After winning three games at home last week culminating with a 6-0 victory over Brampton on Saturday the Allen Americans have had a fairly relaxing week including two days off (Sunday & Monday). It is always interesting to see the players demeanor on the ice when the team is playing well versus when they are in a slump and it is obvious watching practice this team is in a good place right now. This weekend will be another important test for the Americans as they will play three games in three days. It will the their third "three in three" of the season which they have to do seven times during the season. As three in three games go this weekend isn't too bad with home games on Friday (Wichita) and Saturday (Tulsa) and then a day trip to Tulsa on Sunday.
The coaching staff has been trying different drills to get the work in but still make it fun for the players at practice. On Tuesday they played three on three hockey using the width of the ice inside the blue line which the guys seemed to enjoy. Coach Martinson mentioned at his press conference last Saturday he was going to give the guys Sunday and Monday off partially because with so many days between games (five days) he gets tired of yelling at the guys and they get tired of him as well if they practice four days in a row. Seems like the days off were good for Martinson as it was apparent yesterday at practice his "yell" had returned in full force. Probably his way of getting everyone focused on what will be another big weekend with six points at stake against two of the better teams in the Central Division.
With Allen being the highest scoring team in the league and second in goals allowed they dominate many ECHL statistical categories. Will try to illustrate this below by listing the top three players on the team with their stat and then where they rank in the league in that stat:
Points - Combs 39 (#1), Costello 32 (#2), Hanson 25 (#12)
Goals - Combs 17 (#1), Steffes 16 (#2), Costello & Hanson 12 (#10)
Assists - Combs 22 (#1), Costello 20 (#2), Gens, Hanson, Young 13 (#38)
Power Play Goals - Steffes 5 (#2), Combs 4 (#8), Schultz 3 (#27)
Shorthanded Goals - Hanson 3 (#1), Asuchak, Baker, Combs 1 (#9)
Game Winning Goals - Combs 5 (#1), Hanson 4 (#3), Steffes 2 (#18)
Penalty Minutes - Lyon 125 (#1), Gens 56 (#21), Schultz 36 (#79)
Plus/Minus - Hanson +20 (#2), Steffes, Young +19 (#3), Costello +18 (#6)
Shots On Goal - Combs 89 (#4), Hanson 87 (#5), Steffes 76 (#18)
Points By Defenseman - Young 15 (#13), Gens , Tyler Ludwig 14 (#15), Baker 13 (#20)
GAA - Gill 2.21 (#4)
Save Percentage - Gill .925 (#4)
If you somehow combined all team statistics Allen would come out on top but in the most important statistic which is win percentage they trail Florida (.841) and Fort Wayne (.804). The Americans are at .786 which is the best in the Western Conference. Here is how the Americans rank in the 28 team ECHL in some of the statistical categories. The first number is Allen's number and the second number is how they rank in the ECHL.
Win Percentage - .786 (#3)
Points - 33 (#5) *Allen has games in hand with all teams above them
Average Goals For - 4.52 (#1)
Average Goals Against - 2.52 (#2)
Average Shot For - 34.24 (#1)
Average Shots Against - 28.81 (#9)
Power Play Percentage - 19.4% (#9)
Penalty Kill Percentage - 88.9% (#1)
Average Penalty Minutes - 21.86 (#4)
Win % When Scoring First - .885 (#4)
Season Winning Streak - 8 games (#1)
Home Winning Steak - 7 games (#1)
- You could call it "first goal night" for former Allen Americans players around the ECHL last night. Alex Lavoie had the first goal as his Florida Everbaldes won 5-4, Devin Di Diomete scored the first goal for Idaho in their 6-1 victory and Charles Lachance had the first and only goal for Tulsa as they lost to Wichita 2-1.
- Keep an eye on the Quad City Mallards who beat the Brampton Beast last night in Quad City and are in third place in the Central Division standings six points behind Allen. Four of the Mallards next five games are at home against the last place Beast. Many feel Quad City is the best team Allen has faced this year. With a favorable schedule over the next week look for the Mallards to make a move up the standings.
- As good as Allen has been playing recently they have not been able to gain any ground on the best team in the league right now which is the Florida Everbaldes. Allen has won five of their last seven games but Florida has won six of their last seven games. Alex Lavoie, who plays for Florida, was a healthy scratch for a couple of games at the end of November but has been playing great hockey since returning to the lineup. In the last six games Alex has ten points (2 goals 8 assists) and is a +9. With 18 points (6 goals, 12 assists) on the season in nineteen games Alex is now the second leading scorer on the Everblades team.
- The Oklahoma City Barons (AHL) announced today that they will cease operations after the completion of the current season. Oklahoma City will certainly be a target for an ECHL franchise and what a nice fit in the Central Division.
DID YOU KNOW: How is this for a quick start. Last night the AHL Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Allentown. PA) scored three goals in 21 seconds in a game against the Birmingham Senators. Petr Straka scored on the games first shot just 15 seconds into the game. Jason Akeson doubled the lead just 12 seconds later and Andrew Gordon notched the record setting third goal just nine seconds later. Three goals in 21 seconds which is an AHL record. The score after 36 seconds from the start of the game was 3-0. Birmingham goalie Andrew Hammond was pulled after 36 seconds with a line score of three shots, three goals and no saves which computes to a GAA of 300.00 and save percentage of .000. Now that is a tough night for a goalie.