Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Allen vs Quad City Game Preview, The Haunted Hotel, Wednesday is WinnerNight, Combs Plays Tonight

It is game day for the Allen Americans as the one game road trip takes place tonight against the Quad City Mallards. Nothing like driving 800 miles on the bus through marginal wintertime weather, playing one game and then driving 800 miles back home. Welcome to life in minor pro hockey.

The game tonight will be the third of five games between these teams this year. Allen returns to Quad City in ten days (March 6 & 7) for the final two regular season games against the Mallards.

- In their two prior meetings which were both in Allen they split.  On December 10th Allen won 5-2 in a game the Americans outshot the Mallards 40-27. The game was most memorable because it was the night Jack Combs had four goals. Quad City won at the AEC just ten days ago beating Allen 2-1 while out shooting the Americans 34-26.

-  Here is a statistical comparison of Allen and Quad City:

Points: Allen (76) - Quad City (58)
Goals For: Allen (210) - Quad City (154)
Goals Allowed: Allen (144) - Quad City (140)
Goal Differential: Allen (+66) - Quad City (+14)
Team Plus/Minus: Allen (+217) - Quad City (+25)

Allen is ranked #1 in league standings. Quad City is ranked #12.
Allen is #1 in average goals scored per game (4.12). Quad City is #13 (2.96).
Allen is ranked #7 in average goals allowed (2.82). Quad City is #5 (2.69).

- Allen's record is 35-10-3-3 compared to Quad City at 26-20-4-2. In their last ten games Allen is 5-3-1-1 while Quad City is 5-5-0-0.

- Allen has a small advantage on special teams when you look at overall stats but when you look at the home and away stats the Allen advantage is substantial. On the road Allen is #2 on the power play at 22.7% and #1 on the penalty kill at 90.2%. Quad City at home is #20 on the power play at 15.7% and #4 on the penalty kill at 88.3%.

- 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 are second in the league in short handed goals with ten. Quad City has only three shorthanded goals all year and just one at home.

- Allen is the much more penalized team especially when it comes to minor penalties. Allen averages almost seven minor penalties per game compared to Quad City who averages just over five 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 only one player (Mario Lamoureux) scoring at a point a game clip. Allen has three players averaging a point a game (Costello, Steffes, Hanson). Allen has four defensemen (Gens, Young, Baker, Tyler Ludwig)  in the top twelve in the league in scoring by defensemen, Quad City has none.

- The key to victory tonight will be to get off to a good start which has not been the case recently for Allen. They have scored the first goal only once in the last eight games. In the last game against Quad City just ten days ago the Mallards outshot Allen in the first period 17-3. In addition to a fast start and more shots on goal the Americans need to get traffic in front of the net and pick up one of those dirty goals. This has been an area of emphasis by coach Martinson this week. Finally,  the Americans need to take advantage of having the better special teams.

- The Americans have been struggling recently but that has been primarily at home where they have lost five games in a row. The road has been another story as Allen has won three in a row on the road and five of the last six. This road trip may turn out to be just what the doctor ordered.

- After a two game rest Riley Gill will be back in goal for the Americans tonight.

- The on ice officials for tonight are referee Kenny Anderson (#16),  linesmen Ryan Madsen (#57) and Patrick Richardson (#82).


- In the only action in the ECHL last night Missouri erased an early 2-0 deficit to beat Rapid City 3-2 and keep their playoff hopes alive. With 21 games left to play the Mavericks are ten points out of the fourth playoff spot.

- Not much action in the AHL last night but Ian Schultz (Iowa Wild) had a good game in a losing cause. Iowa was beaten by Grand Rapids by a score of 6-2. Ian had an assist and was a +1 for the game.

- Jack Combs has been activated from reserve by the Stockton Thunder and will be in the line up when the Thunder take on the Utah Grizzlies tonight in Utah. As mentioned yesterday there is still chance, however slim, Jack could return to Allen. This could happen all the way up to the trade deadline which is March 12.

- I have been asked numerous times what and where is "Quad City" so here is the short answer: The cities that make up the Quad Cities are in Illinois and Iowa and they all border the Mississippi River. The four cities that have been called the Quad Cities since the early 1960s are Davenport, Iowa and the Illinois cities of Moline, Rock Island, and East Moline. Bettendorf, Iowa grew large enough in the 1970s to be included, but the name change to the Quint Cities never caught on. The hockey games are played at the iWireless Center which is in Moline but the team stays across the river at a hotel in Bettendorf that is well worn and supposedly haunted. After almost 15 hours on the road, no matter how creepy or quirky the Lodge Hotel might seem to players, it is a welcome sight. On the other side of the Mississippi River in Bettendorf, Iowa, the Lodge was built in the early 1970s but feels a century older. From the outside it appears modeled on the Disney Tower of Terror ride. Inside, the decor looks like it is from the mind of a manic German hunter, replete with mounted animal heads, carved wooden bears, huge fireplaces, dark wood paneling and countless large oil portraits; the type with eyes that follow a visitor around the room. I have heard  some of the players, so unnerved at being watched,  cover the paintings in their rooms with bathroom towels. Broadcaster Tommy Daniels is convinced the place is haunted. I've heard one player say, “I’ve got the Mona Lisa in my room,” of some anonymous framed baroness on his wall. “She’s got one eye looking at you and one eye looking for you.”

The Lodge Hotel

DID YOU KNOW: Wednesday games have been good to Allen this year as they are 5-1 on Wednesday and the only loss was a shootout loss. They have scored at least five goals in every Wednesday game. In the six Wednesday games this season the Americans have outscored their opponents 31-15. 


  1. Can you touch on how Combs is able to play tonight? I thought any player who left for Europe had to sit out for ~40 odd days before becoming active?

    I'd love for Combs to return to us by the way.

  2. Kyle, the 45 day rule was for Jack returning to Allen. But because the 45 days from the time Combs left was after the February 15 deadline for signing players in Europe there was no way he could return to Allen. The rules did allow Allen to trade Combs and the 45 day rule does not apply. As you know coach Martinson waived Combs and Stockton had the first claim so that is how he ended up in Stockton. Hope this helps.