CHL Weekly: Battles erupt as the season heats up

Allen Americans (10-5-1) 2nd place

The Allen Americans had a tough stretch, losing two games in a row for just the second time this season. The Americans turned back the Tulsa Oilers 3-1 on Friday behind two-goals from Darryl Bootland. They failed to make it a weekend sweep after dropping a penalty-filled 10-8 game on Saturday at the Allen Event Center and losing 4-2 at Tulsa on Sunday. These two squads have now scored 29 goals each head-to-head in eight meetings.

Alex Lavoie led Allen with seven points on the week, and now has 23 points on the season. Kale Kerbashian sits in second with 16 points while Darryl Bootland has 15 points. The Americans will take to the road this week as they head to Arizona for a three-game set with the red-hot Arizona Sundogs beginning Wednesday.

Arizona Sundogs (6-8-1) 7th place

The Arizona Sundogs are the hottest team in the CHL right now, following a weekend sweep of the Quad City Mallards, running their winning streak up to five games. The Sundogs got three goals from Jason Morgan and three assists from Paul McIlveen as they held off the Mallards for a pair of 3-2 shootout wins. Johan Ryd contributed a pair of goals over the weekend while Andrew Engelage picked up his fourth-straight win on Friday night. Chris Rawlings stopped 25-of-27 shots to pick up a win on Saturday after being assigned to the Sundogs by the Phoenix Coyotes.

McIlveen continues to lead the team in scoring with 14 points, while Morgan and Jordan Clendenning trail with 10 and nine points, respectively. Arizona looks to extend their winning streak with a three game home-set against the Allen Americans beginning on Wednesday.

Brampton Beast (8-7-1) 6th place

Brampton picked up four out of six points this past week after defeating St. Charles and splitting a two game series with the Denver Cutthroats.  The one game that Brampton gave up to Denver was riddled with penalties including three 10 minute game misconducts, two of which were assessed to the Brampton Beast; ultimately resulting in 109 penalty minutes, of which 62 were assessed to the Beast.

Brampton will travel to Wichita, Kansas to take on the Wichita Thunder in a two game series, then they will head North to St. Charles to take on the Chill. Forward Rob Collins sits atop the Brampton leaderboard with 14 points consisting of 4 goals and 10 assists, while forward Matt Caruana trails closely with 11 points by way of 5 goals and 6 assists.

Denver Cutthroats (9-4-3) 3rd place

Denver picked up two out of three games this past week, first defeating the Missouri Mavericks and then splitting a two game series with the Brampton Beast. Denver managed only two goals in their loss to Brampton this week, while Brampton managed four. Netminder Kieran Milan stopped 28 of 32 shots on goal, while Garrett Bembridge contributed a goal and assist.

Denver will travel to Rapid City this week to begin a three game series against the number one rated Rapid City Rush. Forward Garrett Bembridge sits atop the Denver leaderboard with 29 points consisting of 15 goals and 14 assists, while forward Troy Schwab sits in second place with 3 goals and 21 assists for a total of 24 points.

Missouri Mavericks (10-3-0) 4th place

After ending their undefeated streak, splitting the two game series against the Rapid City Rush, the Mavericks went on to lose against the Denver Cutthroats in Denver. They then went on to split a two game series against the St. Charles Chill, giving the Chill their first road win. In almost every loss, the Mavericks have been plagued by penalties that have left them shorthanded. Despite the three losses, the Mavericks goalies are still holding onto a .908 and .938 save percentage, respectively.

The Missouri Mavericks celebrate a victory over the St. Charles Chill on 11-22-2013. (J. Griffith / PHN)

The Missouri Mavericks celebrate a victory over the St. Charles Chill on 11-22-2013. (J. Griffith / PHN)

It’s not all bad news though, Missouri activated Tyler Currier who had previously been on the injured reserve, while also activating Dave Pszenyczny after a three game suspension. The Mavericks will play three games this coming week at home, where they will try and pick up all six available points. Sebastien Thinel sits atop the Mavericks leaderboard with 19 points, consisting of 7 goals and 12 assists. He is followed by Andrew Courtney with 15 points, consisting of 8 goals and 7 assists.

Quad City Mallards (5-3-3) 8th place

The Quad City Mallards struggled over the weekend, dropping a pair of road games to the Arizona Sundogs. Goaltenders Thomas Heemskerk and Ty Rimmer each suffered shootout losses, despite combining to stop 60 of 64 Arizona shots during the series. Mike Stinziani and Matt Duffy scored goals on Friday while Mike Hellyer and Thomas Frazee contributed the scoring on Saturday as the Mallards fell 3-2 on each night.

Stinziani continues to lead all Mallards scorers with 13 points on the year while Hellyer sits in a close second with 12 points. Jim McKenzie and Vladimir Nikiforov round out the top four with 11 points and 10 points, respectively. The Mallards start the week on the road at Missouri on Wednesday before returning home to host St. Charles and Tulsa over the weekend.

Rapid City Rush (12-1-0) 1st place

After ending their undefeated streak with a loss to the Missouri Mavericks, Rapid City traveled to Kansas to take on the Wichita Thunder, claiming both games for an additional four points. Despite the wins this week, the Rush encountered a few bumps in the road, as forward Matthew Larke was moved from the 7 day IR to the 14 day IR and forward Winston Day Chief was placed on the 7 day IR.

The Rapid City Rush will take on the Denver Cutthroats in a three game series this week, where they will look to continue their winning streak and pick up an additional six points. Forward Konrad Reeder sits atop the Rush leaderboard with 22 points consisting of 10 goals and 12 assists, while forward Jesse Schultz trails closely with 21 points consisting of 5 goals and 16 assists.

St. Charles Chill (3-9-2) 9th place

The St. Charles Chill were able to pickup two out of six points this past week after defeating the Missouri Mavericks, winning their first road game of the season. Coach Jamie Rivers has been making roster changes, in an effort to strengthen the team. Based on their win in Missouri, these changes have made that difference. It is now be incumbent upon the team to continue pushing forward with this momentum.

St. Charles will take on the Tulsa Oilers and Quad City Mallards this next week in an effort to further solidify the positivity of their recent roster changes. St. Charles forward and team Captain Jordan Fox sits atop the leaderboard with 12 points consisting of 5 goals and 7 assists, while Kyle OKane follows closely with 11 points consisting of 6 goals and 5 assists.

Tulsa Oilers (9-7-2) 5th place

The Oilers continue to improve and climb the standings. After dropping their first game of the week to the Allen Americans 3-1 on Friday, Tulsa battled back and bullied their way to two-straight wins over the defending champs. The Oilers dominated their way to a 10-8 win on Saturday in a game that saw Adam Pleskach score four goals in less than a 13-minute span in the middle frame. Pleskach finished with six points and Todd Robinson added seven in a game that also produced a line brawl and a combined 101 penalty minutes. Ross MacKinnon held back 28 Allen shots on Sunday and contributed an assist to Ben Gordon as he picked up his first win of the season by a score of 4-2 at the BOK Center.

Robinson and Gordon both had huge weeks, scoring eight points each to climb the team scoring chart. Robinson is out to a solid lead with 27 points, which is good for second place in the league. Meanwhile, Gordon, Pleskach and Michel Beausoleil have 20 points each. The Oilers hit the road this week as they will visit the St. Charles Chill, Missouri Mavericks and Quad City Mallards.

Wichita Thunder (2-10-4) 10th place

Struggles continue for the Wichita Thunder, as they dropped a two-game-set at home to the league-leading Rapid City Rush, pushing their home record to a dismal 0-7-2. The Thunder managed just one goal during a 4-1 loss on Friday, with Jesse Dudas scoring. Torrie Jung stopped 30 shots as he continues to search for his first win. R.G. Flath and Jon Booras each had goals on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough as the Thunder fell to the Rush 4-2.

Wichita did see a little encouragement, with Ian Lowe and Matt Summers posting their first points since rejoining the team from the injured reserve list. Booras continues to lead the team in scoring with 14 points, while Andrew Martens follows with 10 points. Matt Robinson leads the team with seven goals while Flath has six on the year. The Thunder will try again to get their first home win as they host Brampton on Wednesday and Friday before travelling to Independence, Missouri to take on the Missouri Mavericks on Saturday night.


CHL Player of the Week

Ben Gordon is the third straight Tulsa Oiler to be named as CHL Player of the Week / Photo by Les Stockton

Tulsa Oilers forward Ben Gordon has been named the Oakley Central Hockey League Player of the Week for the period ending November 24, 2013.  This marks the third straight week an Oiler forward has won the honor (Adam Pleskach, Michel Beausoleil).

Gordon, in his second season with Tulsa, scored eight points during a three-game series against the Allen Americans.  On Friday, Gordon had an assist on the lone Oilers goal in the 3-1 loss to Allen.  Saturday was a big game for Gordon, carding one goal and four assists on the night in a big 10-8 win.  The final matchup on Sunday had a slow start until Gordon scored the first goal of the game in the second period to take a 1-0 lead after two periods.  Tulsa would score three more goals, with Gordon getting one assist.

CHL Goalie of the Week

CHL Goalie of the Week, Kent Patterson / Photo by Les Stockton

Denver Cutthroats goaltender Kent Patterson has been named the Oakley Central Hockey League Goaltender of the Week for the period ending November 24, 2013.

The Plymouth, Minnesota native won both of his starts last week allowing just three goals during his two contests.  Patterson recorded 23 saves on Tuesday during the Cutthroats 4-1 win over Missouri, and 28 saves on Friday during the Cutthroats 6-2 win over Brampton.   Collectively, the second-year pro stopped 51 of 54 shots for a. 944 save percentage.

On the season, Patterson is 5-3-2 with a 3.18 goals against average and a .896 save percentage and in two seasons with Denver, the former University of Minnesota star is 19-13-8 with a 3.05 goals against average.

The Central Hockey League attendance records are as follows:

Team              No. Games    Total Att.       Average

MIssouri          4                    22,938        5,734
Wichita           9                    41,337        4,593
Rapid City      6                     27,249        4,541
Tulsa              10                  44,748         4,474
Allen               7                     28,435        4,062
Quad City      6                     22,923         3,820
Brampton      6                     14,921         2,486
Arizona          7                     16,477        2,353
St. Charles    8                     13,840        1,730
Denver          11                    15,678        1,425

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