Just one move took place this week in our CHL Power Poll, as the Allen Americans reclaimed the top position from the Rapid City Rush. Allen has played very well recently, and that is a big reason for their move past the Rush, even though both teams are tied for first place in the CHL standings. The fifth through eighth spots will be interesting over the next few weeks as we begin to talk more about games in hand.
1. Allen Americans (25-10-4, 54 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 2nd
The Americans, as stated earlier, are playing solid hockey right now. The squad has not lost in regulation in over a month, with their last regulation loss coming on December 26 to the Tulsa Oilers. Sure, the Rush have one game in hand over the Americans, but Allen has won four straight. If Allen keeps playing the way they have been, games in hand likely won’t matter.
2. Rapid City Rush (27-11-0, 54 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 1st
The Rush are in good shape overall, but continue to be in a bit of a funk. The fact of the matter is that they are winning games, but they haven’t been able to string together more than two wins in a row since the middle of December. Couple that with their 5-5-0 record in their last 10 games, including a 5-1 drubbing from the Arizona Sundogs on Wednesday, and we are comfortable ranking them at number two.
3. Missouri Mavericks (25-11-2, 52 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 3rd
The Mavs again hold steady at the third position. Missouri is just within two points of first place with one game in hand on the Allen Americans. They have flown under the radar so far in our power poll, and this is not a bad thing. They’ve posted a 5-4-1 record through their last ten, but are riding a three-game winning streak. We’ll revisit their position after they face a couple of interesting games with Denver and Quad City this weekend.
4. Denver Cutthroats (19-12-9, 47 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 4th
Denver maintains it’s position this week, despite the fact that they are riding a three-game losing streak. Overall they are 4-3-3 in their last ten games, and we’re cutting them some slack since they’ve been on the road for over a month. Their last two losses have come in overtime, so it will be interesting to see how they react as they close out the toughest part of their schedule and finally return home on Tuesday.
5. Brampton Beast (21-18-3, 45 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 5th
The Beast finsihed up their recent home stand with a win, giving them a 3-2-1 record in that time. In their last 10-games they are 5-4-1 – not great, but certainly not bad either. They have consistently maintained position at the middle of the league standings, but need to pick up some more wins to hold off a few hot teams below them. A two-game set with St. Charles could help them add a couple of W’s.
6. Wichita Thunder (17-19-4, 38 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 6th
The Thunder are one of the more interesting teams right now. Plagued by injuries at the beginning of the season, they were slow to get out of the gate. However, since December they’ve slowly chipped away and posted a 13-8-0 record and are 6-4-0 in their last 10-games. They have learned how to stay in games and win them late, having picked up wins in their last four overtime games. In fact, four of their last eight games have been decided in overtime or a shootout, and they are 6-2-0 in that span.
7. Quad City Mallards (18-9-8, 44 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 7th
They’ve played fewer games than all other CHL teams, but continue to pick up points and currently sit in sixth place in the league standings. Through their last 10-games they are 4-3-3, but six players on their current roster have scored 10 goals or more. It was late December when they had their last extended winning streak (four games), so they need to win more consistently. However, with games in hand over the rest of the league, they could sneak up on those ahead of them.
8. Arizona Sundogs (18-18-3, 39 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 8th
With their 5-1 win over Rapid City on Wednesday, Arizona won their third straight and pulled back to even at the .500 mark. The Sundogs are a lot like Wichita – slow start, but heavy hitters of late. They finally seem to be finding their stride, and the fact that they were down as long as they were is the only excuse we can offer for ranking them at number eight.
9. Tulsa Oilers (19-21-3, 41 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 9th
What in the world is happening in Tulsa? The Oilers have scored more goals than any team in the league (146), but have allowed opponents to score 154 goals on them, ranking them second to St. Charles in the goals allowed category. Additionally, Tulsa is in the middle of a five-game slide and has only won five of their last 18-games. Something needs to change in Tulsa very soon, or Oilers fans will be without playoff hockey yet again.
10. St. Charles Chill (9-28-5, 23 points) Last Week’s Ranking: 10th
With the CHL’s highest number of goals allowed (165), fewest goals scored (99), fewest wins (9), and lowest point total (23), the Chill are very likely done before the trade deadline. The good news for them is that their current four-game losing streak is only the second-longest behind Tulsa.