Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Allen vs Quad Preview, Ludwig & Astles In, Lyon Out, Dell Returns To Allen

It is game day in Allen as the Americans take on the Quad City Mallards tonight for the first time this season. After tonight they won't see each other again until February when they play twice (home and home). They close out the season series when Allen visits Quad City for two back to back games in early March. The Americans play Quad City fewer times (5) than any other team in the Central Division.

- Roster changes for tonight's game include Tyler Ludwig who returns to the line up after missing four games due to injury. Jessey Astles, who has been in and out of the line up, will also play tonight. Brett Lyon was suspended for three games for the game misconduct penalty (physical abuse of officials) he received on Sunday against Missouri. Lyon will miss the game tonight as well as Saturday against Brampton and December 19 against Wichita.

- The dominoes that resulted in Aaron Dell being recalled by Worcester (AHL) have reversed themselves as San Jose Sharks (NHL) goalie (Alex Stalock) who had knee surgery has returned to the line up. Troy Grosenick, who was recalled from Worcester to replace Stalock in San Jose has now been returned to Worcester. Aaron Dell, who replaced Grosenick in Worcester will now be headed back to Allen. Aaron played in five games for Worcester since being called up on November 11 and had a GAA of 1.72 and save percentage of .917 including a 1-0 shutout victory last Friday.


- Allen's record is 14-4-0-1 compared to Quad City at 8-7-3-2. In their last ten games Allen is 8-1-0-1 while Quad City is 4-4-1-1.

- The biggest difference between these two teams is in goals scored as Allen is #2 in the league with an average of 4.42 goals per game while Quad City ranks #17 at 2.90 goals per game. In goals allowed the teams are ranked #3 at 2.68 (Allen) and #4 at 2.75 (Quad City). Allen has scored 84 goals and allowed 51 for a goal differential of +33 which is the best in the ECHL. Quad City has scored 58 goals and allowed 55 for a goal differential of +3.

- Allen has an advantage on special teams on both the power play (Allen 19.6%, Quad City 15.9%) and penalty kill (Allen 89.7%, Quad City 84.6%).

- Allen is obviously a very skilled offensive team and that shows up even when they are on the penalty kill. The Americans have the top penalty kill unit in the ECHL and also lead the league in short handed goals with six. Quad City has yet to score a shorthanded goal this season.

- Allen is the much more penalized team especially when it comes to minor penalties. Allen averages over seven minor penalties per game compared to Quad City who averages just over four per game. Since these minor penalties most often result in a man advantage it will be important that the Americans avoid getting a bunch of stick penalties.

- Quad City has allowed three or fewer goals in their last ten games. Each of the Mallards last five games and eleven of their last thirteen games have been decided by just one goal. Seven of those thirteen games have gone to overtime.

- Quad City has had trouble holding leads as they are only 4-2-0-1 when leading after two periods. Allen is a prefect 12-0-0-0 when leading after two periods.

- Quad City has only one player (Mario Lamoureux) scoring at a point a game clip. Allen has four players averaging a point a game (Combs, Costello, Steffes, Hanson). Combs with 32 points and Costello with 28 points are the top two scorers in the ECHL.


- Stopped by practice yesterday and true to his word coach Martinson spent time working on the power play. The power play percentage is respectable at 19.6% but Martinson mentioned at the post game press conference on Sunday the team needed to do a better job of reacting to what the penalty kill unit is doing. Against Missouri, who was collapsing, the puck needed to go to the points for shots instead of trying to make a play down low. The team also spent time working on system things. The goal is to have so much repetition the players automatically react to were they need to be and what they have to do without thinking about it.

- Congrats to Chad Costello for being named the ECHL player of the week. His toughest competition for the honor came from his teammates. Talk about a group of guys that had a great week, check out these stats for the past week (four games).
Chad Costello - 6 goals, 3 assists, +4
Jack Combs - 3 goals, 7 assists, +4
Gary Steffes - 5 goals, 1 assist, +8
Greger Hanson - 2 goals, 5 assists, +6

- Spencer Asuchak played in his second game for the Providence Bruins last night as the Bruins beat St. John's 5-4. Spencer didn't score but was a plus two for the game and had the only fight for his team.

- Missouri beat Brampton last night by a score of 5-2 for their fourth win in the last five games. Brampton jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period but Missouri came storming back to score four unanswered goals including a team record three goals in 40 seconds in the second period. With four of their next five games at home and five of their next seven games against the last place Rapid City Rush the Mavericks have a chance to get right back in the thick of the Central Division race over the next ten days.

DID YOU KNOW: In the four years Quad City played in the CHL (2010-2014) they only played Allen nine times and in the 2010-2011 season they did not play each other at all. The all time record is 6-3 with Allen in the lead.

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