Friday, May 27, 2016


While Barry is on vacation, the views contained in this blog do not represent Barry, or those of the Allen Americans Organization.

Please note the time change for Saturday night!

Finally, after three playoff series, the championship opponents are set. The important thing now is the Americans keep their eye on the prize.

We will not let you "COME AND TAKE IT"

One can be sure that the Nailers will come out strong as they have not competed for the Kelly Cup since 1993.

The Nailers emerged victorious Tuesday night in the final game against South Carolina, scoring first and scoring 3 goals in the first 5 minutes of the third period to decisively defeat the Stingrays 5-2. The Nailers became the first team in ECHL postseason history to win games 6 and 7 of a series on the road.

The Nailers started in the ECHL in 1988 as the Carolina Thunderbirds of Winston-Salem North Carolina.  Wheeling Head Coach Jeff Christian is serving in an interim capacity.  He is the third head coach for the Nailers this season.  Long time coach Clark Donatelli began the season as the head coach but left when he was promoted to head coach for the Nailers AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins in late December.  Donatelli was replaced by Dave Gove, an assistant coach, as interim head coach.  In late April Grove took a personal leave of absence and Christian was named interim head coach.  Christian joined the Nailers in late January as an assistant coach.  Christian served as a player-assistant coach for the Missouri Mavericks in 2010.

Comparing the players of the two teams:
  • The average age, height, and weight for Wheeling are 24.36 yrs, 6'0" and 191 lbs, respectively.
  • The average age, height, and weight for Allen respectively: 25.27 yrs, 6;0", and 197lbs.

Wheeling players have accounted for 498 games of AHL experience, and for Allen it is 538 games.

The Nailer's scoring leaders are:

#23. Riley Brace - 5 goals, 15 assists and 20 points
#18. Mathew Malone - 5 goals, 14 assists and 19 points 
#24. Rookie Ty Loney - 6 goals, 7 assists and 13 points
#25. Rookie John McCarron - 8 goals, 10 assists and 18 points
#11. Rookie Cody Wydo - 8 goals, 9 assists and 17 points.

They have also acquired  #16, Derek Army, with 3 goals and 5 assists (Derek is also on the Texas Stars roster).

Rookies Loney, McCarron, and Wydo are having outstanding playoffs. Amongst rookies for the playoffs, these three Nailers rank:
  • 1st, 3rd, and 4th in points 
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in goals
  • 2nd and 4th in assists
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd in total shots

Allen scorers -
#13. Chad Costello - 4 goals, 20 assists and 24 points
#10. David Makowski - 5 goals, 14 assists and 19 points
#15. Greger Hanson - 11 goals, 6 assists and 17 points
#7.   Eric Roy - 3 goals, 12 assists and 15 points
#18. Casey Pierro-Zabotel - 7 goals, 4 assists and 11 points
#12.  Gary Steffes - 7 goals, 4 assists and 11 points
#16.  Vincent Arseneau - 6 goals, 5 assists and 11 points

Goalies for the Nailers are Frank Palazzese who has played 8 games since coming from the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Penguins.  He has a 2.34 GAA and .909 SV%. Also Brian Foster who has played 13 games with a 2.60 GAA, and .916 SV%. Foster is also from Scranton Wilkes-Barre Penguins.  Foster has won 8 games and Palazzese 4.

These teams when scoring first has Allen at 9-1 and Wheeling is 5-2.

Wheeling has scored more than 40% of their goals in the third period despite having  an almost equal number of shots per period.  The third period could prove critical to the Americans.

Special teams will be a key factor in this series as Allen leads the playoffs at 26.6% overall in the power play (27.5% at home) while Wheeling's penalty kill leads the playoffs at 87.6%, ( a remarkable 93.9% on the road).

Wheeling PIMs average 14.25, Allen's is 13.56.

Wheeling's road playoff record is 6-4-0-0
Allen's home playoff record is 7-3-0-0

As always it will be imperative for Allen not to take the bait for penalties and stick to their game avoiding unnecessary penalties. They have to play smart and, if they do that, your champs will successfully defend the cup.

Our next blog post will be Sunday with post game reviews.

Did you know:  Prince George Cougars general manager Todd Harkins acknowledged  he has met with former NHL defenseman and current head coach for the Missouri Mavericks, Richard Matvichuk, about the team's head coaching vacancy.
Prince George, located about 720 miles N. of Vancouver, plays in the Western Conference of the WHL.

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