The Allen Americans leave today for Independence, Missouri where they take on the Mavericks Friday and Saturday night (7:05 pm CST). The Americans will practice this morning and then depart on Big Red around 1:00 pm this afternoon.
- I had the chance to stop by and watch practice yesterday and talk to coach Martinson afterward. Everyone was on the ice except Aaron Gens who is still out with an injury and Greger Hanson who is loaned to Binghamton. Two players ( Travis Brown & Kyle Neuber) were wearing the no contact gold jersey. The team was working on system related drills focusing on breakouts and entering the offensive zone.
- Coach Martinson indicated David Makowski and Tanner Eberle will be back in the lineup in Missouri after missing games with injuries. Travis Brown is close to returning and looked good in practice but will not play this weekend. Travis could be back next weekend. Bryan Moore has been loaned to the Manitoba Moose (AHL) and will not play in Missouri.
- If my numbers are right, Allen will head to Missouri with ten forwards and six defensemen. There is always the possibility of bringing in a new player but there wasn't anything definitive as of yesterday morning.
- I mentioned earlier this week Martinson is spending a lot of time trying to identify amateur
players to recruit. These are college/junior players that are just
finishing up their eligibility. An amateur player could be added to the roster at any time. Martinson is also looking at players on AHL contracts that might be available. With the NHL trade deadline now passed, AHL teams know if they are gaining or losing players as a result of all the NHL trades made in the last few days. There are two critical dates coming up in the next week. The ECHL trade deadline is a week from today, March 9 at 3:00 pm EST. A more important date for coach Martinson in trying to get AHL contracted guys assigned to Allen is the recall/assignment date which is March 8 at 11:59 pm local time. If an NHL/AHL team wants to move one of their contracted players from their ECHL affiliate to Allen they must do that before the recall/assignment date. Why would NHL/AHL teams want to do this? There are several reasons but the most common is a situation where their ECHL affiliate is not going to make the playoffs so they move their contracted players to a team that will make the playoffs. That way their contracted players can get additional development and playoff experience. Because of Allen's success in the playoffs it is a good place for NHL/AHL teams to send their contracted players but you can be assured many of the playoff bound ECHL teams are chasing the same group of players.
- One winning streak ended and another continued last night. The San Jose Barracuda lost 2-1 in a shootout to the Texas Stars to snap a 14 game win streak. The Colorado Eagles beat the South Carolina Stingrays 7-2 at home and extended their win streak to 16 games. That is the third longest win streak in ECHL history. Colorado and South Carolina play again on Friday and Saturday. With one more win (#17) Colorado will tie for second on the all-time consecutive win list. Interestingly the all-time record is 23 held by South Carolina (2014-15). The Stingrays will have two chances to stop the Eagles pursuit of their record.
- In other Mountain Division action last night Idaho beat Rapid City 1-0 and Utah beat Alaska 5-3. With Colorado's win they have opened up a seven point lead on Allen and a 13 point lead on third place Idaho. Here are the current division standings with games remaining in parentheses:
82 points - Colorado (15 games remaining)
75 points - Allen (15 games)
69 points - Idaho (16 games)
62 points - Alaska (18 games)
59 points - Missouri (18 games)
58 points - Utah (16 games)
50 points - Rapid City (16 games)
- The NHL trade deadline passed and the San Jose Sharks did not obtain a veteran backup goalie so Aaron Dell will be the backup during the playoffs. As has been the case throughout his career, Aaron had to earn the backup role for the playoffs. Aaron was actually told on Monday the Sharks would not be looking for a veteran backup goalie prior to the trade deadline. Here is a story that gives all the details. http://www.csnbayarea.com/sharks/dell-remains-sharks-backup-heavier-workload-likely
- I am sure if you are on social media you have seen this story and video with the title "Little goalie has all the right dance moves" where an eight year goalie from Brampton gets his teammates and the crowd going by dancing before the game. If you haven't seem it you can check it out here: https://www.nhl.com/news/little-goalie-dances-at-aaa-game/c-287236976https://www.nhl.com/news/little-goalie-dances-at-aaa-game/c-287236976
DID YOU KNOW: It is fascinating to look at the Allen Americans history and compare average goals scored per game. Would you be surprised to know the most prolific goal scoring team in Allen history lost in the third round of the playoffs and the team with the lowest average goals per game won the Kelly Cup? Here are the average goals per game (regular season) for each team in Allen history with their playoff results in parentheses:
2009-10: 3.28 (lost in finals)
2010-11: 4.20 (lost in third round)
2011-12: 3.21 (lost in first round)
2012-13: 3.18 (won championship)
2013-14: 3.77 (won championship)
2014-15: 4.05 (won championship
2015-16: 3.08 (won championship)
2016-17: 4.00 (?????????)