For the first time this season, the previous week’s top ranked team in the North American Hockey League has been able to hold onto the position.
The Amarillo Wranglers broke the #1 curse after sweeping the Mudbugs at home before getting shutout 3-1 at New Mexico.
#1 – Amarillo Wranglers 11-4-0-0 (.733) Amarillo’s hold on the top spot of this list is all but an illusion. The reality is that they have a goal differential of only a +6 despite being seven games over .500. The Wranglers were bombed 3-0 at New Mexico Sunday in the third game of the weekend for both teams. The best team in the league should not have any issues taking care of business at Odessa. But they will, because they are not.
#2 – Maryland Black Bears 13-4-1-2 (.725) Clint Mylymok’s Bears needed shootouts to earn wins in both games against Maine at home. Regardless, Maryland has points in nine of their last ten games along with eight wins. So, this team is for real. How real? Just watch them this weekend in Maine to see four yourself.
B (.600 to .724)
#3 – Austin Bruins 11-4-1-1 (.706) Steve Howard’s Bruins rebounded from Friday’s 3-0 shutout loss at St. Cloud with a solid 4-3 home win Saturday. This weekend’s battle with North Iowa should produce some serious hockey.
#4 – New Mexico Ice Wolves 10-4-1-0 (.700) Phil Fox’s Ice Wolves picked up wins in two of three homes games over the weekend, including a stunning 3-0 shutout of #1 Amarillo. Wichita Falls visits this weekend.
#5 – North Iowa Bulls 10-4-0-2 (.643) Todd Sanden’s Bulls took care of business at home against a struggling Bismarck team. Can we expect more of the same against Austin?
#6 – Minnesota Wilderness 11-5-1-0 (.676) Dave Boitz and the Wilderness took a pair of single-point wins against the Magicians over the weekend. It’s clear that the superior coaching abilities of Boitz will propel the mighty Wilderness to victory in Janesville this week. He’s the best coach in the league, just ask him.
#7 – New Jersey Titans 13-6-1-0 (.675) Craig Doremus and the Titans are 9-0-1-0 in their last ten games after the sweep of Danbury at home. Will the streak continue this week at Jamestown?
#8 – Fairbanks Ice Dogs 12-6-0-1 (.658) Trevor Stewart’s Ice Dogs dropped two of three games at home to the Jets. In an interesting tun of events, Fairbanks was wins in just four of nine games since Blaine against teams not named Kenai River. Will that tide turn this week against Springfield?
#9 – Springfield Blues 12-6-0-1 (.658) Tyler Rennette’s Blues tossed a turkey egg onto the rink in Friday night’s shutout loss to Chippewa. Springfield did rebound with a win on Saturday. The next two weeks are in Alaska starting Friday in Fairbanks.
#10 – Anchorage Wolverines 10-5-1-0 (.656) Mike Aikens tried to warn his Wolverines about overlooking Kenai River but apparently, they did not listen. Sorry Anchorage, but you boys must play every game on the NAHL schedule, even against Kenai River. So do that this weekend when the Brown Bears visit Anchorage.
#11 – Odessa Jackalopes 11-6-0-1 (.639) Scott Deur’s Jackalopes are learning how important road points are in the south division. The road split at El Paso is a positive. Keeping Amarillo from getting any points from their visit this week would be epic for the Jackalopes.
#12 – St. Cloud Norsemen 8-5-0-0 (.615) Corey Millen and the Norsemen are proving themselves to be one of the league’s best stories this season and the hard-fought series with Austin is a prime example. There’s nothing about this week’s trip to Minot that is going to be easy, but the expectation is that the Norse will return to Minnesota with four points.
C (.475 to .599)
#13 – Minnesota Magicians 9-6-2-0 (.588) Nick Bydal’s Magicians lost both ends of the home-and-home set with the Wilderness in a pair of absolute heartbreaker games. Will they recover in time for this week’s war with Chippewa?
#14 – Wichita Falls Warriors 8-6-2-0 (.563) Garrett Roth may have to join the hair club for men if his Warriors continue to play they way they are. Wichita Falls picked up three points in the home split with Lone Star and will bus out to New Mexico this week to face the Ice Wolves.
#15 – Northeast Generals 10-8-0-0 (.556) Bryan Erikson’s Generals are winners on four of their last five games after the weekend sweep at Jamestown. Will that trend continue this week at Johnstown?
#16 – Johnstown Tomahawks 7-6-1-1 (.533) What is going on with Mike Letizia’s Tomahawks? Getting swept at home by New Jersey can certainly leave a scar. The Generals visit this weekend.
#17 – Lone Star Brahmas 7-6-3-1 (.529) Dan Wildfong’s Brahmas were starting to look like their old selves again in Friday night’s road win at Wichita Falls. That was before Saturday’s 4-0 shutout loss. Oh well, back to the drawing board. Will Lone Star be ready to face a hungry Shreveport team this weekend?
#18 – Aberdeen Wings 8-8-0-0 (.500) Steve Jennings and the Wings earned a valuable pair of points at rival Minot to remain at .500, The expectations will be high this week with the home-and-home set with Bismarck.
#19 – Chippewa Steel 10-10-0-0 (.500) Casey Mignone’s Steel shutout the Blues in Springfield Friday before dropping Saturday’s game 3-1. The Steel face the Magicians in an important home-and-home set this week.
#20 – Jamestown Rebels 7-7-1-1 (.500) Joe Coombs’ Rebels remain winless at home (six games) this season after being swept by the Generals. New Jersey will try to extend those home woes this weekend when they visit Northwest Arena.
D (.350 to .474)
#21 – Minot Minotauros 8-9-1-0 (.472) Cody Campbell’s ‘Tauros continue to chug along after their weekend split with Aberdeen, St. Cloud visits Maysa Arena this week,
#22 – El Paso Rhinos 6-7-1-0 (.464) Anthony Bohn’s Rhinos remain just a game under .500 after the weekend home split with Odessa. Can El Paso climb up and over par with this week’s roadie to Corpus Christi?
#23 – Shreveport Mudbugs 5-6-1-2 (.464) Jason Campbell’s Mudbugs have earned points in six of their last ten games after their weekend in Amarillo. This week’s visit to Lone Star presents yet another opportunity.
#24 – Maine Nordiques 6-8-0-2 (.438) Nolan Howe’s Nordiques earned three of a possible four points in their weekend split in Maryland. That same Black Bears team visits The Colisee this weekend for more fun and games.
#25 – Corpus Christi IceRays 6-9-2-0 (.412) Mike Lysyj’s IceRays defied the odds and picked up a split in their weekend set at New Mexico. Winners in just two of their last ten games, Corpus Christi needs a strong showing when the Rhinos visit American Bank Center this weekend.
F (.000 to .349)
#26 – Janesville Jets 5-11-0-1 (.324) Parker Burgess and the Jets slayed the dragon in Fairbanks with two wins in their three-games series with the Ice Dogs. Can they continue that momentum when the Wilderness visit this week?
#27 – Danbury Hat Tricks 3-11-3-0 (.265) Billy McCreary’s Tricks are winless in their last five games after getting swept at New Jersey. Danbury gets this weekend off before hosting the Titans November 17-18.
#28 – Bismarck Bobcats 3-12-1-0 (.219) Layne Sedevie’s Bobcats were swept out of Iowa and will have to reset this week before the important home and home set with Aberdeen this week. I can’t remember a time when the Bobcats have been this far under .500, especially in the month of November.
#29 – Kenai River Brown Bears 3-14-0-0 (.133) Josh Dubinsky and the Bears demonstrated the scientific reality that even a broken clock is right twice a day. Kenai River opened the new rivalry with Anchorage with a stunning 4-1 victory Friday night before falling by that same score on Saturday. The rivals will faceoff again this weekend in Anchorage