Another shuffle at the top this week as teams in the CHL moved into the second half of the 2013-14 season.
1. Rapid City Rush (25-10-0, 50 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 2nd
The Rush move back into the top spot after posting a 2-1-0 record last week behind CHL goalie of the week, Keaton Hartigan. Despite suffering a bit of a slump, the Rush are holding steady, sitting in a first place tie with the Missouri Mavericks with 50 standings points. They are 5-5-0 in their last ten games.
2. Allen Americans (23-10-4, 50 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 1st
The Americans managed to slip back below the Rush this week, despite winning two of three games last week and gaining five of a possible six points. The move is in large part due to the fact that Rapid City has two games in hand over the Americans. Allen is not worrying about games in hand just yet, as they have posted a record of 8-0-2 in their last ten games to pull into a first place tie with the Rush in the CHL standings.
3. Missouri Mavericks (22-11-2, 46 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 3rd
The Mavericks hold steady again this week in the third spot. They went 1-1-1 on the week, but have sputtered recently, posting a 4-5-1 record in their last ten games. Still though, with just a four point difference between them and first place, the Mavericks are in good position as they look to make the playoff push.
4. Denver Cutthroats (19-11-7, 45 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 4th
The Cutthroats have to be waking up every day at this point, hoping the calendar has switched over to the month of February. Despite playing nearly an entire month away from their home building, Denver is handling the adversity very well. The Cutthroats have posted a 7-2-2 record while away from the Denver Coliseum. Not too shabby for a team that has been living out of suitcases for four weeks.
5. Brampton Beast (20-16-3, 43 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 7th
The Beast move up this week, jumping two spots to fifth place. The Beast returned home last week following a six-game road trip, and made the most of it, winning two of three games against the St. Charles Chill and collecting five of a possible six points. As the home game heavy portion of their schedule kicks in, you should see them remain closer to the top than the bottom.
6. Wichita Thunder (16-17-4, 36 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 9th
The Thunder are the hottest team in the league right now, as they’ve posted five straight wins and are 7-3-0 in their last ten games following a slow start to the season. Wichita won all three games last week as they pulled within one win of the .500 mark. With a healthy roster and veteran coaching, this team is capable of stringing together a nice win streak.
7. Quad City Mallards (16-9-7, 39 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 5th
The Mallards fell two spots this week after suffering a lopsided 7-1 road loss at Wichita on Friday in their only game last week. They are obviously hurting from AHL call-ups, as they’ve lost four games in a row and are just 5-3-2 in their last ten games. Luckily for Quad City, they have five games in hand and a three point lead on the Wichita Thunder in a battle for the seventh playoff seed.
8. Arizona Sundogs (15-18-3, 33 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 8th
The Sundogs hold steady in the eighth spot this week. Arizona saw their five game winning streak snapped by two straight losses to the Allen Americans last week, yet they still managed to gain valuable standings points in all three games, posting a 1-0-2 record. The addition of David Rutherford has been huge for the Sundogs, along with Brandon Coccimiglio, but the rest of the team needs to provide some scoring to keep them in the hunt for a playoff spot.
9. Tulsa Oilers (19-19-3, 41 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 6th
The Oilers are hurting. Despite posting a 2-2-1 record in their last five games, Tulsa has lost three straight and are just 3-6-1 in their last ten. They’ve shown flashes of brilliance, but they’ve also suffered more than their fair share of slumps. They need to find a way to win games, or at least gain points since every other team in the league has games in hand against them.
10. St. Charles Chill (9-25-5, 23 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 10th
Good news for St. Charles – They finally snapped a pesky four-game losing streak with a shootout win at brampton. The bad news? They followed up with two consecutive three-goal losses. This team seems to be living by the old saying of “one step forward, two steps back.” Will Jamie Rivers pull the trigger on some new players before the February 3 trade deadline?
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Lou Lafrado and Maurice Fitzgerald contributed to this poll: