

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Central Hockey League Stories from March 6, 2009


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