It took one month to happen, but we finally have a new team in the top spot of our weekly power poll. Several teams traded positions this week as they have officially reached the CHL mid-season break. What teams are hitting their peak as we move towards the second half of the season and what teams are hoping to bounce back before it’s too late? Find out below in our latest Pro Hockey news CHL Power Poll.
1. Allen Americans (21-10-3) Last Week’s Ranking: 2nd place
The Allen Americans have suffered their setbacks, but have rebounded nicely en route to a 7-2-1 record in their last ten games. The Americans vaulted past the Rapid City Rush into first place, thanks in part to four wins in their last five outings. Allen, winners of two-straight, were also helped by their 2-1-1 record against the Rush.
2. Rapid City Rush (23-9-0) Last Week’s Ranking: 1st place
The Rush slid out of the first position as they appear to have hit their first major snag of the season. They’ve won just one of their last five while posting a 4-6 record through their last ten games. Rapid City has dropped three of their last four road games after opening the season with a CHL-record 12-straight road wins. How long will this lull last for the Rush? Is the magic over, or is this just a temporary detour?
3. Missouri Mavericks (21-10-1) Last Week’s Ranking: 3rd place
The Mavericks hold steady at third place after battling it out with the Rush over the weekend. They picked up a big 5-1 win over the Rush on Saturday after dropping their first three home games of the new year. Despite a 6-4 record in their last ten games, it was the fact that they’ve won just twice on home ice in the last five games that kept them from leaping Rapid City for second place. This team is still in great position at the half-way point.
4. Denver Cutthroats (18-10-6) Last Week’s Ranking: 5th place
The Cutthroats moved ahead of the Quad City Mallards this week to reach the fourth spot. Denver is 6-2-2 in their last ten and have won four of their last five games. Those numbers become more impressive when you add in the fact that the fish haven’t played a game in their home barn since December 21. Aside from a two-game set played against Tulsa in Aspen, during which Denver was designated the home team, the Cutthroats have been true road warriors. A tough road stretch remains for them, but they’ve already proven that they can play well enough to overcome adversity.
5. Quad City Mallards (16-8-7) Last Week’s Ranking: 4th place
The Mallards slid back one spot this week after posting just one win in their last five games. Quad City, who recently lost Nicholas Rioux and Jim McKenzie to call-ups from the AHL Iowa Wild, are 6-2-2 in their last ten games while dropping their last four games on home ice. Luckily for the ducks, they have played the fewest number of games of any CHL team. This means that the talented roster that Head Coach Terry Ruskowski has put together will be in a good position to climb the standings as the season dwindles down.
6. Tulsa Oilers (19-18-2) Last Week’s Ranking: 7th place
The Oilers’ two big wins over the Brampton Beast last weekend enabled them to slide ahead of the Beast and into the sixth spot this week. Tulsa, despite posting a 4-6 record in their last ten games, have won three of their last four – including an impressive 3-0 shutout of the Rush in Rapid City last Tuesday. The offense is again scoring in bunches, posting 20 goals in four games last week behind CHL Player of the Week, Ben Gordon. The concerning factor for Tulsa is the fact that they have played 39 games – three more than any other team, which means they have less room for mistakes than the rest of the field down the stretch.
7. Brampton Beast (18-16-2) Last Week’s Ranking: 6th place
The Beast fell one spot this week after their four-game road winning streak was broken with a pair of lopsided losses in Tulsa last weekend. Brampton, 5-4-1 in their last ten games, return home this weekend following a six-game road trip through four CHL cities. The recent play of Scott Howes and their upcoming three-game home series with the St. Charles Chill should mean that the Beast will be in good shape for next week’s poll.
8. Arizona Sundogs (14-18-1) Last Week’s Ranking: 8th place
The Sundogs remain in the eighth position this week, perhaps as we try to figure out if they are really as good as they have been playing recently. Arizona has posted a 7-3 record in their last ten games as newcomer David Rutherford has posted six points in his first five games with the team. Currently riding a four-game road winning streak, the Sundogs are looking at a good test this week as they open a three-game series with the Allen Americans on Friday.
9. Wichita Thunder (12-17-4) Last Week’s Ranking: 9th place
The Thunder were perfect, coming away with a shootout win at Quad City in their only game last week. Now is the time for Wichita to prove that they are worthy of a playoff spot, as they will need to keep pace with the streaking Sundogs to nail down the final post-season position. The Thunder will host Quad City in a rematch this week, before playing a home-and-home set with the Missouri Mavericks. With two home games on the schedule this week, and 16 remaining in the season, the Thunder must find a way to shake their 4-11-2 home record and win more consistently on home ice.
10. St. Charles Chill (8-23-5) Last Week’s Ranking: 10th place
What can we say about the Chill that hasn’t already been said? Fewest goals scored in the league, while allowing the most goals scored. Kyle OKane’s 25 points (14 G, 11 A) ranks him first on the team, but no one else has a goal total in double digits, and only two have double digits in the assists category. They continue to struggle, posting a 1-8-1 record in their last ten games while losing their last four. The Chill have also lost seven-straight home games, with their last home win coming on December 18. We will give them until the trade deadline on February 3, but all indications are that this team will likely finish the season dead last.
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Contributors to the poll include: Lou Lafrado, Maurice Fitzgerald, Ed Bailey.