Sunday, February 23, 2014

Guggenberger Waived, Lineup Changes, Mallard Preview & More

In a move that caught many by surprise the Allen Americans waived goalie Mark Guggenberger yesterday. Although his GAA (3.31) and save percentage (.900) have not been on par with his all star performance the last two years the timing of his release says to me there were some other issues involved. I have not talked to anyone associated with the team but this sounds like "unprofessional behavior" might have been a factor in Guggenberger's release. There have been issues with Guggenberger in the past and we all know if coach Martinson says straighten up or else he means it. With the Jason Castro concert after the game today there may not be a press conference to ask for details however I will have a chance to talk to coach Martison after the game even if there is not a press conference. Back goalie for this afternoon will be a player by the name of Thomas Speer.

- There will definitely be some line up changes for the game this afternoon. Dallas Ehrhardt is out with an upper body injury, Garrett Klotz returns from suspension and it is expected Phil Fox will return to the ice. Bryan Pitton will start in goal and of course there will be a new goalie (Speer) on the bench.

- The Americans take on the Quad City Mallards at 4:05 this afternoon at the Allen Event Center (AEC). While the Allen players did not play yesterday and got to sleep in their own beds Quad City beat Wichita last night in Wichita and had to travel to Allen overnight. The Mallards also played on the road Friday losing to Tulsa 4-3 in Tulsa. So advantage Allen from a rest standpoint as this will be a three in three for Quad City with a 4:05 start to boot.

- This will be the first visit to the AEC for the Mallards this year. The teams have played twice this year in Quad City. On February 5th Quad won 5-2 and on February 7th Allen won 5-2.

- Allen & Quad City are tied in the standings for fourth place with 58 points however, the Mallards have two games in hand over the Americans.

- The referee assigned to this game (Jake Brenk) has been causing the coaches fits the last few times the Americans have had him. It is difficult for the players to know what is and isn't a penalty. I have heard similar complaints about Brenk from other teams around the league regarding consistency of calls. Let's hope the referee is not the focal point of the game and he is in the background and not noticed. But as a reminder the last five times the Americans have had Brenk as the referee he has given 34 power play opportunities to the opponents while giving Allen 18.

- Team by team comparison:
                                  Allen Americans            Quad City Mallards  
RESULT OF LAST GAME               WIN  4-3 vs WIC            WIN  4-1 vs WIC     
GAMES PLAYED                      49                         47                  
RECORD                            27-18-4                    25-14-8             
POINTS                            58                         58                  
HOME RECORD                       13-8-3                     14-6-3              
AWAY RECORD                       14-10-1                    11-8-5              
SHO RECORD                        4-3                        2-5                 
LAST 10 GAMES                     2-8-0                      6-4-0               
LAST 5 GAMES                      1-4-0                      2-3-0               
OCTOBER                           5-0-1                      1-1-1               
NOVEMBER                          7-6-0                      6-2-3               
DECEMBER                          5-4-1                      8-3-1               
JANUARY                           8-1-2                      4-3-3               
FEBRUARY                          2-7-0                      6-5-0                             
SCORING FIRST                     16-6-3                     18-4-4              
LEADING AFTER 1ST                 11-6-0                     9-2-1               
LEADING AFTER 2ND                 16-2-3                     15-2-2              
TIED AFTER 1ST                    10-4-3                     13-8-4              
TIED AFTER 2ND                    9-4-1                      6-3-1               
TRAILING AFTER 1ST                6-8-1                      3-4-3               
TRAILING AFTER 2ND                2-12-0                     4-9-5               
WHEN OUTSHOOTING OPPONENT         14-10-1                    13-7-3              
1 - GOAL GAMES                    13-3-4                     10-6-8              
GOALS FOR PER GAME                3.51                       3.34                
GOALS AGAINST PER GAME            3.31                       2.94                
SHOTS FOR PER GAME                33.43                      32.26               
SHOTS AGAINST PER GAME            32.55                      30.94               
POWER PLAY RECORD                 44 - 246   17.9%           34 - 237   14.3%    
PENALTY KILLING RECORD            47 - 262   82.1%           30 - 183   83.6%    
SH GOALS FOR                      9                          7                   
SH GOALS AGAINST                  7                          7                   
PIM AVERAGE                       23.20                      14.43               

- Special teams as usual will most likely make the difference in the game. Allen is rated #6 in the league on both the power play and the penalty kill. Quad City has difficulty on the power play and is ranked #9 in the league at 14.35% but on the road their power play is only 10.9%. If the Americans hold the Mallards scoreless on the power play they will have a good chance of winning the game.

- There were three games in the CHL last night and in each case the team higher in the standings won the game. Missouri beat Denver 6-3 in Denver before a much improved turnout of 3198. Arizona for the second straight night took their game with Rapid City to overtime only to lose 2-1 and Quad City beat Wichita 4-1.

- The one statistic that always amazes me is the CHL leading goal scorer, Garett Bembridge's shots on goal. He has 284 shots on goal which is 75 more shots than anyone else in the league and almost twice as many shots as Allen's leaders in shots, Jonathan Lessard (150) & Alex Lavoie (145).

DID YOU KNOW: Today's game is only the fourth time Quad City has played in Allen in four years.

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