Friday, October 25, 2013
Three Things You Need to Know
1.) Early First Place Battle- The Rapid City Rush (2-0-0) play their home opener on Friday night when they host the Brampton Beast (2-1-0) in the first ever meeting between the two clubs. The two teams are tied with the Denver Cutthroats (2-0-0) atop the CHL standings with four points apiece and this weekend, will battle on Friday and Saturday. It will be a homecoming of sorts for several Beast players and head coach Mark DeSantis who was an assistant coach with the Rush from 2009-12. The Rush won the 2010 CHL title with DeSantis a member of the coaching staff and current Brampton defenseman Jamie VanderVeeken patrolling the blue line. Beast d-man Michael Couch is also a former Rapid City player but he will miss the weekend’s game with an injury (30-day IR).
2.) Comfortable on the Road- The Allen Americans (1-0-1) hit the road for the weekend with games in St. Charles (0-0-1) on Friday and a pair of games in Tulsa (0-1-1), Saturday and Sunday. Allen’s win this season came away from home in Wichita last Saturday and dating back to last season, they have won four straight regular season road games and five of their last six. Allen was the top road team in the CHL last season going 20-8-5 en route to winning the CHL regular season championship and the CHL title.
3.) Home Stretch Continues- The undefeated Denver Cutthroats (2-0-0) continue their season-opening five-game home stand this weekend when they host the Wichita Thunder in a pair of games (Friday/Saturday). The home stretch concludes on Wednesday night against Brampton. Denver is coming off back-to-back wins over Tulsa over opening weekend and dating back to last season, they have points in seven of their last eight home games (5-1-2). The Fish are looking to win three straight games for just the third time in their young history and for the first time since early December of last season, their expansion campaign.
By the Numbers
31: The numbers of saves that Brampton Beast goaltender Grant Rollheiser had on Monday night in his team’s 4-0 win over the Arizona Sundogs. It marked the first shutout of the 2013-14 season in the CHL. Last season, Rollheiser was 2-2 with a 2.87 GAA in minimal time with Wichita. Offense in general is down compared to the start last season with teams averaging a full goal less per game than through opening weekend a year ago. In 19 games this season, CHL clubs scored 59 goals compared to last season (in 16 games) when teams combined to score 64 goals in three fewer games.
-Wichita forward RG Flath earned the first suspension of the 2013-14 regular season thanks to an elbow to the head in Wichita’s shootout win Sunday in Allen. Flath will miss the Thunder’s two games this weekend in Denver versus the Cutthroats.
-Rapid City goaltender Tim Boron is 2-0 on the young season with a 2.50 GAA. Dating back to last season, the veteran netminder is 5-0-1 in his last six decisions not losing a regular season game in regulation since March 5, 2013.
-Brampton rookie Brent Vandehogen is out of the gate quick leading all first year players with two goals. The former University of Windsor star scored twice in the Beast’s opening night win over Arizona (Oct. 18).
-Arizona, Rapid City and Tulsa all celebrate their home openers this weekend with the Sundogs hosting the Missouri Mavericks on Friday night, the Rush hosting the Brampton Beast on Friday night and the Oilers hosting the Allen Americans on Saturday nights.
-The Tulsa Oilers are off to a solid start with the man advantage going 2 for 8 in their first two games with all but one of their goals on the season being scored on the power play. Todd Robinson and Ryan Menei have scored the man advantage goals for the Oilers.
-With a new head coach (Kevin Colley), the Arizona Sundogs have quite a new look this season returning just four players from last year’s playoff team (fewest of any team in the CHL). Returning for the Sundogs are forwards Jason Morgan, Kevin Baker and Sebastian Geoffrion and defenseman Matt McCready.
-The St. Charles Chill (0-0-1) battled back in their first ever game last Saturday versus Missouri to ultimately earn a point with a shootout loss. The Chill managed just 14 shots on goal through two periods and trailed 2-0 but in the third, the home team poured it on with 15 shots on goal and two scores (Jordan Fox and Martin Hlinka). The Chill play three games this weekend hosting Allen on Friday and then meeting Quad City in a home-and-home series.
-CHL-TV, powered by America ONE Sports, is back for a second season with monthly and season packages available as well as all games on a given night available for $8.00. Visit www.americaonesports.com for ordering information.