Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dell Call Up, Practice Notes, & Series Preview

 - Once again got to see the end of practice and no changes to report other than Aaron Dell not participating because he has been called up by the Houston Aeros. This is a one game call up because of injury and Dell will be back in Allen for the game with the Mavericks on Sunday.

- Had an interesting conversation with some fans at practice and as happens frequently the discussion turned to what changes will take place in the CHL in the off season. With several teams in financial trouble and bring run by the league or helped by the league, a couple of teams who are eligible to leave because their lease is up, the skepticism about how having Brampton in league will work given the distance from many of the CHL current teams, the recent decision in Casper to not field a team for next year, and some rumblings about the St. Charles Chill having difficulties it does make you wonder if this is the year something has to happen. I have heard many hockey experts around the league say it is a matter of when not if there is only one AA league and just maybe this is the year. This might be wishful thinking but you hear more and more rumors as the season comes to a close which leads me to believe changes are coming. Announcements should start happening shortly after the season ends so we will have to wait and see.

- After the first round of playoffs Allen ranks 2nd in attendance trailing only Missouri. If you look at the upcoming series it will be difficult for Allen to increase average attendance because of having mostly weekday games

- Here is the Americans vs. Mavericks preview from the CHL web site which has some good info:

Semifinals Series Preview - Allen vs. Missouri

Conference Semifinals Preview

CHL Playoffs Conference Semifinals Series “E” (best-of-7)
Missouri Mavericks vs. Allen Americans

Series Schedule:

Game 1 – Sun., Apr. 14 – Missouri at Allen, 5:05
Game 2 – Mon., Apr. 15 – Missouri at Allen, 7:05
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 17 – Allen at Missouri, 7:05
Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 19 – Allen at Missouri, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 20 – Allen at Missouri, 7:05
*Game 6 – Mon., Apr. 22 – Missouri at Allen, 7:05
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 23 – Missouri at Allen, 7:05

Regular Season Series:

11/15/12    Missouri 4 at Allen 3    
12/21/12    Allen 2 at Missouri 3 (OT)    
2/8/13     Missouri 1 at Allen 5    
2/16/13    Allen 5 at Missouri 3 
3/2/13    Missouri 2 at Allen 3    
3/23/13    Missouri 4 at Allen 0

Season Series Analysis:
The teams each won three times in six games during the regular season with Missouri snapping a three-game Allen win streak in the regular season’s final weekend with a shutout win on Mar. 23.  The Mavs showed they can play in the Allen Event Center winning a one-goal game, losing a one-goal game, getting beat by four and beating the Americans by four.  In Missouri, the Americans earned a point during each visit falling in overtime around Christmas and winning by a pair of goals in mid-February.  Sebastien Thinel had 10 points (5-5=10) in six games against the Americans.  Rookie goalie Aaron Dell played all but 10 minutes against the Mavs and he posted a 2.76 GAA.

Series Snapshot:
The Americans and Mavericks on paper may look like the top seeded Allen squad has the advantage but over the last two months of the regular season, the clubs were nearly identical.  Missouri went 14-11-2 and Allen went 14-10-3 after February 1st.  The Americans had the lowest GAA in the league at 2.67 with the duo of Aaron Dell and Steve Silverthorn but the Mavs may have the deepest group of forwards and they come in on fire after Kellan Tochkin’s five point game in Game 6 of the Opening Round and Sebastien Thinel’s two-goal effort.  Other contributors like Kenton Miller, Colt King, Ryan Jardine and Andrew Courtney have had their moments in the post-season so far as well.  Both teams enter this series on four-game win streaks.  

Players to Watch:
Missouri defenseman Dave Pszenyczny has four helpers and is a +4 in six games so far in the playoffs and he is built for the post-season with his ‘in-your-face’ approach during the playoffs.  He also has championship experience as a member of the 2011 CHL Champion Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs.

Allen defenseman Tyler Ludwig has five points (1-4=5) in five games and is a team-high +6 in the post-season so far.  Both he and Pszenyczny were finalists for the league’s Most Outstanding Defenseman Award (won by Wichita’s Kevin Young).

Key Note:
The Mavericks will need to control the Americans in the opening period as Allen has gotten on a role early in the post-season outscoring the opposition 7-1 in the first 20 minutes.  Missouri has scored just three times in period number one (six games played).

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