I would like to go ahead and do something a little different this year
and start a new tradition of ranking the NAHL teams each week, top to bottom.
Now before we get started, this is not scientifically based and may be biased
on occasion. With that said, let's fire up the hate-mail-maker.
#1 Wenatchee 6-0-0
Littler's team needs to chop some PIM's from their game but otherwise
looks like a championship caliber group. The Wild will remain undefeated with a sweep
this weekend in Bismarck.
#2 Topeka 4-0-1
Beam me up Scotty. Langer has the RoadRunners on top of the standing and
a chance to stay there with two games in Corpus Christi this weekend. It's just
too bad they have to play the IceRays.
#3 Texas 4-0-0
Has anyone seen Tony Curtale? I know it's early but the undefeated
Tornado have the fewest PIMs in the division and tied for the 4th
lowest in the league. Say what?
#4 Kalamazoo 5-1-0
The K-Zoo is a ticking machine of consistency and expect that trend to
#5 Brookings 3-1-0
The Blizzard are off to a surprising good start, now let's see if they
can sustain the momentum.
#6 Fairbanks 4-2-0
Maybe those two exhibition games in Sault Ste. Marie were not such a good
idea after all. The Ice Dogs looked tired in Friday night's 3-2 loss in
Janesville. Fairbanks bounced back on Saturday to get the OT win. Look for a
fresh Fairbanks squad to sweep the Blues in Springfield.
#7 Amarillo 2-1-1
The Bulls performance in Blaine was disappointing and I can assure you
that it, and the Odessa Jackalopes, has Dennis Williams' full attention.
#8 Jamestown 4-1-1
The Ironmen are playing good hockey, right now, and could be heading into
the right direction, it's just too bad that they have to visit the Soo this
#9 Wichita Falls 3-2-1
Paul Baxter is exactly where he wants to be. Can the Wildcats stun the
Tornado on Saturday night in Frisco? I think so.
#10 Corpus Christi 2-1-3
Rudy Sulmonte and the young IceRays are very excited about this weekend's
series against Topeka. Look for Rudy to shred the RoadRunners defense to help
get the sweep.
#11 Port Huron 6-2-0
It's already started...whispers from Michigan suggest that the team can't
stand Steve Shannon and are laughing at him behind his back. As many as six
players are said to be asking for a release or trade.
#12 Kenai River 2-2-2
The Brownies looked good against Springfield, really good. Can they carry
that energy north to Wisconsin this weekend when they face the Jets?
#13 Janesville 3-2-1
The Jets are in there with the top half of the division but have to face
a hot Kenai River team that is coming off a sweep of Springfield.
#14 Odessa 2-2-1
Odessa always plays tough against Amarillo but that is not going to be
enough this weekend.
#15 Austin 2-2-0
The Bruins get to Chill this weekend when Coulee Region comes to town on
Saturday night. Chris Tok's squad looks good and should be able to send the
fans home with a big smile on their faces.
#16 Aberdeen 2-2-0
Pete Sauer's Wings get a home and home swap this weekend with Brookings.
Look for the series to split the same way.
#17 Bismarck 3-3-0
The Bobcats got a pair of 2-1 wins last weekend against the barnstorming Fresno
Monsters, things will not be so easy with the top rated Wenatchee Wild coming to
#18 Fresno 3-3-0
Eric Ballard's Monsters dropped a pair of tough of 2-1 losses in Bismarck
last week and has to make a statement at Minot this weekend before making their
first trip to Alaska next week.
#19 Soo 2-4-1
The Eagles are starting to figure this whole NAHL thing out with two wins
in the last three games. Look for a Soo sweep this weekend against the Ironmen.
#20 Johnstown 1-3-2
What is happening in Johnstown? The leading scorer for last year's
Avalanche has been traded to Amarillo, and as a result, the team feels that the chemistry has
drastically improved. Look for a breakout performance, and a huge crowd, for
the season's home opener against Michigan on Saturday.
#21 Michigan 1-4-0
I am kind of surprised that Moe Mantha's Warriors are this far down the
flagpole. There was a good crowd in Flint on Monday night and that could just
be the motivation needed to get this crew into gear. Uh, Moe, can you get
somebody to guard the dressing rooms?
#22 Coulee Region 1-2-1
The Chill maybe 1-2-1 but let's take a look at who they lost to. K-Zoo,
Topeka, and Texas. Those three teams are sitting at the 2,3,and 4 spots above.
Things won't get much easier Saturday night in Austin when the faceoff against
#23 Springfield 1-4-1
Goalie Ryan Kellenberger is the real deal, but I doubt he is too excited
about facing 40 shots a game. As for the rest of his team... it looks like the
California Blues to me.
#24 Minot 0-5-1
Minot is all but punch drunk after getting a single point out of their
first six games and things don't get any easier this weekend when they host an
angry Fresno Monsters club.
OK, that was fun. Let's do it again next Tuesday.
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