Amarillo Making a Run for the Playoffs
Amarillo Making a Run for the Playoffs
Monday, Feb. 4th, 2008
The Amarillo Gorillas seem to be peaking at the right time with just 21 games remaining in the regular season. The Gorillas are currently on a four-game win streak and sit just one point behind the Corpus Christi Rayz for the fifth and final Southern Conference playoff spot. Amarillo begins a key stretch of their season on Friday when they start a three-game road trip that will see them travel to Wichita, New Mexico and Arizona.
Offensively, the Gorillas have averaged just above three goals per game for most of the season. They lately have been above average scoring 26 goals in their last four games including a 9-5 pounding of Odessa on January 29th. Bill Vandeermer has been the catalyst scoring five goals with eight assists in those four victories. Veteran Chris Lipsett has points in each of the four games with two goals and five assists.
In goal, Dan McWhinney has backstopped all four Amarillo wins allowing 13 goals. On the season, he is 10-16-4 with a 3.68 goals against average.
MUDBUGS SWEEP WICHITA AND EXTEND POINT STREAK; DECARO RE-WRITING THE RECORD BOOKS
The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs are on an unbelievable run going 21-0-1 in their last 22 games. The Bugs have not experienced a regulation loss since December 8th in Colorado. Over the weekend, the Mudbugs handled the Wichita Thunder twice beating them 4-1 on Friday and 6-0 on Saturday. Bossier-Shreveport has a 14 point lead in the Northeast Division and a four point lead in the race for the Governors’ Cup (regular season champions). Bossier-Shreveport returns home on Tuesday night with another match-up with the Thunder. The Bugs have won a franchise record 17 straight home games.
Goaltender John DeCaro is on the brink of having his name pasted all through the CHL record book. The second-year netminder is 17-4-3 with a league-leading 1.59 goals against average, a league-leading .946 save percentage and a CHL record-tying eight shutouts. DeCaro, along with teammate Ken Carroll, has been a part of 11 team shutouts (a new CHL record). On Tuesday, DeCaro could have the chance to set more history as he currently sits with a 220:00 scoreless streak, just 2:01 behind the CHL record set by Shawn Silver (Indianapolis) of 222:01 during the 2002-03 season.
STEELHOUNDS GAINING SOME MOMENTUM
The Youngstown SteelHounds look to have turned the corner from a stretch that saw them play.500 hockey. Youngstown is 4-1-0 in their last five games including wins in three straight games. The Hounds have a huge week in front of them with five games over a six day stretch. Coming to the Chevrolet Centre will be inter-division rivals Texas (Tuesday and Wednesday) and Mississippi (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). The Hounds will play 17 of their remaining 23 games at home. Andy Franck has been on fire going 5-1-0 in his last six starts.
THREE-TEAM RACE IN THE SOUTHWEST DIVISION
The Southwest Division race has tightened up in recent weeks with three teams sitting within four points of each other. Odessa currently leads the way with 53 points followed by Arizona with 52 points and New Mexico sits in third with 49 points. The Sundogs have a tough week ahead of them with a game Wednesday at home versus Corpus Christi followed by a Friday showdown at Rocky Mountain and Saturday night in Colorado. The Scorpions could make up more ground on this week with three home games (one versus Odessa and two versus Corpus Christi).
TRADE DEADLINE APPROACHING
The CHL trade deadline is rapidly approaching giving teams’ one final option to make moves via trade with other teams. The deadline is Monday, February 11th at 3:00 PM (CST). Be sure to check out www.centralhockeyleague.com for the “Trade Tracker” updating the happenings as they occur.
Sebastien Thinel became the Odessa Jackalopes’ all-time leading goal scorer in Saturday’s win over Arizona – Thinel did it in dramatic fashion with his 131st career Jacks goal coming in OT…Tylor Skworchinski (Texas) had four goals with two assists in his last two games…The Rocky Mountain Rage finish their seven-game road trip on Tuesday with a Kid’s Day game at Tulsa…The Hounds and Brahmas start early on Tuesday as well with a 10:30 AM start time…RGV’s Travis Banga needs one goal for 100 in his career…Rob Voltera’s (RGV) next game will be his 500th professional game…The Scorpions have points in seven straight home games (6-0-1).
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