Friday, January 3, 2014

Game Preview, Aspen Hockey, Reciprocal Agreement With ECHL

Seems like the tests keep coming for the Allen Americans and tonight will be a good opportunity to see how they stack up against the best team in the league. It is hard to believe the Rapid City Rush have not lost on the road the entire season, quite an accomplishment as their road record is 12-0-0. If there is a silver lining in looking at recent play both teams are 3-2 in their last five games and Allen has won three games in a row. Here is a look at some comparison statistics:

                                  Allen Americans            Rapid City        
RESULT OF LAST GAME               WIN  5-3 vs WIC            WIN  4-3 vs STC   
GAMES PLAYED                      29                         27                
RECORD                            17-10-2                    22-5-0            
POINTS                            36                         44                
HOME RECORD                       7-5-2                      10-5-0            
AWAY RECORD                       10-5-0                     12-0-0            
SHOOT OUT RECORD                  3-2                        3-0               
LAST 10 GAMES                     5-4-1                      7-3-0             
LAST 5 GAMES                      3-2-0                      3-2-0             
OCTOBER                           5-0-1                      5-0-0             
NOVEMBER                          7-6-0                      9-2-0             
DECEMBER                          5-4-1                      8-3-0                          
SCORING FIRST                     10-3-1                     15-2-0            
LEADING AFTER 1ST                 8-3-0                      13-0-0            
LEADING AFTER 2ND                 11-1-1                     14-0-0            
TIED AFTER 1ST                    5-2-1                      5-2-0             
TIED AFTER 2ND                    6-0-1                      6-3-0             
TRAILING AFTER 1ST                4-5-1                      4-3-0             
TRAILING AFTER 2ND                0-9-0                      2-2-0             
WHEN OUTSHOOTING OPPONENT         9-6-1                      14-4-0            
1 - GOAL GAMES                    7-2-2                      11-3-0            
GOALS FOR PER GAME                3.62                       3.78              
GOALS AGAINST PER GAME            3.21                       2.37              
SHOTS FOR PER GAME                34.52                      34.96             
SHOTS AGAINST PER GAME            31.41                      30.59             
POWER PLAY RECORD                 28 - 164   17.1%           22 - 129   17.1%  
PENALTY KILLING RECORD            25 - 165   84.8%           26 - 114   77.2%  
SH GOALS FOR                      6                          4                 
SH GOALS AGAINST                  6                          1                 
PIM AVERAGE                       24.34                      16.26             

Allen                 26   41   35   3   105    
Opponents             26   33   32   2   93     
Rapid City            31   30   37   4   102    
Opponents             20   22   22   0   64     

 - A couple of things stand out when looking at the comparison stats. Don't let the Rush get the lead as they are 13-0-0 when leading after one period. Avoid a shoot out as they are 3-0 and have only had to take 10 shots to win the three shoot outs. They have made seven of the ten shots.

- If you want a great predictor of the outcome of the game look at the score after the second period as Rapid City is 14-0-0 when leading after the second period and Allen is 0-9-0 when losing after the second period. Allen better be tied or ahead after the second period.

- If Rapid City has a weakness it is on special teams as their power play is rated #6 in the league (17.1%) and their penalty kill is dead last in the league at 77.2%. It will be important for Allen to capitalize on this special teams advantage if they are going to win.

- These two teams have only met twice thus far this year and both games were in Allen (December 6 & 7). Rapid City won both games by a score of 3-2 (one was a shoot out).

- A player to keep an eye on this weekend is #7 Winston Day Chief  who has had the hot hand since spending a month on injured reserve and returning to the line up December 20. In the last six games he has twelve points (7 goals, 5 assists).

- Here is how the CHL described the Allen vs Rapid City series this weekend;
Powers Clash in Texas- The Rapid City Rush (22-5-0) remain unbeaten on the road winning all 12 of their away games so far but that streak will be put to a test this weekend when they battle the Allen Americans (17-10-2) on Friday and Saturday.  The Rush’s 12-game road win streak is a CHL record and they are coming off an impressive comeback win in St. Charles.  Winston Day Chief had a natural hat trick and has been on fire with seven goals and five assists in six games since returning from the injured reserve.  Allen has won three straight games and five of their last seven.  Tyler Ludwig has been on fire with four goals and an assist along with a +6 plus/minus rating in his last three contests.  The Rush and Americans met back in 2010 for the CHL title with Rapid City winning in six games.  Rapid City’s Scott Wray, Riley Weselowski and Gio Flamminio are the only holdovers from that Championship team and Jarret Lukin is the lone Allen player remaining from that 2010 series.
- The Denver Cutthroats play the Tulsa Oilers this weekend in Aspen as their arena is tied up most of the month with the National Western Stock Show. The Lewis Ice Arena in Aspen shows a capacity of 450. Maybe Denver will get a sell out for the first time this year.

- Noticed a web site in Canada devoted to good looking women found the Ice Angels and featured them on their site.  Here is what they had to say, "Allen Americans play in the CHL and have the hottest Ice Angels Ice Crew in the world. Every Single One is a smoke."

- Coach Martinson has talked many times about the risk of trading for players in the CHL because of a lack of a reciprocal agreement with the ECHL means players can move to the ECHL if they don't like the trade. Saw an interesting article where this just happened in the ECHL. Seems like both leagues would benefit from a reciprocal agreement. Here is part of the article that talks about this issue:
Despite being traded to Fort Wayne (ECHL) from Orlando (ECHL) for Mickey Lang over the weekend, forward David Rutherford says he's not coming to Fort Wayne. Rutherford said Monday afternoon he's going to sign with Arizona in the Central Hockey League. Because the ECHL and CHL do not have reciprocal agreements, the Komets are stuck with the trade for Mickey Lang. According to General Manager David Franke, the Komets were not allowed to talk to Rutherford before the trade was made.  Franke also took the blame for not including a clause in the trade agreement that nullified the deal if a player chose not to report. He said he usually does that with every trade, but has not included such a clause since the Komets joined the ECHL two years ago. He said the Komets have tried over the last two years to convince the ECHL of a need for a reciprocal agreement with the CHL but have been rebuffed. The same thing happened last year in Evansville with star center Todd Robinson when he left the team to sign with the Allen Americans.

DID YOU KNOW:  Rink, is a Scottish word meaning 'course', was used as the name of a place where curling was played. The name has been retained for the construction of ice areas for other sports and uses.

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