The Allen Americans will hop on the bus today for the shortest commute on the schedule (four hours) as they head to Tulsa to take on the Oilers. The game tonight will mark the halfway point (36th game) in the season for both teams and it is fitting they play each other. It will be the 55th time since joining the ECHL in 2014 they have faced each other, the most the Americans have played any team in the league. Allen's overall record against Tulsa is 32-16-3-3 and their record when playing in Tulsa is 14-9-1-3.
- The Allen Americans are comfortably in fourth place in the Mountain Division with a nine point lead over fifth place Tulsa. With three games against the Oilers in four days, Friday and Saturday in Tulsa then Monday in Allen, the Americans lead could be as high as 15 points or as low as three points after the MLK game Monday afternoon.
- Nobody is happy with Allen being in fourth place halfway through the season as that certainly was not the expectation. Given all that has happened with the roster because of callups and injuries, etc. this team will be fine going forward. All teams deal with roster changes during the season but the Americans have been hit extra hard. Here is a recap that shows how many games players have played of the 35 Allen has played this season
2 games - Riley Gill is still on injured reserve and even though goaltending has been good in his absence he has been missed. Jeremy Brodeur has a GAA of 2.93 and save percentage of .927. Stephon Williams has a GAA of 3.15 and save percentage of .905. The team has had no shutouts in the first half of the season. Last season Gill's GAA was 2.22, his save percentage was .935 and he had seven shutouts.
11 games - Zach Pochiro had seven goals and 13 points when he went down with a hand injury in early November. At the pace which Zach was scoring had he been healthy he could have had 20 goals by the halfway mark of the season. Zach is the seventh leading goal scorer on the team even though he has only played 11 games.
13 games - Olivier Archambault has been the most prolific scorer in the league in the 13 games he has played in Allen. He spent a big chunk of time in the AHL with San Jose. If Olivier would have been in Allen for the entire first half of the season, based on his average points per game, he would be leading the ECHL in scoring by 20 points.
19 games - Vincent Arseneau has missed games due to injury, suspension and is currently in Utica (AHL). His presence in the lineup is so much more than scoring but he was carrying the team before he was loaned to Utica. He had goals in eight of ten games including a hat trick. Based on his goal production over the 19 games in Allen had he played in all 35 games he would also have 20 goals by the halfway mark.
20 games - Zach Hall has had a series of injuries and is currently out of the lineup and will be for a couple of more weeks. The play maker has had a difficult time getting any rhythm because he has been in and out of the lineup so much. Zach scored his first two goals of the season in back to back games in the recent series against Wichita but then got injured again.
20 games - Jonathan Lessard left the team at the beginning of December to play in France. He would have been a 20 goal scorer for the season if he had stayed and also brought grit and toughness to the team. Just speculation on my part but I doubt Tanner Eberle would have ever been traded if it was known Lessard was going to bolt the team when he did. Eberle was traded a couple of weeks before Lessard's surprise announcement he was headed to play in France.
22 games - Bryan Moore leads the team in goals (12) even though he has missed 13 games due to callups and suspensions. Based on his average points per game had he played in all 35 games he would have 19 goals and 43 points at the halfway mark.
22 games - Spencer Asuchak is currently in San Jose (AHL) recovering from injuries. He is another player whose presence is so much more important than just his scoring. He is impossible to move from in front of the net and his net front presence contributes to a lot of goals.
22 games - Peter MacArthur suffered a season ending injury on December 22. His veteran leadership will be missed.
- Other key players have played in the majority of games but missed some include Dalton Thrower who has missed 11, Mathieu Aubin eight and David Makowski six.
- With all of the games key players have missed you can see why coach Martinson is optimistic when the injured players return, players return from the AHL and he adds a piece or two going forward the team will have a chance to make another run for the Kelly Cup.
ALLEN VS TULSA PREVIEW
- The game tonight will be the ninth of 13 times Allen plays Tulsa this season. In the eight games they have played thus far four have gone to overtime. Allen's record against the Oilers this season is 4-2-2-0. Three of the eight games were played in Tulsa with the Americans losing two of the three.
- The combined stats
for the eight previous games shows Allen with a slight edge in goals (25-23) but
to no surprise Tulsa has the edge in shots (340-289). Neither team has
been very effective on the power play, Allen is 5-34 (14.7%) and Tulsa is 3-28 (10.7%).
- Here is the match up between Allen and Tulsa:
Team Record 15-11-4-1 (43 points) 13-14-3-5 (34 points)
Division Ranking 4th - Mountain 5th -Mountain
Conference Ranking 7th - Western 10th - Western
League Ranking 10th 19th
Last Game 4-3 Win (Utah) 5-3 Loss (Wichita)
Goals For 121 102
Goals Against 110 114
Power Play 19.0% 12.4%
Home Power Play 21.6% 9.4%
Road Power Play 15.4% 14.1%
Penalty Kill 81.8% 82.0%
Home Penalty Kill 86.8% 85.2%
Road Penalty Kill 75.7% 80.0%
Leading Scorer Pierro-Zabotel (10-31-41) Sampair (14-11-25)
Most PIM's Moore (114) Kessy (74)
- Here is how Allen and Tulsa rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:
Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 1st (24.86) - Tulsa 15th (15.69)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 9th (3.46) - Tulsa 19th (2.91)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 12th (3.14) - Tulsa 17th (3.26)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 16th (32.00) - Tulsa 1st (38.80)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 24th (36.86) - Tulsa 21st (34.43)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 9th (19.0%) - Tulsa 24th (12.4%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 19th (81.8%) - Tulsa 17th (82.0%)
The most striking stats above are shots on goal. Tulsa leads the ECHL
averaging over 38 shots on goal per game while the Americans are
ranked #24 in the ECHL allowing an average of 37 shots on goal per game.
Against Allen the Oilers have averaged over 42 shots on goal. Coach Martinson talks about the way to reduce
shots on goal is to avoid so many turnovers in the neutral zone and just
inside the offensive blue line. If there is no play to be made dump the
puck. Puck possession will be key tonight if the Americans expect to win. In their last two games the Americans have allowed 31 and 21 shots. If they can do that again in Tulsa it will go a long way toward a victory.
- If you look at the special teams stats above Tulsa struggles at home with a power play percentage of only 9.4% which is ranked #26 in the league. But they will be going up against the worst road power play in the league in Allen's 75.7%. The good news for Allen fans is the penalty kill has been much improved over the last five road games having killed 20 of 23 opportunities for a penalty kill percentage of 86.9%. Tulsa fans also have reason to be encouraged because the poor power play has gone 3-16 (18.8%) over the last five home games. Both teams had two power play goals in their last game on Wednesday.
- It is a good bet the team that scores first tonight will win
the game. That has been the case in all eight games Allen and Tulsa have
played this season.
- Dalton Thrower will be back in the lineup tonight after completing his three game suspension. The Americans should have a full contingent of 16 skaters available with nine forwards (one short) and seven defensemen (one extra). Miles Liberati will probably take some shifts up front.
- Officials scheduled for the game are referee Mike Sheehan (#11) and linesmen Michael Houle (#49) and Addison Brush (#80). Sheehan was the referee for Allen's last game on Wednesday.
- Love this photo taken by Rick Duncan from North Dallas Sports of the scrap on the Allen bench Wednesday night. From the intensity captured in the eyes of the players to the gentle hand on Bryan Moore's shoulder just in case he decides to get involved. I'm pretty sure that gentle hand belongs to assistant coach Jason Deitsch. Maybe the most amazing thing about this photo is Rick took it from the press box on the second level.
- I have four FREE loge tickets (second level) for the MLK
game on Monday (January 15) at 1:05 pm against Tulsa. I will have a drawing for the
tickets tomorrow night, notify the winner and leave the tickets at
will call. If you are interested let me know by email
All I need is your name and whether you are interested in two or four tickets. The
tickets are in the end of the rink where the Zamboni enters the ice.
- Colorado, Wichita and Idaho are all in action tonight and play at home. Here is the ECHL Today which covers all 13 ECHL games scheduled tonight with a few factoids about each game: https://www.echl.com/echl-today-jan-12-2018
DID YOU KNOW: The game tonight will be the 55th time Allen has played Tulsa since joining the ECHL in 2014. The most memorable game of them all was the very first one which took place in the season opener on October 24, 2014 at the Allen Event Center. Tulsa drubbed Allen 9-6 in that game. It is the most goals Allen has ever allowed since joining the ECHL. Greger Hanson was the lone bright spot for Allen with a whopping 11
shots on goal, four points and a hat trick. Aaron Dell was in goal for
the Americans and gave up seven of the nine goals. It was Dell's only regulation loss in the 12
games he played for Allen
that season. By the end of January he was in the AHL on his way to the
By the way, the most goals allowed in franchise history also took place at home. It was on New Year's Day in 2011 when Colorado defeated Allen 11-6.