- Allen has now lost their last four games and will try and break that streak at home against the Utah Grizzlies on Wednesday. I know coach Martinson and the team would never use it as an excuse but when you reflect back on the happenings over the last couple of weeks it makes you wonder why the only people held accountable are the players and coaches. The ECHL scheduled Allen to play four games in five days three times this season but two of them were in back to back weeks just before and after the Christmas break. Then to make matters worse the second four games in five days was against the same team (Wichita) which everyone predicted would become a gong show because of the rivalry between the teams. When the gong show took place as predicted the league suspended three players from each team and didn't consider delaying or spreading out the suspensions which they have done many times in the past. In Allen's case they were already shorthanded because of injuries and callups so they were put in an untenable situation. I know it is the "homer rant of the week" but thanks for letting me share it because it is food for thought and you can only hope the ECHL schedulers will learn from what happened and the Allen Amercians will make a bigger issue if any schedule like this is proposed in the future.
- Props to the Idaho Steelheads who took it to the Allen Americans the last two games (6-3 & 5-0) before sellout crowds both nights. CenturyLink Arena has a capacity of 5006 and for the season Idaho has filled 86.8% of the seats which is one of the highest capacity percentages in the league.
- Idaho rookie Justin Parizek was one of the stars of the game both nights this weekend. Parizek, who is the Idaho representative on the ECHL All-Star game, just returned to the Steelheads after a stint with the San Jose Barracuda. The best game plan for the Americans would have been to ask the Allen AHL affiliate to keep Parizaek in San Jose over the weekend. Justin killed the Americans with a goal and assist on Friday, two goals on Saturday and was a +5 for the two games. And by the way he had a shorthanded goal both nights. Parizek has been trouble for Allen all season. He has played against the Americans six times and has scored at least one goal in five of the six games.
- Here are the video highlights from the game last night:
Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/americans-blanked-idaho/
- Here is the game recap from the Idaho Steelheads: http://www.idahosteelheads.com/events/allen-americans-vs-idaho-steelheads-10/#gametab-2
- I had the chance to touch base with coach Martinson after the game and he shared two thoughts. First was, "It is just good to be done with this series without any more serious injuries." Secondly, he commented on the game misconduct penalty Olivier Archambault took late in the second period, "Archambault had enough of being slashed on the hands but didn't figure on the guy not fighting back."
- If you can find any positive in a 5-0 shutout the Americans reduced the shots allowed to Idaho from 48 on Friday night to 29 last night. That was far out weighed by the fact that Allen was 0-8 on the power play and gave up a shorthanded goal for the second straight night. The penalty kill unit also struggled giving up two power play goals to Idaho on eight opportunities though one of them was a five-on-three.
- In other Mountain Division action last night Wichita lost and Colorado won so the standings now look like this. Here are the current Mountain Division standings with games played in parentheses:
52 points - Colorado (33 games)
45 points - Idaho (35 games)
44 points - Wichita (34 games)
41 points - Allen (34 games)
34 points - Tulsa (33 games)
32 points - Utah (33 games)
19 points - Rapid City (31 games)
While the Americans are idle, Colorado is in Tulsa this afternoon to play the Oilers and Wichita hosts Kalamazoo.
- The San Jose Barracuda lost to the San Diego Gulls last night 3-2 after losing to the the Gulls 5-0 Friday night. The Barracuda have lost three straight and are now in seventh place in the Pacific Division standings. Maybe the most frustrating part of the two losses to San Diego is the Barracuda out shot the Gulls 94-59 and were outscored 8-2. By the way, I have had many questions about the status of Spencer Asuchak who is in San Jose but has not been playing. Tommy Daniels mentioned on the broadcast last night that Spencer is dealing with a couple of injuries. Asuchak's status won't be known until he is cleared to play as he cannot be reassigned to Allen while he is injured.
- Here is the latest edition of ECHL Week which covers the All-Star roster and coaches, some trades, the now ownership in Greenville and at the 6:20 mark the New Year's Eve warmup incident between Allen and Wichita. It provides a good view of the start of the fighting at the red line.
DID YOU KNOW: One way to look at attendance is to measure the percent capacity. I am not sure how meaningful the percent capacity stat is with arenas as small as 4794 (Adirondack) and as large as Tulsa (17096). It does tell you which teams are coming the closest to filling their arena. Here are the top five and bottom five in percent capacity with the arena capacity in parentheses:
100.2% - Toledo (7431)
94.5% - Colorado (5289)
86.8% - Idaho (5006)
81.9% - Worcester (5600)
77.8% - Kansas City (5800)
24.4% - Norfolk (8701)
29.2% - Manchester (9852)
32.3% - Atlanta (10867)
33.9% - Wichita (13000)
35.0% - Tulsa (17096)
Allen is at 62.2% capacity with an arena capacity of 6200.