Friday, March 7, 2014

Allen vs Missouri Preview, Chill Struck By Norovirus, Minnesota HS Tourney

- Attended practice yesterday and saw so many guys not on the ice and it reminded me of how many injuries this team has endured this season and the impact the injuries will  have going forward. In addition to Trevor Ludwig, Jarret Lukin, Darryl Bootland, Kale Kerbashian, Dallas Ehrhardt and Trevor Hendrikx not being with the team their are several other guys fighting through injuries. This happens to all teams to a certain extent but it seems the Americans have suffered more than their share of injuries this year. The team left the AEC after practice yesterday at 11:30 am, made a quick stop at Boston's for lunch and then started the eight hour drive to Missouri.

- The game tonight will be the seventh and last time these two teams will meet this year. Missouri has a 4-2 advantage in the previous six games. Allen did win in Missouri the last time these teams played (February 25) by a score of 4-1.

- Special teams are always important but in the game tonight it will almost certainly be the deciding factor. If the Americans continue the trend of giving to their opponent more power plays than they receive it will spell trouble against the #1 power play in the league. The Mavericks also have the #1 penalty kill percentage in the CHL.

- Allen special teams are ranked #5 on the power play and #6 on the penalty kill.

- The referee for the game tonight is Jake Brenk, a familiar name to the Americans, as he has had many controversial Allen games this year.

- Scoring the first goal is a good predictor of the outcome of the game as both of these teams have excellent records when scoring the first goal.

- And the Americans don't want to be behind after the second period as Missouri is 26-1-1 when leading after two periods.

- Looking at goals scored by period for the season Missouri outscores it opponents in every period. Allen out scores its opponents by a large margin in the second period (73-51) but gets outscored in the third period (60-64).

Here is the team comparison:
                                  Missouri Mavericks           Allen Americans   
RESULT OF LAST GAME               WIN  5-2 vs QDC              WIN  6-4 vs ARZ   
GAMES PLAYED                      54                           53                
RECORD                            36-16-2                      31-18-4           
POINTS                            74                           66                
HOME RECORD                       16-8-2                       16-8-3            
AWAY RECORD                       20-8-0                       15-10-1           
SHO RECORD                        2-1                          4-3               
LAST 10 GAMES                     7-3-0                        5-5-0             
LAST 5 GAMES                      3-2-0                        5-0-0             
OCTOBER                           4-0-0                        5-0-1             
NOVEMBER                          8-3-1                        7-6-0             
DECEMBER                          8-4-0                        5-4-1             
JANUARY                           5-5-1                        8-1-2             
FEBRUARY                          9-4-0                        5-7-0             
MARCH                             2-0-0                        1-0-0                          
SCORING FIRST                     21-6-2                       18-6-3            
LEADING AFTER 1ST                 18-5-0                       13-6-0            
LEADING AFTER 2ND                 26-1-1                       19-2-3            
TIED AFTER 1ST                    9-2-2                        10-4-3            
TIED AFTER 2ND                    7-4-1                        10-4-1            
TRAILING AFTER 1ST                9-9-0                        8-8-1             
TRAILING AFTER 2ND                3-11-0                       2-12-0            
WHEN OUTSHOOTING OPPONENT         19-8-0                       14-10-1           
1 - GOAL GAMES                    13-5-2                       13-3-4            
GOALS FOR PER GAME                3.59                         3.66              
GOALS AGAINST PER GAME            2.81                         3.25              
SHOTS FOR PER GAME                30.81                        33.23             
SHOTS AGAINST PER GAME            31.22                        32.74             
POWER PLAY RECORD                 48 - 214   22.4%             50 - 266   18.8%  
PENALTY KILLING RECORD            30 - 225   86.7%             50 - 284   82.4%  
SH GOALS FOR                      10                           9                 
SH GOALS AGAINST                  4                            8                 
PIM AVERAGE                       16.20                        23.25             

Missouri              56   64   72   2   194    
Opponents             44   49   57   2   152    
Allen                 56   73   60   5   194    
Opponents             53   51   64   4   172    

- Look for Bryan Pitton to get the start in goal tonight. Eric Levine should get his first start for the Americans either Saturday or Sunday in St. Charles.

- No update any players coming in to help out the depleted defense. Coach Martinson has identified some guys who are playing in Europe that could help but the leagues in Europe are just finishing their seasons so nothing is imminent. 

- It was a tough day at the Minnesota High School Hockey tournament yesterday as all three teams with a connection to the Allen Americans lost in the first round of the eight team tournament. Brian McMillin's high school (Roseau Rams) lost 2-1 in overtime in the best game of the day. Phil Fox's high school (Stillwater Ponies) was trounced 6-1 by by perennial power house Edina, who is coached by former Minnesota North Star player Curt Giles. And the star for Edina with four goals was Tyler Nanne, the grandson of Lou Nanne who played for the North Stars and was also general manager of the team before they moved to Dallas. Mike Montgomery who played for Allen last year also had his high school team (Centennial Cougars) in the state tournament and they also lost in the first round. The first round losers now compete for a consolation championship as Centennial will play Roseau and Stillwater will play Duluth East so the guys still have something to cheer for.  And as a reminder of how big this tournament is, the opening night crowd was just under 18,000 and the TV broadcasters for this high school tournament were national sportscaster Gary Thorne (MLB,NHL,ESPN,Fox) and Lou Nanne.

- Phil Fox never got the chance to play in the state tournament as Stillwater made the tournament for the first time in school history this year. They had two huge upsets along the way just to make the state tournament. When he was a senior, Brian McMillin played in the state tournament in 2006 but his team lost in the first round. Brian did score two goals. His Roseau team came back in 2007 and won the state championship. Mike Montgomery played in the state tournament in 2004 and had the ultimate thrill as his team (Centennial Cougars) not only won the state championship, Mike scored the only goal in the championship game.

- Norovirus has attacked nearly half of the roster of the St. Charles Chill hockey team.
The team got sick after a charity bowling event at Harvest Lanes Monday night. Other people attending a party at the same bowling alley on Saturday also got sick.
The St. Charles Health Department suspects they all have the norovirus. The symptoms include nausea and fever. It's highly contagious and most often connected to illness on cruise ships.
The hockey team isn't practicing, and hope they are better before the next game, which is scheduled for Saturday against the Allen Americans.
"I'm such a wimp because I had to call it quits in the middle of a broadcast last night (Wednesday) and then I find out three guys are toughing through it in the middle of the hockey game, you know what I mean," said Justin Troop, manager of communications for the St. Charles Chill.

DID YOU KNOW: The Minnesota High School Hockey tournament will draw as many people this weekend as the CHL average attendance for the entire year. 


  1. Prayers & a speedy recovery for the St Charles team & staff.

  2. Prayers for a win tonight, the St. Charles Chill, and hope our guys don't catch it! Hope they are using plenty of Lysol.