Here's some things to watch for from Southwest Teams and some of the top players this weekend.
Texas Tornado have a chance to really get some long home stretches on the right foot and send a message to their leagues that they are for real and make an impact to the league.
After this weekend's games against the Corpus Christi Icerays, the Tornado will begin a home stretch that's even longer then the Dallas Stars 6 game Homestand as the Tornado starting next weekend will play the Wenatchee Wild which kicks off 13 of their next 17 at home. This is a chance to start getting a long winning streak and get some breathing room between them and the South Division Bunkmates.
However, with some critical injuries like J.D. Howard and the team leading scorer Rock Einersen, they will provide quite a challenge for the rest of the team to show up and possibly could lead to a call-up from one of their prospects, especially from the Texas Tornado U18 Team at some point like Mico Solarzino was able to take advantage of last year.
All 4 AHL Teams have very busy weekends on tap with Houston, San Antonio and Oklahoma City are going to have a 3 game-in-3-night weekends. Oklahoma City will need to be able to survive a very tough weekend with the Barons playing a Friday Night Home Game against the Barons, but after that, it's the start of a very fast 5 game road trip which includes a tough trip to Ontario where they will play the Toronto Marlies on Saturday.
Then a Sunday Afternoon game against the Hamilton Bulldogs where the spotlight will be on them with the game being televised on both CBC (Canada) and the NHL Network (USA) this weekend. After a first 3 games that weren't very good, it's beginning to crank up which includes an 8-2 win over Houston and getting the team's first ever Shutout against the Lake Erie Monsters as well.
Some other interesting games include the Lake Erie Monsters as they have gone 0-2 on their Southwest Road Trip as the Monsters get the Texas Stars tonight, then will wrap up the road trip tomorrow in Houston against the Aeros. Hopefully both the Stars and Aeros will continue their success against Lake Erie as the Monsters have had the bite taken out of them so far as the Monsters sit 6th in the North Division at 2-3-1.
Other games of note include the Peoria Rivermen playing the Houston Aeros tonight and heading to Texas to take on the Stars tomorrow night.
As of right now the Barons and Rampage are look to continue their good start as they are 2nd & 3rd in the West Division, while the Stars & Aeros are looking to climb up the West Division Ladder as they sit 6th and 7th. But with each team playing less then 6 games, look for some interesting matches and a lot of switching around coming up. So the big question is that come Sunday & Saturday, who can fight off the possible fatigue and get some critical wins early on in a very busy AHL Weekend.
Battle of Unbeaten's faceoff in huge early season show down as Johnnie Searfoss of Neb.-Omaha and Chris Brown of Michigan. After making their WCHA Debut in a huge fashion, Nebraska-Omaha stunned the University of Minnesota by winning both games.
Neb.-Omaha is looking to continue their hot start with a tough Michigan team at the University of Michigan this weekend. Another big win or even a great looking split will show the country that the Mavericks will look to be big contenders in their first season in the WCHA
So far from Chris Brown and Johnnie Searfoss. They both have been off to slow starts stats wise, but both are providing a ton of energy and strength. Searfoss has the one goal from the 8-0 thrashing of Clarkson while Brown got his first goal of the season came last weekend against the University of New Hampshire.
Battle for first in CHL Southern Conference between Allen & Bossier-Shreveport. After a 6-4 win for the Americans in Shreveport last night, both the Americans and Mudbugs are tied for first with 6 points and will be looking to take outright control of the series in the Bayou tonight after the Mudbugs are hoping to use their strong offense that has them to a league best 22 goals in 4 games tonight to be an Americans offense that has a crew of players like Bruce Graham and Tobias Whelan.
Even though it's not the trio of players like Musitelli and Bowers have either moved on to the AHL or elsewhere in the CHL, it's still a group that score like crazy in this league. So it will be interesting to see who will take early control in the CHL's Southern Conference after tonight's game.
After tonight, the rest of the weekend, it's trip to Kansas as the Americans will take on the Wichita Thunder on Saturday Night. For the Mudbugs, it's a trip to Dallas to take on the Texas Brahmas at the very loud NYTEX Sports Center.
Here's this weekends schedule
10/23: VS. Nashville Predators 7:00 PM (TXA 21)
American Hockey League
San Antonio Rampage VS. Oklahoma City Barons Just Started at 7:00 PM
Lake Erie Monsters VS. Texas Stars 7:30 PM
Peoria Rivermen VS. Houston Aeros 7:35 PM
Oklahoma City Barons VS. Toronto Marlies 4:00 PM
Houston Aeros VS. San Antonio Rampage 7:00 PM
Peoria Rivermen VS. Texas Stars 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City Barons VS. Hamilton Bulldogs 12:00 PM (NHL Network)
Peoria Rivermen VS. San Antonio Ramapge 3:00 PM
Lake Erie Monsters VS. Houston Aeros 4:00 PM
Central Hockey League
Odessa Jackalopes VS. Bloomington Paririe Thunder 7:00 PM
Allen Americans VS. Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs 1st Per. 10:58 Just Started
RG Valley Killer Bees VS. Texas Brahmas 7:30 PM
Odessa Jackalopes VS. Dayton Gems 6:30 PM
Tulsa Oilers VS. Bloomington Prairie Thunder 7:05 PM
Allen Americans VS. Wichita Thunder 7:05 PM
Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs VS. Texas Brahmas 7:30 PM
RG Valley Killer Bees VS. Laredo bucks 7:30 PM
North American Hockey League (NAHL)
Wichita Falls Wildcats VS. Amarillo Bulls 10:48 1st Just Started
Texas Tornado VS. Corpus Christi Icerays 7:05 PM
Wichita Falls Wildcats VS. New Mexico Mustangs 8:30 PM
Texas Tornado VS. Corpus Christi Icerays 3:05 PM
Wichita Falls Wildcats VS. New Mexico Mustangs 6:00 PM
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