Three Things You Need to Know
1.) Perfection on the Line- Looking ahead to this weekend, something’s got to give as the two remain undefeated clubs in the CHL go head-to-head with the Rapid City Rush (9-0-0) hosting the Missouri Mavericks (8-0-0). The CHL record for best start to the season is 10 straight wins claimed by both the 2007-08 Laredo Bucks and the 2002-03 Austin Ice Bats (New Mexico did it in the WPHL). The Rush and Mavs meet on Friday and Saturday in what should be an electric atmosphere in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The Mavs/Rush showdown on Friday looks to be one of the biggest early season clashes in CHL history. On November 10, 2007, the 10-0 Laredo Bucks hosted the 8-0-1 Youngstown SteelHounds where the Hounds ended the Bucks 10-game win streak to start the season.
2.) Oilers Still Rolling- The Tulsa Oilers (4-5-2) have turned around a slow start that saw them start the season with an 0-5-2 record. In their last four games, the Oilers have gone undefeated moving to within a game of the .500 mark. Adam Pleskach has been a huge addition for the Oilers scoring six goals with six assists in his six games played with the team. Last week, the rookie scored four goals with three assists in three wins earning him the Oakley CHL Player of the Week award. Brandon Coccimiglio has also been hot with 11 points (4-7=11) in six games since being activated from the injured reserve. Pleskach and Coccimiglio have combined for a +17 plus/minus rating. Tulsa will look for their fifth straight win on Tuesday night when they host the Wichita Thunder (1-7-3) who have lost eight straight games (0-6-2).
3.) Mallards Enjoy the Home Cooking- The Quad City Mallards (4-2-1) are coming off back-to-back wins over the Denver Cutthroats on home ice moving their home mark to 4-2-0 on the season. The Flock erased a 2-0 deficit and a 3-2 deficit against the Cutthroats on Saturday night to win the game 4-3 and on Friday, a three-goal third period and a 2 for 6 power play led to a 5-2 victory. The Mallards are averaging 4.83 goals per game, tops in the League. Mike Stinziani is pacing the offense with 11 points (4-7=11) in seven games. The Flock travels West to Denver for games on Friday and Saturday and with wins in both games, Mallards Head Coach Terry Ruskowski will tie Chris Stewart at 415 CHL coaching wins, third most in CHL history.
By the Numbers
5: The number of wins the Rapid City Rush has this season over the Arizona Sundogs after wins on Friday and Saturday upping their all-time record against the Sundogs to 33-8-0. The Rush have outscored the Sundogs 21-13 with former Sundog Konrad Reeder leading the way with five goals and five assists.
-The Wichita Thunder has dropped eight straight games (0-6-2) and have still not won a game in regulation this season. The lone victory for the team who reached the CHL Finals in each of the past two seasons came in a shootout in Allen on October 20. The 1-7-3 start to the season for Wichita is the worst since 2002-03 when they began the year 1-8-3.
-The third period has been a strong one for the Arizona Sundogs this season as they are an even (9-9) in the final frame. Trailing 5-0 in Rapid City in the second period on Saturday, Arizona scored twice in the second period and three times in the third period and ultimately fell by a 6-5 count.
-St. Charles has fared well in the close games this season going 2-0-2 in games decided by one goal. On Saturday, the Chill’s Kyle O’Kane scored with less than two minutes remaining in the game against Tulsa tying the score and forcing OT. The Chill eventually fell in a shootout.
-After starting the season with five straight wins on home ice, the Denver Cutthroats (6-3-1) hit the road for five straight games and managed just three points going 1-3-1 (scored just 12 goals during the five games). The Fish return home beginning a six-game home stand on Tuesday night against the Arizona Sundogs (1-8-1).
-Of Brampton goaltender Grant Rollheiser’s three wins on the season, two have come by way of a shutout. Rollheiser leads the League with two shutouts and is tops with his .956 save percentage.
-The Allen Americans have a pair of shorthanded goals in their last five games and with their three SHG’s are tied for the League lead.
-Missouri forward Sebastien Thinel is just two assists away from tying Chris Richards for third on the League’s all-time list. Thinel, the defending CHL scoring champion and MVP, has five goals and eight assists this season for the undefeated Mavericks (8-0-0).
Jason outduels Bryan in battle of Pitton brothers
Photo by Bryon Johnson
Brampton Beast captain Brett Smith gains control of the puck while Allen Americans goaltender, and Brampton native, Bryan Pitton keeps watch during Central Hockey League action at Powerade Centre on the weekend. The Beast took two of three from the defending league champion Americans, winning 4-3 on Thursday and 2-0 Sunday while dropping a 6-1 decision on Friday.
BRAMPTON — Jason Pitton got the better of his younger brother Sunday.
Pitton, a left winger for the Brampton Beast, beat his brother Bryan, a goaltender for the Allen Americans, with a third-period power-play goal as the Beast beat the Americans 2-0 before a crowd of 2,760 at the Powerade Centre. Grant Rollheiser made 34 saves against the league’s highest-scoring team to record his second shutout of the season.
The Pittons, both Brampton residents, had played in the Ontario Hockey League but had never squared off against each other until the Americans came to town for a three-game series. The Beast edged the Americans, the reigning Central Hockey League champions, 4-3 in the series opener Thursday night with the visitors skating to a 6-1 win the following night behind a 31-save performance by the younger Pitton.
“Bryan is a good goalie and he is going to make the saves when he has to,” said Jason, who led the Beast with five shots on goal. “To score on him you’re going to have to crash the net and bang the puck in or it will have to be pretty. We did our best to get shots through. We knew we had to generate some offence and good things happen when you get pucks on the net.”
After weathering a scoreless first period that saw the visitors test Rollheiser a number of times on the way to a 14-6 edge in shots, Tylor Michel opened the scoring at 9:06 of the second as his shot from the right-wing circle went off Bryan Pitton’s leg and into the net.
“I was trying to do too much with that shot instead of just stopping it,” said Bryan Pitton. “I was trying to control the rebound as opposed to just making the save.”
The Beast took advantage of a slashing call to Allen’s Tyler Ludwig to find an insurance goal when Pitton one-timed a pass from Calin Wild past his sprawling brother for his third goal of the season.
“That goal was big for us,” said Jason. “We knew heading into the third that we had to buckle down because they were going to come hard. That was a much-needed victory for us after dropping that game Friday night.”
Bryan Pitton gave a tip of the cap to his brother.
“Jason had a good game today. He made a great shot. Jason was just trying to fire everything on net, he was doing the same thing Friday night. He was bearing down really hard to score and he made a great shot to score.”
The younger Pitton admitted to some mixed emotions returning to the arena where he had spent three seasons with the Brampton Battalion of the OHL and set the club record for career wins by a goaltender.“It was weird. Being back in Brampton and playing against my brother and playing in front of all my family was on my mind. It was probably a good thing I got that night off to get everything under control. I was really excited to go Friday. Things went well for me, I was seeing the pucks well.
- Former Americans Aaron Dell and Adam Pineault played a big part in the Utah Grizzlies (ECHL) 3-2 shoot out win last night over the Ontario Reign. Adam got his first goal of the season to tie the score 2-2 in the third period and Aaron played great in goal as he stopped a breakaway with the game 2-1 Ontario to keep Utah within a goal in the third period. He stopped 26 of 28 shots in the game, four of five in the shootout and made several spectacular stops in overtime to improve to 2-1 with Utah. Dell was named the #1 star and Pineault the #2 star of the game.
DID YOU KNOW: The timing of the just completed series with Brampton coincided with the Hockey Hall of Fame induction weekend where former NHL players Chris Chelios, Scott Neidermayer, and Brendan Shanahan were among the group of five inducted. It gave the opportunity for some of the Allen Americans fans and players to take part in the induction activities. Did you know the youngest person ever to be inducted to the Hall of Fame was Bobby Orr who was just 31 when he was inducted in 1979.