Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Practice Update, Makowski Is Back, Surprising Stats, Goalie of the Week Prediction & More

I had a chance to stop by the Allen Americans practice yesterday and from the drills I observed, coach Martinson was placing an emphasis on back checking as well as moving into the offensive zone with speed. With all of the road games and extensive travel time in the month of November there haven't been many practice days recently so the practices this week should be beneficial.

- David Makowski was at practice this morning and it is good to see him back with the Americans. It is most likely he will be in the line up on Wednesday but that decision won't be made final until after practice today (Tuesday). Makowski will be wearing #21.

David Makowski practiced with the Americans yesterday - photo by Dianne Webster

- Jamie Murray was not at practice and has not been reassigned to Allen. There was some speculation with the Barracuda playing in Texas this weekend and the injured goalie Murray replaced (Troy Groesnick) on the mend, Jamie would stay in Texas. From the information you read in San Jose, the injured goalie may be ready to go this weekend at which time Murray should be reassigned to Allen. 

- Matt Willows was the only other player that was not at practice today.

- After practice I was visiting with goalie coach Thomas Speer and we were talking about the first Allen championship in 2013. He was asking about the atmosphere in the building that night. I shared with Speer how minor pro hockey legend Todd Robinson joined the team late in the season and was the catalyst in the playoffs with 22 points. How Brian McMillin scored 15 goals in the regular season and got hot in the playoffs and had 12 goals in 19 games to win the playoff MVP award. And the unsung hero of the game seven overtime championship winning goal was Mike Montgomery who made a long stretch pass to Robinson who scored. Speer sensed the excitement in my voice as I described that goal. He said, "I really wish I had been there that night." It got me excited just talking about that game so I came home and watched the replay again. It never gets old. Here is the video of the most famous goal in Allen history. Pay close attention to the pass from Mike Montgomery.

 Here are some stats that might surprise you unless you are a stats geek:
- Jake Marchment leads the team in shooting percentage with 17.2%. He is also the fourth leading goal scorer on the team with five goals.
- There are only five players that have played in all 23 games - Costello, Hanson, Asuchak, Chouinard and Eberle.
- Joel Chouinard is third on the team in assists (10).
- Allen has a better road record (7-7) than home record (4-5). 
- The current Allen roster has an average weight of 195 pounds. You have to go back to the the first season (2009-10) to find a lighter team (193 pounds).

- Good starts have been essential to success for Allen this season. Check out the Americans' record when they are winning, trailing or tied after each period:
5-2 - Leading after one period
5-1 - Leading after two periods
5-0 - Tied after one period
5-0 - Tied after two periods
1-10 - trailing after one period
1-11 - trailing after two periods

- Here is the "Allen Americans Weekly" courtesy of the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/americans-weekly-10/

 - The ECHL goalie of the week should be announced today and you would have to think Riley Gill will get the nod. In the past week Riley had back to back 1-0 shutouts, beat the top team in the league twice and was 3-1 for the week. He allowed five goals in four games and had a save percentage of .952. Hard to believe any other goalie in the league had the workload or the results last week.

DID YOU KNOW: In the history of the Allen Americans only 11 players have averaged a point per game during their tenure with the team. Most of the 11 played just one season or part of one season. Four played more than 100 games. Here are the 11 players with at least a point a game average. The number of games played in Allen is in parenthesis.

1.750 - Jack Combs (32)
1.591 - Scott Howes (22)
1.551 - Chad Costello (167)
1.490 - Justin Bowers (49)
1.321 - Brett Skinner (28)
1.277 - Bruce Graham (184)
1.267 - Alex Lavoie (60)
1.234 - Dave Bonk (47)
1.182 - Rylan Schwartz (22)
1.069 - Greger Hanson (160)
1.066 - Colton Yellow Horn (167)
1.000 - Judd Blackwater (49)

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