Who Are Those Masked Men?

The goaltenders are stealing the spotlight during the 2003/2004 Central Hockey League season, with 51 total shutouts through 410 contests, averaging a shutout one out of every 8.04 games. The expansion Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees have already established a record for most shutout games in a season, posting seven wins and five losses in 12 shutout contests. In the 2001/2002 season, goalies earned 35 shutouts in 512 games (one of every 14.63 games), while last season netminders posted 55 blankings (one out of every 9.31 games).

Also last season, two goaltenders tied the CHL record for individual shutouts in a season, as both Austin’s Matt Barnes and Tulsa’s Rod Branch recorded eight blankings to match Grant Sjerven's total while with Odessa in 2000/2001. That total of eight also is the current team record for shutouts in a single season, with both the Killer Bees and Indianapolis Ice (seven team shutouts each) in position to tie or surpass that mark in the final month of the regular season.

Shutout Game Statistics - 2003/2004 CHL

Rio Grande Valley - 12 shutout games (7 wins, 5 losses)
Indianapolis - 8 shutout games (7 wins, 1 loss)
Memphis - 8 shutout games (3 wins, 5 losses)
Oklahoma City - 8 shutout games (3 wins. 5 losses)
Austin - 7 shutout games (3 wins, 4 losses)
Colorado - 7 shutout games (5 wins, 2 losses)
Odessa - 7 shutout games (2 wins, 5 losses)
Tulsa - 7 shutout games (1 win, 6 losses)
Bossier-Shreveport - 6 shutout games (5 wins, 1 loss)
Corpus Christi - 6 shutout games (2 wins, 4 losses)
Fort Worth - 5 shutout games (1 win, 4 losses)
Laredo - 5 shutout games (4 wins, 1 loss)
New Mexico - 5 shutout games (1 win, 4 losses)
Wichita - 5 shutout games (3 wins, 2 losses)
Amarillo - 3 shutout games (2 wins, 1 loss)
San Angelo 2 shutout games (2 wins, 0 losses)
Lubbock - 1 shutout game (0 wins, 1 loss)

Tulsa veteran Rod Branch is easily the all-time CHL shutout king, registering a total of 22 in his career, including a 36 save 2-0 blanking of Oklahoma City on Christmas Day this season. Of Branch’s 22 career shutouts, 14 came while an Oiler, three while with Oklahoma City in 2000/2001, and five with the Topeka Scarecrows in 1998/1999 and 1999/2000.

Other active CHL goaltenders in the Top 10 career shutout category include Bossier-Shreveport’s Ken Carroll and Odessa’s Mike Gorman, each with 11 and tied for third, while Austin’s Brent Belecki, Wichita’s Nathan Grobins and Rio Grande Valley’s Jeff Levy all have eight, all tied for seventh.

Central Hockey League Career Shutout Leaders
1 - Rod Branch - 22*
2 - Matt Barnes - 13
T3 - Carroll, Ken - 11*
T3 - Gorman, Mike - 11*
5 - Filiatrault,Jean-Ian - 10
6 - Lang, Chad - 9
T7 - Belecki, Brent - 8*
T7- Grobins, Nathan - 8*
T7 - Levy, Jeff - 8*
T7- Sjerven, Grant - 8

* Active in CHL


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