It is game day as the Allen Americans take on the Utah Grizzlies in game three of their best of seven series. The series is tied 1-1 and game three has taken on greater importance after Utah beat Allen 4-1 on Friday at the Allen Event Center.
- Allen should feel comfortable at the Maverik Center as they won all three games they played in Utah during the regular season. However, those games were all played back in November.
- The one roster change that is almost certain is having Zach Hall return to the lineup. That most likely means one forward will sit out as a health scratch. You could also see changes on defense. Mike Brodzinski and Miles Liberati were healthy scratches the first two games of this series. With Allen struggling offensively in game two you might see one or both of them inserted in the lineup.
- As a reminder of how these teams performed in the regular season here is a comparison between Allen and Utah.
Team Record 49-17-4-2 (104 points) 36-29-5-2 (79 points)
Goals For 294 225
Goals Against 203 240
Goal Differential +91 -15
Plus/Minus +334 -91
Shooting % 13.0% 9.6%
Goals Scored Ave. 4.08 3.13
Goals Allowed Ave. 2.82 3.33
Power Play 24.4% 16.4%
Penalty Kill 84.4% 83.7%
- The team totals after two playoff games show Utah has the lead in goals
(7-5) but Allen has the lead in shots (62-54). Allen is 1-7 (14.3%) on
the power play while Utah is 1-9 (11.1%). Allen has taken 12 penalties
for 27 minutes and Utah has taken 10 penalties for 23 minutes.
- Good starts and success on the power play are always keys to victory for the Americans. Allen's record during the regular season when scoring first was outstanding at 40-2-2-1. The Americans scored first in game one of this series and went on to win the game. In game two Utah scored first and went on to win the game. The Americans power play was around 30% the last two months of the season but is only 1-7 in this series. That has to improve.
- While the game tonight is certainly important you would not put it in the must win category. Three times in the last two Kelly Cup championships Allen fell behind 1-2. Last year against Wheeling in the finals and in 2015 against Ontario in the Conference finals and in the Kelly Cup finals against South Carolina. While not necessarily a must win the Americans certainly need a win to get back on track.
Tonight the referees will be Oliver Gouin (#9) and Tyler Puddifant (#28).
The linesmen will be Andrew Collins (#49) and Kollin Kleinendorst (#35).
- The other games on tap tonight are Toledo at Kalamazoo (Toledo leads 2-1), Fort Wayne at Quad City (Fort Wayne lead 2-0) and Colorado at Idaho (series tied 1-1).
- Here are the results from the games last night. Adirondack beat Manchester 3-1 (Manchester leads the series 2-1), Kalamazoo beat Toledo 6-4 (Toledo leads the series 2-1), South Carolina beat Greenville 6-1 (the series is tied 2-2) and Brampton beat Reading 2-1 (Brampton leads the series 2-1).
- It was a tough attendance night last night. Here is the attendance for the four games played.
2430 - South Carolina
2325 - Adirondack
2218 - Brampton
1139 - Kalamazoo
- The San Jose Sharks came out of their offensive drought (shutout twice in a row) in style last night defeating Edmonton 7-0 to tie the series at two games apiece. Here are the details: http://www.csnbayarea.com/sharks/sharks-finally-play-lead-make-it-count-rout-oilers
DID YOU KNOW: Allen's record over the last four seasons in game three is 8-6. Since joining the ECHL the Americans' game three record is 3-5.
PS: Sorry for the early post. I'm going fishing!