Saturday, March 12, 2016

Allen vs Wichita Game Preview, Goalie Jamie Murray & Forward Nick Migilio Added to Roster & More

The Allen Americans enter their home game tonight against the Wichita Thunder with some pretty lofty streaks on the line. The Americans have not lost in regulation in their last 12 homes games, they have won eight in a row at home and are a perfect 11-0 against Wichita this season.

- Despite their poor record (14-33-6-6) the Thunder have been playing good hockey recently and arrive in Allen with a three game winning streak. Last weekend Wichita won three road games against Missouri, Quad City, and Evansville.

- Adding to the challenge for Allen is the fact they will be missing Spencer Asuchak (suspended), Aaron Gens (injury) and Justin Courtnall (injury) as well as three players (Greger Hanson, Rick Pinkston, Joel Rumpel) who are currently called up the the AHL.

- To provide help until he gets some forwards back, coach Martinson has signed forward Nick Miglio to an amateur tryout agreement. Nick is a Texas product (San Antonio) who just finished his collegiate career at Division III Utica College. Nick was the third leading scorer on his team this season with 16 points (7 goals 9 assists) in 27 games. He led the team in plus/minus with a +8.

Forward Nick Miglio

- Allen will also have another goalie available tonight. Jamie Murray inked a contract with the San Jose Sharks yesterday and was immediately sent to Allen. Murray just finished his collegiate career at Division III Babson College. Here are the opening couple of sentences from the press release issued by Babson College. "After cementing himself as one of the top goaltenders in Division III history while helping lead Babson College men's ice hockey program to a pair of Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East titles and two NCAA tournament berths, senior Jamie Murray (Scituate, Mass.) signed with the San Jose Sharks organization of the NHL on Friday. After inking the deal in San Jose on Friday, Murray headed to Allen, Texas, to join the Sharks' ECHL franchise, the Allen Americans. Here is the complete press release with Jamie's stats and comments from his coach:

Goalie Jamie Murray

By almost any statistical comparison Allen should be the favorite to win the game tonight. In their 11 head to head games the Americans have out scored Wichita 44-25 and dominated on special teams. Allen is 13-53 (24.5%) on the power play while Wichita is 3-44 (6.8%).

-  Here is a comparison between Allen and Wichita:

                                     ALLEN                               WICHITA

Team Record              34-20-3-2 (73 points)             14-33-6-6 (40 points)
Division Ranking         2nd - Central                         4th - Central
Conference Ranking   4th - Western                        14th - Western
League Ranking         9th                                          28th
Home Record             17-6-2-1                                 7-14-3-4
Road Record             17-14-1-1                                7-19-3-2
Last Ten Games         5-3-1-1                                   4-2-2-2
Last Game                 4-2 L (Missouri)                      4-2 W (Evansville)
Goals For                  181                                         122
Goals Against            167                                         203
Power Play                21.4% (48/224)                       9.5% (22/232)
Penalty Kill                 87.4% (29/230)                      85.1% (41/275)
Most PIM's                 Stevenson (89)                       Milan (116)
Leading Scorer          Costello (22-59-81)                 Kerbashian (13-21-34)

-  Here is how Allen and Wichita rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 3rd (16.44) - Wichita 5th (15.81)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 11th (3.07) - Wichita 28th (2.07)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 13th (2.83) - Wichita 27th (3.44)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 25th (27.97) - Wichita 26th (27.80)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 13th (29.92) - Wichita 18th (31.05)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 1st (21.4%) - Wichita 28th (9.5%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 1st (87.4%) - Wichita 11th (85.1%)

- Allen has had at least one power play goal in eight of the 11 games they have played against Wichita  while holding the Thunder scoreless on the power play in eight of the 11 games. If the Americans can continue that domination they should win tonight.

- If you are looking for who might be the hero tonight for Allen based on head to head scoring you have a lot of choices.  As usual Chad Costello leads in assists (15) and points (20). Chris Crane leads in goals with eight. Costello, Crane, Makowski, Steffes and Arseneau are all averaging a point a game or higher when playing against Wichita

- For Wichita, watch out for Kale Kerbashian as he always plays well against Allen. Since joining Wichita, Kale has eight points (4 goal 4 assists)  in eight games against Allen. Kale had a hat trick against the Americans in Allen on February 27.

- Officials scheduled for tonight's game are Frederic Leblanc (#25) and linesmen Mitch Macpherson (#48) and Brian Bull (#49).


- Came across this story about the history of the Alaska Aces which is a good read. Check it out:

- The race for fourth seed and home ice in the first round of the playoffs in the Western Conference continues to tighten. Cincinnati beat Quad City and Colorado beat Utah last night while Allen was idle. The same teams play again tonight while Allen is taking on Wichita. Here are the standings for fourth seed along with games remaining:
73 points: Allen (13 games remaining)
70 points: Cincinnati (14 games)
69 points: Utah (11 games)
67 points: Colorado (14 games

- Spencer Asuchak will miss both games this weekend against Wichita and should find out on Monday if he will be suspended for more than two games. Asuchak was suspended by the league for slew-footing Missouri's Jesse Root in the same game Missouri's C.J. Ludwig was suspended for clipping Aaron Gens. Both Gens and Root sustained injuries that will keep them out of the lineup for a long period of time, if not the rest of the season. Because of the seriousness of the injuries you can expect the suspensions will be longer than two games for both Asuchak and Ludwig when they are announced on Monday.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Thanks to my lovely wife (Nancy) for today's question.

Q: I feel sorry for our goalie when the players don't skate down and give him a fist bump after Allen scores a goal. Why do they do it sometimes but not all of the time?
A: Thanks to J.P. LaFontaine for the explanation.

DID YOU KNOW: Since joining the ECHL, Allen has a record of 20-2-3-3 against the Wichita Thunder but their road record is better than their home record. In Wichita the Americans are 12-1-0-2 and in Allen they are 8-1-3-1.


  1. I would like to see Murray in goal tonight. Sounds like a solid goalie so let's see what he can do.

  2. Chris, I think there is a chance we see Murray in goal this afternoon. Coach Martinson had not made a decision on who would be in goal today when I talked to him after the game last night.