Friday, February 21, 2014

Game Preview, Dell to the AHL, Lavoie Gets CHL Props, Denver vs Missouri for 1st

Seems like everytime there is a game preview I say the game is important and that is sure true for the game tonight. After being in first place earlier this month Allen has lost seven of eight games while league leading Missouri has won seven of eight games including three against the Americans. Allen is now closer to 8th place in the standings and the final playoff spot (5 points) than they are to first place (10 points). With a win in Wichita tonight the Americans could end up three points out of second in the standings and with a loss they could end up in seventh place.

- Allen and Wichita have played five times this season with the Thunder winning three times. The teams split shootout victories back in October with Wichita winning the last two times they have met.

- Here is the team by team comparison:
                                  Wichita Thunder            Allen Americans   
RESULT OF LAST GAME               WIN  4-2 vs BRM            LOSS  3-5 vs DEN  
GAMES PLAYED                      48                         48                
RECORD                            22-22-4                    26-18-4           
POINTS                            48                         56                
HOME RECORD                       9-12-2                     13-8-3            
AWAY RECORD                       13-10-2                    13-10-1           
SHO RECORD                        5-1                        4-3               
LAST 10 GAMES                     6-4-0                      2-8-0             
LAST 5 GAMES                      3-2-0                      0-5-0             
OCTOBER                           1-2-2                      5-0-1             
NOVEMBER                          3-9-2                      7-6-0             
DECEMBER                          7-4-0                      5-4-1             
JANUARY                           7-4-0                      8-1-2             
FEBRUARY                          4-3-0                      1-7-0                          
SCORING FIRST                     10-7-1                     15-6-3            
LEADING AFTER 1ST                 9-5-0                      11-6-0            
LEADING AFTER 2ND                 11-4-1                     16-2-3            
TIED AFTER 1ST                    9-10-1                     9-4-3             
TIED AFTER 2ND                    6-7-2                      8-4-1             
TRAILING AFTER 1ST                4-7-3                      6-8-1             
TRAILING AFTER 2ND                5-11-1                     2-12-0            
WHEN OUTSHOOTING OPPONENT         10-14-2                    14-10-1           
1 - GOAL GAMES                    12-5-4                     12-3-4            
GOALS FOR PER GAME                3.06                       3.50              
GOALS AGAINST PER GAME            3.19                       3.31              
SHOTS FOR PER GAME                30.40                      33.71             
SHOTS AGAINST PER GAME            29.67                      32.38             
POWER PLAY RECORD                 43 - 212   20.3%           43 - 243   17.7%  
PENALTY KILLING RECORD            41 - 201   79.6%           45 - 256   82.4%  
SH GOALS FOR                      4                          8                 
SH GOALS AGAINST                  6                          7                 
PIM AVERAGE                       14.85                      23.27             

Wichita               42   51   47   7   147    
Opponents             37   55   57   4   153    
Allen                 49   62   52   5   168    
Opponents             48   48   59   4   159    

- Both teams have given up more goals in the third period than they have scored so having a lead going into the third period will be crucial. When trailing after the second period Allen's record is 2-12. Allen is 15-6-3 when scoring the first goal of the game.

- If you are looking for a player to have a big game tonight based on the first five games against Wichita it would be Kale Kerbashian. In the five games Kale has had nine points (3 goals 6 assists). Jonathan Lessard leads the team in goals against Wichita with four.

- Three of the four leading scorers for Allen in their last five games (all losses) are defensemen. Zion (6 points), Berube (5 points), Lavoie (4 points), & Ludwig (3 points). This will have to change if the Americans are to be successful.

- Wichita has a losing home record (9-12-2) but many of the losses were earlier in the season. They have won five of their last six home games.

- Special teams will be a key in the game tonight. Allen needs to play physical against a Wichita team that is also physical but the Americans need to avoid penalties. Allen has been having trouble lately killing penalties(72.9%) and the Thunder have one of the better power plays in the league (20.3%).


- The CHL had a nice article about the season Alex Lavoie is having. If you haven't seen it here it is:

It has been quite a rookie season for Allen Americans forward Alex Lavoie who began the year with three goals in his first four games and hasn’t looked back since. The Anjou, Quebec native currently sits eighth in the league overall with 61 points (24-37=61 in 48 games) and is running away with the rookie scoring title sitting 14 points ahead of Tulsa’s Adam Pleskach (29-18=47 in 47 games).
Lavoie has been a big part of the Americans power play with five goals and 14 assists on the man advantage this season.  He also has tallied four game winning goals and is a +8. Consistency has been one of the finer points of the first-year player's game with eight points in six games in October and then double-digit point totals in November, December and January.  He currently has seven points in eight games this month. In January, Lavoie was named the CHL Rookie of the Month after totaling six goals and eight assists and recoding a +12 in 11 games. The Americans have had their ups and downs as a team but Lavoie, mixed in with the veteran the team boasts, could be the right combination for a repeat of last year’s CHL title.

- Aaron Dell signed a PTO (Professional Try Out) contract with the Abbotsford Heat (AHL) yesterday. Not sure of the circumstances of the signing (injury or call up of a Abbotsford goalie) but let's hope Aaron, who has been playing great in Utah (ECHL), gets a chance to play in Abbotsford.

- John Snowden had a goal and assist last night and was named the games #3 star as his Chill team lost in Brampton by a score of 5-4.

-The best matchup in the league this weekend takes place in Denver as the Cutthroats take on the Mavericks twice. They are the top two teams in the standings and they are the two hottest teams in the league. Denver has a five game win streak and Missouri has a four game win streak.

DID YOU KNOW: Bruce Graham has had two 30 goal seasons for the Americans in 2009-2010 (31) & 2010-2011 (34). There has not been a 30 goal scorer since the 2010-2011 season though Alex Lavoie is on pace to score 33 goals this year.

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