Friday, November 1, 2013

Denver vs Allen Preview, Clarke Scores 1st Shift, WW II Vet Honored

The match-up between the first place Allen Americans and the undefeated (5-0) Denver Cutthroats tonight at the Allen Event Center (AEC) on paper should be a great game but unfortunately the games aren't played on paper. While it will most likely be a close, hard fought game, it also would not be a surprise if it isn't. Here are a few comparative facts on these two teams.

- Denver is 5-0 thus far but they have all been home games. How will they play on the road? Based on the fan support at home (official attendance for the last two games was 929 & 874) they may be looking forward to the road.
Denver has been playing before sparse crowds

- Allen has struggled in their two home games giving up leads in both games which ended in shootouts. Allen split the two shootout.
- Denver leads the league in goals scored (26) averaging just over five goals per game.
- Allen leads the league in power play percentage (21.62%) and penalty kill percentage (95.12%)
- Denver is #2 in the league on the power play (20.83%) but is ranked #9 on the penalty kill (73.08%)
- Allen as a team is -11 in plus/minus
- Denver as a team is a +57 in plus/minus
- Allen has two of the top five scorer in the league (Bootland & Lavoie)
- Denver has the other three top five scorers in the league including #1 & #2 (Schwab, Bembridge, & Gale).
- Allen goaltenders are 7th & 8th in the league in GAA (Pitton 2.59 & Brown 3.00)
- Denver goaltenders are 6th & 10th in the league in GAA (Millan 2.56 & Patterson 3.52)
- Allen is second from the top in penalty minutes with 138
- Denver is second from the bottom in penalty minutes with 92
- Allen has the second youngest player in the league in 20 year old Alex Lavoie
- Denver has the youngest player in the league in 20 year old Micheal Shumacher
- Allen has the CHL's #3 scorer among defensemen in Ross Rouleau (5 points)
- Denver has the CHL's #2 scorer among defensemen in Steve Kaunisto (6 points). Steve played 10 games with Allen in 2011-2012.

So how do you boil all of this down? You don't as this game could go either way. It is a toss up, a push, a pick'em. Just sit back and enjoy two of the best teams in the CHL.

- In other match-ups around the league two undefeated teams (Rapid City & Missouri) take on the two teams at the bottom of the standings as Missouri (4-0) plays at Tulsa and Rapid city (5-0) plays at Arizona. It would be good for the league if the home teams could get the wins tonight.

-  Former American's player Garrett Clarke (2012-2013) played his first game for the Arizona Sundogs on Wednesday and scored an unassisted goal on his first shift. Considering last year it took him 42 games to score his one and only goal of the season he is way ahead of schedule. Always the joker, Clarke put on social media, "on pace for 60 goals."

- I think most of you know by now that in addition to writing this blog I am actively involved with many of the residence of Heritage Ranch, where I live, that follow the Allen Americans. For those that don't know, Heritage Ranch is an "Active Adult Resort Community" or as we like to call it "Wrinkle Ranch." It is a wonderful place to live with a great golf course, tennis courts, walking and biking trails, indoor and outdoor polls, and really is an active community. There are over 200 people in our Allen Americans fan club and we have 51 season ticket-holders. One of the things the Allen Americans have done over the years is provide tickets to veterans from Heritage Ranch through a program called "Seats For Soldier" and tonight is one of those nights. While most of veterans (around 250) that live at Heritage Ranch are like myself from the Vietnam era we have many veterans from the Korean War and a few (15 or so) left from WW II. Tonight at the game all of the veterans from Heritage Ranch will be acknowledged but one of our WW II vets will be highlighted. Joe Dean, who enlisted in the US Army Air Force (predecessor to the USAF) in 1942 will be at the game. For those of you that are attending the game make sure to give Joe a rousing ovation. By the way, Joe is 87 years young.

DID YOU KNOW: Six degrees of separation between Allen coach Steve Martinson and Denver coach Derek Armstrong. Derek Armstrong played junior hockey (Sudbury Wolves) with St. Charles Chill Coach Jamie Rivers (1991-1993). Jamie Rivers was a teammate of Darryl Bootland with the Detroit Red Wings (2003-2004). Darryl Bootland was teammates with Tyler Ludwig with the Manitoba Moose (2008-2009). Tyler Ludwig's dad, Craig Ludwig,  was a teammate of Steve Martinson with the Montreal Canadiens (1988-1989).


  1. Wish I could make it to the game tonight, but I have previous plans. Thank you for your service to our country. Men like you are heroes. My son is being taught that people like you are self less, strong, caring and patriotic. Thank you!

  2. Charlie, thanks for the kind words, much appreciated. I will share your thoughts with all of the veterans from Heritage Ranch attending the game tonight.