Just the second week into our weekly CHL power poll the rankings are beginning to shift as teams continue to jockey for positioning as they approach the mid-way point of the 66-game regular season. The top two teams and bottom two teams remain the same as last week, as the third through eighth place positions all changed.
1. Rapid City Rush (21-5-0) 42 points – The Rush maintain the top spot, despite dropping two of three home games to the second-place Mavericks over the weekend. The best way to bounce back could be their upcoming three game road trip as they look to remain unbeaten away from home. Will they, however, be looking ahead to their two-game set at Missouri later this month?
2. Missouri Mavericks (19-7-1) 39 points – The Mavericks turned heads league-wide as they became the first team to beat the Rush on consecutive nights. Winners of four of their last five games, Missouri could move up the board depending on the outcome of their upcoming five-game home stand.
3. Allen Americans (16-10-2) 34 points – Allen moves up two spots this week after winning two of three last week. They have their work cut out for them if they wish to remain at this position – home games with an improved Wichita Thunder team and a pair of home games with league-leading Rapid City are on tap for them this week.
4. Quad City Mallards (15-6-5) 35 points – The Mallards are red hot, having won five in a row, including a three-game sweep of the Beast in Brampton. A home-and-home series with St. Charles could result in two more wins and further movement in the right direction.
5. Tulsa Oilers (16-14-2) 34 points – The Oilers fell two spots this week after opening the week with a key comeback victory over Allen before dropping two straight and allowing 15-goals. Things could only get tougher for Tulsa as they will face-off in a New Year’s Eve tilt at Missouri before travelling to Aspen, Colorado for a two-game series with the Denver Cutthroats.
6. Denver Cutthroats (13-9-6) 32 points – The Cutthroats moved up one spot this week, despite managing just a split to ninth-place Arizona last weekend. Things are about to get interesting for Denver, as they will play their next 14 games away from their home rink before returning in early February.
7. Wichita Thunder (11-14-4) 26 points – We’re finally beginning to see the Thunder team most expected to see all year. Wichita has won four in a row and seven out of their last 10. They could be the most underrated team in the CHL.
8. Brampton Beast (14-14-2) 30 points – The Beast made the biggest drop of the week after losing three-straight to Quad City at home. If they want to make their way back up they’ll need to pick up wins during a two-game set at Missouri and a stop over in St. Charles.
9. Arizona Sundogs (10-17-1) 21 points – The Sundogs split a two-game home set with Denver last weekend. There is not much good to report, however, as Arizona now prepares for a two game road trip to take on the Wichita Thunder.
10. St. Charles Chill (7-19-4) 18 points – St. Charles continues to struggle as they are riding a six-game losing streak and have lost eight of their last 10. If that’s not bad enough, now they have to take on Rapid City and Quad City twice in the next five days. They need to come up with a plan fast, or they could be out of the playoff hunt soon.
Contributors to the poll include: