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Daily Dish: NAHL Rankings January 7th - Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 7 Jan 2013
By: Stephen Heisler  |  Web site: JuniorHockey.com

Well, THAT was interesting. The Texas Tornado have come out of the turn and hit the accelerator to sweep Amarillo, Fairbanks flipped the switch on Wenatchee, and the Tomahawks got swept in three games at Michigan. I think we can say that 2013 is off to a bang.


#1         Amarillo Bulls                          26-4-4  /  Last Week #1

Eight game winning streak? Over.  Sibling rivalry with Tony Curtale? Big brother took the Bulls behind the woodshed. Amarillo's balloon popped in Frisco and the Bulls have little time to lick their wounds with the RoadRunners in town this weekend. Topeka will try to extract their own piece of hide this weekend.


#2         Soo Eagles                              25-8-3  /  Last Week #3

The Eagles have now won eight in a row after getting a pair of wins over the K-Zoo. The Eagles have a big test this weekend with two games at Jamestown before facing the Tomahawks Sunday in Johnstown.


#3         Texas Tornado                         26-10-1  /  Last Week #4

The Tornado are 9-1 since November 30th after sweeping Amarillo at home. Curtale and the boys go to the beach again this weekend for a chance to warm-up and snag another pair of Ws from Corpus Christi.


#4         Wenatchee Wild                       24-5-3  /  Last Week #2             

The Wild gave up four points to their arch-rival Fairbanks Ice Dogs at home and bench boss Bliss Littler can't be happy with the turn of events. Littler and his boys jump on the bus for a long ride to a Fresno team that is 4-1-1 in their last six.


#5         Austin Bruins                           25-5-5  /  Last Week #5

The Bruins got a piece of humble pie served to them by Minot and will need to get a max effort this weekend at Brookings.


#6         Fairbanks Ice Dogs                  23-10-1  /  Last Week #6

The Ice Dogs managed to take four-points out of Wenatchee and have an opportunity to gain more ground on Wenatchee with Janesville in town for a pair this weekend.


#7         Jamestown Ironmen                 23-8-3  /  Last Week #9

The Ironmen are on a five-game streak after getting the sweep at Janesville. The Soo Eagles visit the Ironmen this weekend with an eight-game win streak of their own. Something is going to give.


#8         Topeka RoadRunners               21-9-5  /  Last Week #8

The RoadRunners continue to disappoint themselves by losing games to teams well below their level of talent. Topeka gets a chance to turn the tables this weekend at a suddenly red-faced Amarillo. 


#9         Brookings Blizzard                  19-12-2  /  Last Week #12

The Blizzard four-game winning streak will get a series challenge this week with the Austin Bruins in town for two.

#10       Johnstown Tomahawks            17-11-8  /  Last Week #7

The Tomahawks are just sick, no, I mean literally. The team missed a pair of practices during the week in an effort to shake the respiratory illness that was running through the group.  Johnstown was able to muster just a single point out of the three-game series at Michigan.  Port Huron visits the Flood City on Friday and Saturday before the red-hot division leading Soo Eagles visit Sunday.


#11       Kalamazoo K-Wings                 20-13-3  /  Last Week #10

The K-Wings made a very important discovery up in Sault Ste. Marie, the Eagles are for real. Kalamazoo is at Port Huron Wednesday and at Michigan Saturday before coming home to face the Warriors again on Sunday.


#12       Minot Minotauros                     18-15-3  /  Last Week #14

The Minotauros got a rock-solid performance between the pipes from Ryan Ruck to stun Austin on Friday night. Things did not go as well on Saturday for Tyler Parks in the shoot-out loss. Minot gets a chance to pad the stats this weekend at Coulee Region.


#13       Bismarck Bobcats                    19-13-2  /  Last Week #11

Bismarck wasted an outstanding effort by goaltender Aaron Nelson Saturday night in their 1-0 loss to Brookings. The Bobcats can't afford another dry-spell this weekend when they face Aberdeen in a home-and-home set.


#14       Corpus Christi IceRays 15-14-5  /  Last Week #17

The IceRays added to Odessa problems to secure the home sweep. They say that all good things come to an end and Corpus Christi needs to consider that fate this weekend. Curtale brings his Tornado to south Texas for what promises to be another disappointing weekend for the IceRays.


#15       Janesville Jets                         15-16-6  /  Last Week #15

Janesville jets to balmy Fairbanks this weekend after getting swept by Jamestown. The Jets should visit Chena Hot Springs to enjoy the great Alaska outdoors. It's always fantastic to visit Fairbanks in January.


#16       Kenai River Brown Bears          14-16-4  /  Last Week #16

Kenai River just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Monsters have found their grove and wrangled five of six points from the Brown Bears. The rock-em sock-em Springfield Blues come to the Peninsula this weekend.


#17       Port Huron Fighting Falcons    16-19-2  /  Last Week #13

The Fighting Falcons are having a very difficult time getting into the air lately and have dropped six in a row. The K-Wings are in town on Wednesday before Port Huron embarks on a three-game road-trip to Johnstown (Fri-Sat) and Jamestown (Sun).


#18       Michigan Warriors                    13-18-5  /  Last Week #20

Don't look now but Moe Mantha's Warriors have won five in a row and are having a great start to 2013. The Warriors get a home-and-home pair with Kalamazoo this week.


#19       Springfield Blues                     15-21-2  /  Last Week #18

The Blues have a big challenge this weekend with the first set of four games in Alaska at Kenai River. Alaska teams play big-boy hockey and the Brown Bears play on big ice.


#20       Fresno Monsters                      10-17-5  /  Last Week #21

Fresno coach Eric Ballard is smart enough to know not to spend too much time celebrating his team's rapid turnaround with division leader Wenatchee on their way back to central California.


#21       Wichita Falls Wildcats              11-19-2  /  Last Week #19

The Wildcats won for the first time since November on Saturday night when they slapped the RoadRunners with big loss. Nothing would make Wildcats' Paul Baxter boss happier than to stack another set of losses onto Odessa's losing streak this weekend.


#22       Coulee Region Chill                 9-20-5  /  Last Week #22

The Chill made yet another coaching change and managed to snap their losing streak by slamming Aberdeen on Saturday night. That success promises to be short-lived with Minot visiting this weekend.


#23       Aberdeen Wings                       8-23-4  /  Last Week #23

Now losers of twelve-straight after getting jacked by the Chill, the Wings get a home-and-home weekend series with Bismarck.


#24       Odessa Jackalopes                  5-27-2  /  Last Week #24

Paul Gillis could be the worst junior hockey coach on the planet. Players are celebrating their departure from Odessa like a lottery win. Simply stated, nobody wants to play for a coach that spews negativity like a garden hose. 1-25-1 since October 6th, how much longer will Odessa's owners allow the team to continue bleeding? Gillis is too proud to do the right thing and just quit, not while nursing on that outrageous salary.

JuniorHockey.com is the premier website dedicated to delivering the latest news and developing stories from junior hockey across North America, as well as providing online tools for junior hockey players and prospects. With over 225,000 views each month Juniorhockey.com is the internet's leading source of junior hockey news and information. 

Stephen Heisler resides in Puerto Penasco, Mexico with his wife, Maria, and their two children, Sonia and Tomas. Tune in to his Mexico based Classic Rock Station, GoPenasco Radio.


posted Jan. 7th, 2013 - 12:10am
Andrew Hochstein says:
How much is an "outrageous salary" that you claim coach Gillis is getting?

posted Jan. 7th, 2013 - 1:21am
Jon Hart says:
I would venture to guess enough to make him not walk away and accept a job in the CHL, or ECHL. But hey what do I know.

posted Jan. 7th, 2013 - 6:31am
Christian Poulsen says:
Stephen, just looking at 4 in a row of your bottom 10 (Michigan, Springfield, Fresno and Wichita Falls), and thinking they could give any team in the league fits right now...
...Having said that, I'll make a a few picks:
Michigan splits with KZoo
Springfield takes 2 up in Soldotna
Wenatchee takes both in Cal (but Niners win)
Wichita drops 1 to Odessa (or hand me the shovel)
...NHL?...yeah, I'll have some dessert (but I really didn't need it)

posted Jan. 7th, 2013 - 7:39am
Stephen Heisler says:
For a coach that is 1-25-1 in his last 27? Anything in excess of $10,000 is not pretty. I am hearing that Paul's annual take is among the highest in the league and is substantially more than Tony Curtale.

posted Jan. 7th, 2013 - 9:07am
Andrew Hochstein says:
As a Bulls fan I naturally hate the Jacks, but I have to say if I had season tickets for the Jacks I'd be raising some hell. 1 home game win is ridiculous. The management needs to wake the $&@* up and make some changes or they're in real risk of losing fans.

posted Jan. 7th, 2013 - 12:57pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Stephen, you might heve to delete this because although it is "tongue in cheek", it is real...
...the time maybe is now!...
...For Sale! "Stolen" (to help pay for victims education!) Paul Gillis signed O=Pee-Chee player card, complete NHL stats with notes in English and French...
..note: must be purchased with signed (including Bourque, Sakic, Forsberg and Roy) 2001 (Stanley Cup) Colorado Avalanche team stick...

posted Jan. 7th, 2013 - 4:17pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Uh Oh...Bill...an instance of my writing lazyness got me...the above should read "to help pay for THE ANONYMOUS victim OF THE SAID CRIME education"...(procedes will NOT be donated or go to to any others (charitable groups or otherwise)......Lord have mercy!

posted Jan. 7th, 2013 - 4:45pm
Bill Mueller says:
If you try and clarify all your posts Christian, you'll never get any work done.

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 4:12pm
Casey Booth says:
As another fellow Amarillo Bulls fan I find it funny how you disgrace the #1 team in the league. I will also find it funny how we will make you eat your own words this weekend when we sweep Topeka. Come on man...enough is enough. If you want to diss on a team make it Odessa...we all know they suck!! #ROBBIECUPBOUNDBABY!!

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 5:34pm
Mike Lee says:
No need to pour it on Odessa. Everybody already knows how bad they suck. I wouldn't get too cocky, though, being an Amarillo fan. Or, has your selective memory blacked out the past few years in the CHL, where the Gorillas were cellar dwellers more often than not? Not to mention Odessa's redheaded step-child.

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 5:46pm
Andrew Hochstein says:
I seemed to have opened the flood gate of Bulls fans to this page lol. They're ripping Stephen apart on the Bulls Facebook page too. Sorry Stephen!! (Not)

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 5:53pm
Andrew Hochstein says:
Gotta love us Bulls fans ;)

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 6:37pm
robert hutch says:
No we don't!

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 9:10pm
Andrew Hochstein says:
^ haters gonna hate

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 9:28pm
robert hutch says:
i don't hate.just kidding.

posted Jan. 13th, 2013 - 11:28pm
Christian Poulsen says:
6-2 for my 4 series picks...got ya on that Springy/Kenai series, Stephen...but hand me the shovel for the Jacks...
...also, funny the rumors you here at a WSHL game that have nothing to do with the WSHL...a couple of NA team rumors...we'll see (if true) soon on one of them

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