Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Back to Practice, Allen's All-Time ECHL Record Holders, Behind the Bench Story, Brabham Cup Jinx

After a three day all-star break and an optional skate yesterday it is back to the normal practice routine today for the Allen Americans. With the frequency of games and all the travel in the ECHL, finding practice time can be difficult this time of year but that is not the case for Allen. Since the Americans played a lot of games earlier in the season they have more off days now. Allen plays just four games in the next 16 days, all on the road. The Americans will be in Missouri Friday, Saturday and March 10. They play in Indy on March 12.

- Every team in the Mountain Division has games in hand on Allen so there will be many nights the Americans will be idle while division rivals play games and can make up ground. Tonight is a good example. Five Mountain Division teams are in action. Alaska is at Utah, Idaho at Rapid City and South Carolina visits Colorado.

- Periodically I include various team and individual statistics in the blog talking about who is leading the ECHL or all-time Allen records but I have never devoted a blog to all-time ECHL records. The ECHL is currently playing their 29th season so all-time records are hard to come by. Offensive records are particularly tough to achieve because of the style of play and unbelievable scoring that took place in the early years of the league. The best example of the difference in scoring then and now is from 1989-1996 100 points in a season was achieved 40 times. From 2011-2017 it has been done three times and all three were by Chad Costello. The other factor when looking at all-time records is longevity. Allen has only been in the league three years and there is no one on the team with over 300 ECHL games. Most record holders have over 500 games played.

- If you look at team and single season all-time ECHL records Allen appears quite frequently. After all, the Americans are two for two in competing for the Kelly Cup.

So here is a random trip through the ECHL all-time record book with some highlights you might find interesting. If you are not into stats you might want to skip this section but make sure to watch the Costello shorthanded hat trick video. Here goes:

- Chad Costello is the reigning scoring champ, ECHL MVP and playoff MVP. That has never happened in the history of the ECHL.

- Riley Gill is tied for third all-time in regular season shutouts with 20.

- Chad Costello is on the 100 points scorers list three times. The 125 points he scored in 2014-15 is ninth place all-time. Chad is the only player in the top 18 on the list that did not play in the 1980's & 1990's.

- The Allen Americans have the highest overall winning percentage in the history of the ECHL at .667 with a record of 89-38-17. The Americans also have the highest road winning percentage in the history of the ECHL at .708 with a record of 47-17-8. Incidentally second place in road winning percentage is .597.

- Chad Costello is tied with two other players with three shorthanded goals in one game. Chad was playing in Colorado (December 12, 2012) when he accomplished this feat against the Las Vegas Wranglers. If you have never seen Chad's shorthanded hat trick or want to enjoy it again here is a great video:

- Chad has the second longest consecutive assist scoring streak in ECHL history. He had an assist in 19 straight games last season.

- Only one coach in the history of the ECHL has won three championships (John Brophy, Hampton Roads). Steve Martinson is one of just five coaches who have won two championships.

- Allen is one of five teams that have come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Kelly Cup playoffs. In 2015 the Americans were down 3-1 in the Western Conference finals to Ontario. Allen won game five (6-2 at Ontario), game six (2-1 at home) and game seven (3-1 at home). Allen went on to win the Kelly Cup defeating South Carolina in the final.

- Gary Steffes is tied for second all-time in most goals in a Kelly Cup finals series with six. Gary had six goals in six games in the Kelly Cup final against Wheeling last season.

- Greger Hanson is tied for third all-time for most goals in one playoff year. Greger had 15 goals last year in the playoffs. Greger is tied for second all-tme for power play goals in one playoff year. He had eight power play goals last year.

- Chad Costello has the all-time playoff record for most assists in one playoff year (29) and most assists in a final series (10). He set both of those records in the 2016 playoffs.

- Chad is second all time in points in one playoff year (36) and and third all-time in points in a final series (13).

- Riley Gill is first all-time in playoff wins with 48. Second place has 43 playoff wins.

- Riley is second all-time in career playoff game appearances (79), second in minutes played (4489) and second in most shutouts in one playoff year (4).

- The record book shows the top 20 career post season record holders for goals, assists and points.  Gary Steffes is #13 in goals (29),  Chad Costello is #5 in assists and #12 in points (71).

- Have to admit the list of players already in the ECHL all-time record book is very impressive for a team that has only been in the league for two years. If Allen can make another deep run in the playoffs this season the list will be a lot longer next season.


- If you are like me I am sure you have wondered what takes place on the bench during a hockey game. I have always wanted to spend a game on the bench to see and hear first hand what it is like. Here is a story written by Doyle Woody who just had that experience with the Alaska Aces. A good read for sure:

- I have always been told the ECHL business model is a challenge to have a successful franchise that does not lose money. It seems like teams are always coming (Worcester & Jacksonville) or going (Alaska) and being sold (Allen & Adirondack). With Alaska ceasing operations after this season you wonder if it isn't time for the ECHL to reassess what their ideal geographic footprint would look like. When you consider the average attendance in the NHL is something like 17,000, the AHL is averaging 5700 while the ECHL is trending downward and averaging just over 4100 maybe the business model needs some adjustment.

- The Colorado Eagles have won 15 games in a row and now stand in a tie for third place on the ECHL all-time longest winning streak list. Allen might have Colorado right where they want them for the playoffs. In 2015 Allen defeated South Carolina in the Kelly Cup final after the Stingrays set the all-time record with 23 straight wins in the regular season. Last season Missouri had the longest winning streak in the ECHL (14 games) which was good for fourth best on the all-time list and Allen beat them in the playoffs on their way to their second Kelly Cup. Allen and Colorado could easily face each other in the playoffs this season. The Americans may have a chance to make it three in a row of defeating the team with longest regular season win streak.

DID YOU KNOW: With a 15 game win streak Colorado is now battling Toledo for the best record in the ECHL and the coveted Brabham Cup which goes to the regular season point champion and guarantees home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Winning the Brabham Cup has not led to Kelly Cup success for most teams. With the exception of Alaska who was the Brabham Cup winner in all three of their Kelly Cup championship season (2014, 2011 & 2006) the only Brabham Cup winner since 1997 that went on to win the Kelly Cup was Cincinnati in 2008. Beware the Brabham Cup jinx!


  1. The Fact is sports don't make enough money or survive without a large supplement of income from tv contracts. The NHL, MLB, NFL, NBA would not survive with their current expenses except for the fact TV gives a huge amount of money for the owners to spend. If they had to rely on attendance it would be a different landscape in Major league sports.
    Having said that, minor league sports don't get the supplemental income from tv so they rely on attendance and that a hard life and business model.
    With the MetroPlex growing like it is, it is possible to get a larger attendance at games, but the owners will have to spend advertising money to let the 6.5 million people in the MetroPlex know the Allen Americans exist.

  2. Thanks for linking the article about Behind the Bench. I enjoyed getting that perspective!

  3. Thanks for the stats! What a difference from from the 80's to now.

  4. I haven't responded lately but wanted to thank everyone for all of the comments the last few days. It is always great to hear what you have to say no matter your point of view. I know coach Martinson reads the blog so he sees your comments as well and appreciates the support and words of encouragement. Keep your comments coming.