Sunday, May 15, 2016

Allen vs Fort Wayne Game Two Preview, The Final Four Playoff Stats, Young Retires, Gill's Records

The Allen Americans take on the Fort Wayne Komets tonight (5:00 pm CDT) in game two of the ECHL Western Conference final. It will be a chance for the Americans to come home with a 2-0 series lead and a chance for the Komets to even the series 1-1. Games three thru five take place in Allen next week (Thursday, Saturday, Sunday).

- Allen came away with a 5-3 win in game one but had just one good period, scoring three goals in the first. Fort Wayne played poorly in the first period and could not dig out the 3-0 hole they created even though they played better in the final two periods. Both teams will be talking about playing a full 60 minutes of hockey tonight and the team that accomplishes that will come out the winner.

- Allen has lived and died on their power play all season and that was certainly the case in game one when they had two power play goals as well as a shorthanded goal. Allen's road power play percentage is now at a lofty 29.0%. While the Komets have a good overall power play percentage (20.7%) they have struggled at home where they have only converted on 12.5% of their chances.

- The Americans have done an excellent job of staying out of the penalty box in recent games. Excluding offsetting penalties, Allen is averaging just three penalties per game over the last five games. In game one of this series the Americans had five power play opportunities compared to just two for the Komets. Staying out of the penalty box (unless you take somebody with you) will be a point of emphasis for both teams.

- Fort Wayne outscored Allen 3-1 in game one when the teams were at even strength.  Generating offense when even strength will be another key to the game today.

- The referees scheduled today are Stephen Reneau (#17) and Tyler Pudifant (#28). The linesmen will be Patrick Richardson (#82) and Ryan Madsen (#57).


Below is how the four teams remaining in the playoffs stand in ten statistical categories. Fairly easy to see the strength and weaknesses of each team. 

Goals Scored (average per game)

3.75 - Fort Wayne
3.36 - South Carolina
3.13 - Wheeling
2.86 - Allen

Goals Allowed (average per game)
2.07 - South Carolina
2.43 - Allen
2.50 - Fort Wayne
3.07 - Wheeling

Shots For (average per game)
35.58 - Fort Wayne
35.13 - Wheeling
33.36 - South Carolina
30.07 - Allen

Shots Against (average per game)
25.36 - South Carolina
27.17 - Fort Wayne
28.79 - Allen
32.13 - Wheeling

Shooting Percentage (goals as a percent of total shots)
10.5% - Fort Wayne
10.1% - South Carolina
9.5% - Allen
8.9% - Wheeling

Power Play Percentage
25.0% - Allen
20.7% - Fort Wayne
19.1% - Wheeling
17.5% - South Carolina

Penalty Kill Percentage
88.9% - South Carolina
88.0% - Wheeling
87.3% - Fort Wayne
84.2% - Allen

Power Play Goals Scored
15 - Allen
13 - Wheeling
12 - Fort Wayne
10 - South Carolina

+76 - South Carolina
+52 - Fort Wayne
-5  -  Allen
-16 - Wheeling 

Goals Against Average (GAA)
1.91 - South Carolina
2.28 - Fort Wayne
2.42 - Allen
2.79 - Wheeling

- Finally, I tallied up the rank for each team in every category to get an overall score. The lower the score the better. If you finished first in every category you would get a final score of ten. Here are the results:

20 - South Carolina
20 - Fort Wayne
28 - Allen
32 - Wheeling


-  Chad Costello is the ECHL overall playoff leader in points (17), assists (14), power play points (11) and power play assists (9). Casey Pierro-Zabotel is the leader in power play goals (5). Greger Hanson is second in goals scored (9). David Makowski leads all defensemen in power play goals (2), power play assists (8) and power play points (10). Riley Gill is first in wins (9) and second in saves (325) and save percentage (.931).

- The Wheeling Nailers were held scoreless by the South Carolina Stingrays for the first five periods of their Eastern Conference final. The Stingrays shutout the Nailers 3-0 in game one and were leading 3-0 in game two with less than six minutes left in the game. After being held scoreless by South Carolina for 115 minutes over two games, Wheeling scored three goals in less than five minutes to send the game to overtime. The Nailers then won the game 4-3 in double overtime. Welcome to playoff  hockey. With the series tied 1-1 the teams now head to Wheeling for the next three games (Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday). 

- Kevin Young, who was part of Allen's Kelly Cup championship team last year, announced his retirement from hockey this week after his Reading Royals team was eliminated from the ECHL playoffs.  It was not a surprise as those who know Kevin best were aware this season would be his last. The 33 year old defensman played in over 600 professional games in a storied career that took him from his hometown in White Rock, British Columbia to play professionally in England, France, Germany and the Netherlands.  Kevin won the Dutch Championship (2005-06). He also won the Central Hockey League (CHL) Championship as a member of the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs in 2010-11 and of course last year he won the Kelly cup with Allen. Kevin was voted the CHL's Most Outstanding Defenseman 2012-13 when he played for the Wichita Thunder. He also met his future bride, Becky, when he played in Wichita. Kevin will be moving to Wisconsin (close to the Illinois border) to pursue a career in real estate. Wishing Kevin and Becky the best of luck in the future and thanks for the memories. I know Kevin loves to play golf and worked hard at the game in the off season when he was in Allen. Have a feeling his handicap will be in the single digits soon if it isn't already there.
Kevin & Becky Young

DID YOU KNOW: Riley Gill just set the all time ECHL record for playoff wins (45 and counting). Riley's name is all over the record book when it comes to the playoffs as he is known as a goalie that plays his best when it comes playoff time. Here are a few examples:

- First all time for ECHL playoff wins (45)
- Tied for the all time record for Kelly Cup final wins (8)
- Second all time for playoff appearances (73 games)
- Second all time in playoff minutes played (4193)
- One of just five goalies with multiple Kelly Cup championships
- Second all time for playoff shutouts in one year (4)
- Kelly Cup playoff MVP 2012-13

No comments:

Post a Comment