It is game day for the Allen Americans as they take on the Wichita Thunder tonight (7:05 pm) and again tomorrow (Saturday) night. Allen got some great news yesterday as Vincent Arseneau is back in town and expected to be in the lineup tonight against the Thunder. His mere presence in the lineup will be a big boost for the team.
- The game tonight will be the first time these teams have faced each other since the warmup brawl game on New Year's Eve (NYE) and there are definitely some hard feelings left over from that game on both sides. If you recall, six players ended up with suspensions for the activities in warmups and it carried over to the game when 90 penalty minutes were assessed in the first period. The most important stat from that game was the score which was in the Thunder's favor 4-2.
- Not sure if it was a coincidence or not because of the upcoming games against Wichita but coach Martinson had a volunteer assistant helping out at practice yesterday. Jeremy Yablonski, who had a 15 year professional career with games in the NHL, AHL, ECHL and KHL is retired and living in North Texas. Jeremy is one of many volunteer assistants coach Martinson has had help out at practices but the first I can remember that specializes in strength and conditioning. Yablonski is 37 and has been retired for three years but I saw him in the locker room and he is ripped and scary big. Makes you wonder if Martinson would ever sign Yablonski to a short term contract if he thought a team was going to start trouble.
If you have ever watched any fight videos of Jeremy you can't help but be impressed. Here is just one example from 2008 when he fought his good friend and bad boy Jon "Nasty" Mirasty. Some rate this the best hockey fight in history with no hyperbole. Dropyourgloves.com rated the fight a 10 on their fight scale of 1-10. According to the them there were 130 punches thrown in this fight and 78 landed. https://youtu.be/Pb7EdyKQb4E
- Historically Allen has pretty much owned Wichita (37-8-4-3) but this season has been much different as the teams have split their first eight games. Allen has won three of five games in Wichita while the Thunder have won two of three in Allen.
- Both teams will have different rosters tonight from when they last played on NYE. Allen will be without Olivier Archambault who had both of Allen's goals on NYE. Spencer Asuchak, Zach Pochiro and Vincent Aresenau did not play the last time Allen faced Wichita but will be in the lineup tonight.
- Here is a story written by Matt Harding, who covers the Thunder for Team Sin Bin, that talks about who is in and who is out of the lineup for Wichita. According to Matt it is uncertain whether Wichita captain Dyson Stevenson, who is currently on reserve, will be activated for the game tonight. Check out all of the Wichita changes here: http://thesinbin.net/thunder-condors-swap-players-ahead-of-weekend/
Here are the updated stats between Allen and Wichita:
Team Record 20-17-4-1 (45 points) 23-13-3-1 (49 points)
Division Ranking 4th - Mountain 3rd - Mountain
Conference Ranking 9th - Western 5th - Western
League Ranking 16th 8th
Last Game 5-3 Loss (Rapid City) 3-1 Win (Colorado)
Goals For 142 134
Goals Against 139 115
Power Play 19.8% (37/187) 17.6% (22/125)
Home Power Play 20.8% (20/96) 17.1% (13/76)
Road Power Play 18.7% (17/91 18.4% (8/49)
Penalty Kill 80.2% (38/192) 82.7% (26/150)
Home Penalty Kill 86.5% (13/96) 79.1% (19/91)
Road Penalty Kill 74.0% (25/96) 88.1% (7/59)
Most PIM Moore (127) Stevenson (109)
Leading Scorers: Pierro-Zabotel (12-35-47) Bauer (8-21-29)
- Here is how Allen and Wichita rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:
Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 1st (23.10) - Wichita 15th (15.49)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 9th (3.38) - Wichita 7th (3.44)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 17th (3.31) - Wichita 9th (2.95)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 16th (32.07) - Wichita 20th (30.95)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 24th (37.14) - Wichita 18th (33.64)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 5th (19.8%) - Wichita 13th (17.6%)
Home Power Play %: Allen 3rd (20.8%) - Wichita 16th (17.1%)
Road Power Play %: Allen 10th (18.7%) - Wichita 13th (18.4%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 22nd (80.2%) - Wichita 15th (82.7%)
Home Penalty Kill %: Allen 8th (86.5%) - Wichita 21st (79.1%)
Road Penalty Kill %: Allen 27th (74.0%) - Wichita 4th (88.1%)
- Head to head special team percentages favor Allen slightly. Against Wichita the Allen power play is 20.7% (6-29) and the penalty kill is 83.3% (5-30). Against Allen the Wichita power play is 16.7% (5-30) and the penalty kill is 79.3% (6-29).
- In the odd stat of the day Allen and Wichita have played eight times this season and the record is 4-4, goals are 26-26 and shots are 260-260. Now that is evenly matched!
- You would probably be
disappointed if I didn't talk about scoring first. The last three times these teams played each other (December 29,30 31) the team that scored first lost the game. The odds are still heavily in favor of the team that scores first. Allen and Wichita combined have a record of 31-10-1-0 when scoring first. Same can be said for having the lead after the first period as they have a combined record of 29-5-1-0 when taking a lead into the first intermission.
- Officials scheduled for the game are referee Jonathan Sitarski (#23)
and linesmen Brian Bull (#95) and Lucas Bisbee (#72).
- There is a full slate tonight the ECHL with 26 of 27 teams in action. The one team that is idle is the Manchester Monarchs. In the Mountain Division in addition to Wichita at Allen, Idaho is at Colorado, Tulsa is at Utah and in a cross division contest Rapid City is at Kansas City.
- I know several readers have been asking about the Marvel Night specialty jerseys the
Americans wore on January 15 wondering where and when the jerseys would be
available to purchase. I know I mentioned this before that because this is a league-wide program all of the ECHL-Marvel themed
jerseys are being auctioned off to the public through The MeiGray Group
at meigrayauctions.com. For those that have been asking the jerseys had not been shipped to The Meigray Group as of yesterday after practice but should now be on the way so you can look for them being posted on the auction site as soon as they are received in New Jersey.
- I get asked about rumors fans hear concerning players signing in Allen all of the time. Coach Martinson is in constant contact with teams, agents and free agent players in North America and Europe throughout the season. Players may contact Martinson directly if they are free agents or indirectly through their agent or they may even call a player they know on the team to express interest in coming to Allen. Right now Allen has an open vet spot (temporarily taken by Gary Steffes) so it is quite likely fans can pick up rumors about players, especially vets, on teams that will not make the playoffs being interested in moving to teams that will make the playoffs. Most of the time these rumors are not accurate but if and when coach Martinson finds a good experienced player at the right price he will sign them. Stay tuned.
DID YOU KNOW: I saw stats laid out like this for an NHL team and decided to take a look for the Allen Americans. This compares the first 21 games of the season to the last 21 games.
FIRST 21 Games Played:
27 of 42 Points Earned (.643)
Goals For: 74 (3.52 per game)
Goals Against: 63 (3.00 per game)
Power Play: 18/99 (18.2%)
Penalty Kill: 18/100 (82.0%)
LAST 21 Games Played:
18 0f 42 Points Earned (.429)
Goals For: 68 (3.24 per game)
Goals Against: 76 (3.62 per game)
Power Play: 19/88 (21.6%)
Penalty Kill: 20/92 (78.3%)