Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Individual and Team Stats Update, Four Sure Gang Shines in February, Allen Gains Most Ground in Division, ECHL Best Team Save Percentages and More


It will likely be a slow week for Allen news as the Americans will not play until Saturday. The team will take today off and then start getting ready for two games against Rapid City this weekend. You never know when roster moves can take place, but it is worth noting the ECHL trade deadline is just a couple of weeks away (March 16) and players are starting to finish their college and junior careers. So, you will see many of them turn pro and move into the NHL, AHL and ECHL over the next few weeks. Several ECHL teams have signed these players to amateur contracts in the past week and this will pick up quickly as college playoffs eliminate more teams. 


-   It has been a month since I took a look at the Allen stats leaders (current players). The month of February was a big month for many players. With 72% of the season in the books here are the Allen stats leaders. The ECHL rank is in parenthesis:

  • Points
  • 72: Hank Crone (1st)
  • 71: Jack Combs (2nd)
  • 58: Colton Hargrove (8th)


  • Goals
  • 31: Hank Crone (1st)
  • 30: Jack Combs (2nd)
  • 30: Colton Hargrove (2nd)


  • Assists
  • 41: Hank Crone (3rd)
  • 41: Jack Combs (3rd)
  • 31: Liam Finlay (21st) 


  • Average Points Per Game (min. 40 games)
  • 1.47: Hank Crone (2nd)
  • 1.39: Liam Finlay (3rd)
  • 1.37: Jack Combs (4th)


  • Plus/Minus
  • +7: Chad Butcher (136th)
  • +5: Liam Finlay (168th)
  • +3: Grant Hebert (213th)


  • PIMS
  • 143: Mikael Robidoux (3rd)
  • 66: Colton Hargrove (56th)
  • 65: Ryan Gagnon (59th) 


  • Ave. Penalty Minutes Per Game (min. 18 games)
  • 5.72: Mikael Robidoux (1st)
  • 3.06: Colby McAuley (13th)
  • 1.43: Colton Hargrove (91st)


  • Shots
  • 182: Colton Hargrove (8th)
  • 169: Hank Crone (13th)
  • 150: Jack Combs (21st)


  • Shooting Percentage (min. 75 shots)
  • 23.6%: Liam Finlay
  • 20.0%: Jack Combs
  • 18.3%: Hank Crone


  • Save Percentage
  • .915: Chase Perry
  • .892: Luke Peressini


  • GAA
  • 3.09: Chase Perry
  • 3.66: Luke Peressini


- A couple of things standout when you look at the stats above. The "Four Sure Gang" dominates the offensive categories and all four had a great February (12 games). 

  • Jack Combs scored in all 12 games for a total of 21 points (8G, 13A)
  • Colton Hargrove scored in 11 games for a total of 22 points (13G, 9A)
  • Hank Crone scored in 11 games for a total of 24 points (11G, 13A)
  • Liam Finlay scored in 11 games for a total of 21 points (8G, 13A)   
  • You add it all together and the "Four Sure Gang" had a total of 88 points (40G, 48A) in the 12 games in February. That is group average of 1.83 points per game. Allen scored a total of 63 goals in the month a February. These four players scored 64% of them (40). 


- Another stat worth noting is what I call the Ironman stat. It is underappreciated how key it is to have players that never miss a game. In the history of the Allen franchise there are only 15 players in the Ironman Club. With 20 games remaining, three players have played in all 52 games thus far, Kris Myllari (was an Ironman last season). Jack Combs and Ryan Gagnon. 


- Here is how the team ranks in some key stats.

  • #8: Ave. goals scored (3.58)
  • #22: Ave. goals allowed (3.71)
  • #22: Ave. shots for (30.71)
  • #25: Ave. shots against: (34.81)
  • #3: Power play percentage (23.7%)
  • #12: Penalty kill percentage (81.3%)  
  • #2: Ave. penalty minutes (18.25)
  • #19: Team save percentage (.893)


- How much have these stats changed over the last couple of months? Here are the same stats from December 27th:

  • #21: Ave. goals scored (2.88)
  • #24: Ave. goals allowed (3.67)
  • #23: Ave. shots for (29.42)
  • #25: Ave, shots against: (35.04)
  • #11: Power play percentage (21.0%)
  • #11: Penalty kill percentage (82.6%)  
  • #3: Ave. penalty minutes (16.58)
  • #17: Team save percentage (.895)


- If you compare current stats with December 27th the big change is on offense. The defensive stats are all about the same, but there has been a big improvement in goals scored and power play percentage.  


-  Plus/minus and goal differential have improved over the last month but are still well below the top teams in the league. Plus/minus was -109 a month ago, today it is -97. Goal differential was -23 (123 goals for, 146 goals against) a month ago. today it is -7 (186 goals for, 193 against). A positive goal differential is a must over the final 20 games of the season. 


- The most important stat over the last two months is won/loss. Here is what the Mountain Division standings looked like on December 27th.  I have added the team's current points percentage and the difference in parenthesis:

  • .870 - Idaho (.817, down .053)
  • .643 - Wichita (.528, down .115)
  • .500 - Kansas City (.520, up .020)
  • .483 - Rapid City (.421, down .061)
  • .423 - Utah (.471, up .048)
  • .420 - Tulsa (.440, up .020)
  • .340 - Allen (.510, up (.170)

It is clear Allen has gained much more ground over the last two months than any other team in the division. If Allen can repeat that success in March, the Americans can realistically end the month in second place. It won't be easy with the March schedule. Allen opens and closes the month with two games against Rapid City. The Americans will play Idaho five times in March. In Idaho on the 10th and 11th and in Allen on the 22, 24, 25. In between all of the Idaho games Allen plays Utah three times at home. March will be a critical month for all of the Mountain Division teams with the exception of Idaho. The other six teams could be in second place or last place by the end of March. 



- Allen has a light week with just two games so could lose some ground to Kansas City who plays five games this week which seems like cruel and unusual punishment for any team. The Mavericks play Wichita at home tonight, at Iowa tomorrow night, and then three games at home against Idaho on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.   


- Five ECHL goalies have 3+ shutouts this season and the strange stat of the day is Toledo and Idaho both have two goalies on the list. Here are the goalies with 3+ shutouts:

  • 4 - John Lethemon, Toledo
  • 3 - Sebastian Cossa, Toledo
  • 3 - *Jake Kupsky, Idaho
  • 3 - Rémi Poirier, Idaho
  • 3 - Mark Sinclair, Cincinnati

 *Kupsky had three shutouts in seven games for Idaho at the beginning of the season and has been in the AHL (Abbotsford) ever since. He is currently injured. 



DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about team save percentages. As stated above Allen's team save percentage is ranked #19 at .893.

Team save percentages don’t always determine success or failure but are an indicator. Here are the top 5 best and worst team save percentages in the ECHL with points percentage rank:
.926 - Idaho, 1st
.916 - Wichita, 15th
.912 - Toledo, 5th
.911 - Savannah, 25th
.908 - Florida, 6th
.866 - Norfolk, 28th
.874 - Trois Rivières, 26th
.878 - Tulsa, 24th
.883 - Fort Wayne, 13th
.886 - Rapid City, 21st



Monday, February 27, 2023

The Weekly Wrap Up, Allen's Record by Month, ECHL Projected Points Leaders, 2021-2023 Top ECHL Scorers and More


The Allen Americans have one of those rare weeks in the ECHL, a full week between games. After beating Utah 6-3 on Saturday, Allen will not play again until they take on Rapid City at home next Saturday. At this time of the season all players are dealing bumps, bruises or worse. Having a light week to rest and recuperate is very helpful this time of the season. The team will fly back from Salt Lake City early this morning, take Tuesday off and resume practice on Wednesday to get ready for games on Saturday (7:05) and Sunday (2:05) against the Rush. 


- Since I spent yesterday morning crow hunting and published a shortened blog late in the day, here are a few leftover notes from the three-game series with Utah:

  • The #1 (Utah) and #2 (Allen) ECHL teams in penalty minutes going into the series acted like anything but high penalty minute teams this weekend. In the three-game series at the beginning of February they combined for 218 penalty minutes compared to 54 penalty minutes in this series.. Allen and Utah have a combined average PIMS per game of 37 minutes. In the just completed series they averaged less than half of that amount, 18 minutes. 
  • Allen won two of three games in the series despite giving up the first goal in all three games. Giving up the first goal of the game is not the formula for success going forward.
  • The "Four Sure Gang" (Crone, Combs, Finlay, Hargrove) all scored in all three games in the series. Their total for the three games was 24 points (11G, 13A). All four had multiple goals and multiple assists in the series. The group averaged 2.00 points per player per game. 
  • The Americans were 5-11 (45.6%) on the power play in the series. Allen now has one of the top power plays in the league, ranked #3 at 23.7%. 


- Allen has been playing great hockey for a couple of months but has been flying under the radar because the Americans have been digging out of a big hole from the poor start at the beginning of the season. Here is Allen's record and points percentage by month. 

  • October: .500 (2-2-0-0)
  • November: .350 (3-6-1-0)
  • December: .308 (4-9-0-0)
  • January: .692 (9-4-0-0)
  • February:  .667 (8-4-0-0)

The absolute low point for the Americans was December 7. After a 5-2 loss in Reading, the Americans record was 5-12-1-0 and they were in last place in the Mountain Division with a .305 points percentage. Once 2023 arrived Allen became a different team. Since January 1, 2023, the Americans record is 17-8-0-0 (.680).  


- After a New Year's Eve loss, Allen was in last place in the Mountain Division with a points percentage of .365. Wichita was in second place with a points percentage of .621. As of today, Allen's points percentage is .510 and Wichita is still in second place, but at a much lower .528 points percentage. If Allen continues to play like it has the last two months, the Americans will soon overtake Wichita for second place in the division. Wichita has lost a lot of top players to call-ups, injuries and Europe recently. The Thunder record over the last 14 games is 3-10-1-0 which is a points percentage of .250.


- Elite Prospects has a feature where they project stats for players by the end of the season. Of course, projecting stats is iffy because players can get injured or loaned/called-up to the AHL. With those caveats here are the top five ECHL players in projected points at the end of this season:

  • #1 - Hank Crone (102 points)
  • #2 - Jack Combs (99 points)
  • #3 - Zach O'Brien (98 points) (Newfoundland)
  • #4 - Tye Felhaber (89 points) (Fort Wayne)
  • #5 - Liam Finlay (85 points)  


- Idaho leads the Mountain Division with 85 points and is about to start eliminating teams from overtaking them for first place. Here are the maximum number of points the other teams in the division can earn if they win, they win all of their remaining games. In the next five or so games, between Idaho's wins and losses by the other teams, the Steelheads will officially clinch first place in the division. It is already a foregone conclusion. Here are maximum points for each team:

  • 125 points - Idaho
  • 96 points - Kansas City 
  • 94 points - Wichita
  • 93 points - Allen
  • 89 points - Utah
  • 89 points - Rapid City
  • 88 points - Tulsa


- Allen has 20 games remaining all but three of them are within the division. The Savannah Ghost Pirates will visit Allen for three games in April. Savannah is in last place in the South Division as a first-year franchise but should not to be taken lightly. Over the last 11 games Savannah has a record of 6-3-2-0 (.636). I heard many comments when the schedule was first announced how good it was to get three games against Savannah at the end of the season if Allen needed the wins. It doesn't look like it will be as easy as many thought at the beginning of the season. 


DID YOU KNOW: If you combine 2021-22 and 2022-23 stats, just four ECHL players have 120+ points:
144 points (46G, 98A): Zach O’Brien, Newfoundland
133 points (51G, 82A): Jack Combs, Allen
124 points (51G, 73A): Zack Andrusiak, Cincinnati
123 points (61G, 62A): Brandon Hawkins, Toledo
- Hawkins leads in goals (61)
- O’Brien leads in assists (98)
- O’Brien leads in points per game (1.53)

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Allen Turns Setback into Comeback, Game Recap, Video Highlights, Streaks Galore, ECHL Best Goals Differential Teams and More



The Allen Americans have had some great comebacks over the years and the 6-3 win over Utah last night was one of the best. Prior to last night the Grizzlies hadn't lost a game all season when they led by as few as one goal, let alone the 3-0 lead they had after the first period against the Americans. This Allen team has a belief and confidence in its ability to generate offense no matter how far they fall behind. 

- Here is a short list of what the Americans accomplished after scoring six unanswered goals when they found themselves behind 3-0 after the first period:

  • Allen remains in third place in the Mountains Division.
  • Allen is now just three points from catching second place Wichita who has lost seven of its last 10 games. Second place would earn home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
  • Allen has three 30 goals scorers (Crone, Combs, Hargrove) and there are 20 games left in the season.
  •  All three lines had goals, just like Friday night.
  • Allen scored a power play goal for the sixth straight game against Utah.


 - Goal scorers for Allen were Jack Combs (29,30), Colton Hargrove (30), Hank Crone (31). Chad Butcher (6) and Mikael Robidoux (6). Here are the video highlights: https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/2/allen-americans-vs-utah-grizzlies---feb-25-2023-Tk2OOp9u


- Game recaps:

Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-rally-to-beat-utah/

Utah Grizzlies: https://www.utahgrizzlies.com/en/grizzlies-news/grizzlies-fall-6-3-to-allen-on-saturday-night


 - Allen was 1-4 on the power play and has now moved up to #3 in the league in power play percentage at 23.7%. The best power play percentage in team history was 24.4% in 2016-17.


- In Allen Americans franchise history 12 rookies have scored 30+ points in a season. Hank Crone had a goal and assist last night and now leads the ECHL scoring race with 72 points. Crone leads the rookie scoring race by 13 points. Alex Lavoie and Tyler Sheehy led the league in rookie scoring and were also selected as the league's Rookie of the Year. Crone will blow away the rookie scoring record and has a legitimate shot at reaching 100 points.

  • 76 points - Alex Lavoie (2013-14)
  • 72 points - Hank Crone (2022-23, 20 games remaining)  
  • 70 points - Tyler Sheehy (2019-20)
  • 56 points - Spencer Asuchak (2013-14)
  • 44 points - Braylon Shmyr (2018-19)
  • *41 points - David Strathman (2010-11)
  • 41 points - Nick Layton (2011-12)
  • *39 points - Alex Breton (2018-19)
  • *39 points - Justin Baker (2014-15)
  • 33 points - Tobias Whelan (2009-10)
  • 32 points - Zane Franklin (2020-21)
  • *30 points - Eric Roy (2015-16)



- Didn't think three Allen players would make this all-time list with 20 games remaining in the season. You can only imagine how high up the list they will end up. Crone, Hargrove and Combs have joined the 30-goal club:

  • 44 goals - Gary Steffes (2014-15)
  • 41 goals - Chad Costello (2014-15)
  • 35 goals - Greger Hanson (2016-17)  
  • 34 goals - Bruce Graham (2010-11)
  • 34 goals - Nino Musitelli (2010-11)
  • 34 goals - Zach Pochiro (2018-19)
  • 33 goals - Chad Costello (2016-17)
  • 33 goals - Colton Yellow Horn (2010-11)
  • 31 goals - Bruce Graham (2009-10)
  • 31 goals - Hank Crone (2022-23)
  • 30 goals - Jack Combs (2022-23)
  • 30 goals - Colton Hargrove 92022-23)
  • 30 goals - Corey Mackin (2020-21)


- Lots of streaks continued last night:

  • Colton Hargrove extended his goal per game scoring average to 26 goals in the last 26 games and his road point streak to 14 games, second longest current streak.
  • Jack Combs extended his points streak to 17 games, his assist streak to six games and his road assist streak to eight games, all three the current longest streak.
  • Hank Crone extended his road point streak to 15 games and his goal scoring streak to six games the longest current streaks in the league.


- The team stays in Salt Lake City today and won't fly back to DFW until early Monday morning. I heard Tommy Daniels say wakeup call is 2:45 am Monday morning. 


- Allen has been winning two of every three games consistently over the last couple of months with the one exception when the Americans lost two of three to Fort Wayne at home. Allen has just two game this coming week with home games on Saturday and Sunday against Rapid City. The goal this week has to be taking four points from the Rush. Allen is 0-3-0-0 against Rapid City this season. 



DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about goal differentials. Allen has scored 186 goals and allowed 193 for a goal differential of -7.

ECHL goal differentials (goals for minus goals against) range from +100 (Idaho) to -95 (Norfolk). 12 of 28 ECHL teams (43%) have positive goal differentials. All 12 are currently in playoff positions:
+100: Idaho
+57: Toledo
+52: Newfoundland
+39: Maine
+35: Cincinnati
+31: Indy
+29: Reading
+27: Jacksonville
+27: South Carolina
+26: Florida
+13: Greenville
+7: Wichita


Saturday, February 25, 2023

Allen Wins Scorefest 8-5, Game Recap, Video Highlights, Costello Comments, Rubber Match Preview, Tonight's Lineup, ECHL Hottest Teams and More


There were 14 games in the ECHL last night, eight of them ended with a combined total of five or fewer goals. However, if you like offense, Allen vs Utah was the game to watch, totaling 13 goals. Allen beat Utah 8-5 last night before a big crowd of 6941 at the Maverik Center. Huge goal totals have become a pattern for the Americans. Allen has been involved in games with 14 combined goals once this season and 13 goals twice. All three high scoring games have been in the last seven games. It is probably not the formula for long term success, but it is entertaining and fun to watch. Any road win is great and last night the win vaulted Allen into third place in the Mountain Division. There is little time to savior the victory when you consider the point difference from third place (Allen) and sixth place (Rapid City) is a mere four points. Allen's goal is to win every series and with the Utah series tied 1-1 the rubber match tonight will be critical.


- It wasn't a good start for Allen last night as Utah scored the first goal of the game at the 5:12 mark of the first period. As the period wound down with Grizzlies leading 1-0 all I could think about was Utah hasn't lost a game all season when leading after the first period. The problem was solved when Grant Hebert scored with 50 seconds remaining in the first period, so the game was tied going into the first intermission. 


- There was an explosion of offense in the second period. A total of six goals were scored, four by Allen, which is one short of the most second period goals scored in the league this season. Hank Crone and Aidan Brown scored early in the period to give Allen a 3-1 lead, but Utah responded to cut the score to 3-2. Two more goals by Allen (Colton Saucerman & Colton Hargrove) gave Allen what seemed like a comfortable lead (5-2), but the Grizzlies scored with 31 seconds remaining in the period to cut Allen's lead to 5-3 at the second intermission. 


- Even though stats show teams leading after the second period win 85% of the time, the Americans two goal lead didn't feel safe. There was a brief sigh of relief when Liam Finlay scored a shorthanded goal early in the third period to reestablish Allen's three goal lead (6-3). Once again Utah fought back with two unanswered goals to cut the score to 6-5 with over nine minutes remaining in the game. Allen finally put the game away on Hank Crone's second goal of the game and Stefan Fournier's first as an Allen American. The final score was 8-5. 


- Goal scorers for Allen were Grant Hebert (6), Hank Crone (29,30), Aidan Brown (12), Colton Saucerman (4), Colton Hargrove (29), Liam Finlay (26),  Stefan Fournier (8). Here are the video highlights: https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/2/allen-americans-vs-utah-grizzlies---feb-24-2023-s63p3ZEX


- Game recaps from both teams:

Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/game-recap-americans-outscore-utah-8-5/

Utah Grizzlies: https://www.utahgrizzlies.com/en/grizzlies-news/americans-defeat-grizz-8-5-on-grizz-fight-cancer-friday-night



"The game tonight was another one of those games when we had everyone on the team contributing."

"Perry played well for us. He had some bad puck luck but battled hard for the win."

"Our third line played great. We have three lines that are capable of scoring every time down the ice."

"To be successful we need to continue to improve and play at a high level consistently."

"Everyone got to see some highly skilled goals from us tonight. They were a lot of fun to watch."  



- Some thoughts and stats from the win:

  • As usual the "Four Sure Gang" all had points: Hargrove (1G, 3A), Crone (2G, 1A), Combs (0G, 2A) and Finlay (1G, 0A).
  • Allen was scary good offensively and the addition of Stefan Fournier to the third line with Hebert and Robidoux will make that group a scoring threat every game. The line accounted for two goals (Hebert & Fournier) and four assists. A third line that can score and is hard to play against will be invaluable down the stretch.
  • Aidan Brown returned to the lineup for the first time since January 8th and made is presence known immediately, scoring an unassisted breakaway goal. 
  • Hank Crone's two goals made him the first ECHL player to reach the 30-goal mark.
  • Crone's three points gives him a total of 70 which leads the ECHL in scoring by two points over teammate Jack Combs.
  • Crone has an 11-point lead in the rookie scoring race (70 vs 59).
  • Colton Hargrove's goal last night extends his goal per game scoring average to 25 goals in the last 25 games.
  • Jack Combs' two assists last night extended his points streak to 16 games. It is the longest points streak in the ECHL this season with the exception of his teammate Colton Hargrove's 23 game point streak. 
  • Crone extended his road point streak to 14 games, the longest in the ECHL this season.
  • Hargrove extended his road point streak to 13 games, the second longest in the ECHL this season.
  • Liam Finlay had the game winning goal last night and now is tied for the ECHL lead with seven. The odd stat is Finlay has his seven game winning goals in Allen's last 12 wins. 
  • The "Four Sure Gang" has scored the game winning goal in 12 of Allen's last 14 wins (86%). For the entire season the group has scored the GWG in 18 of 24 wins (75%).  



- The combined 13 goals last night were seven more goals than Allen and Utah have averaged in the previous seven games this season. It is not the only stat that was unusual. In the first seven games Allen and Utah played this season the average combined penalties per game were 18 and the average penalty minutes were 50. Last night was a season low combined seven penalties and 14 penalty minutes.   


- Both teams scored one power play goal last night. Allen was 1-2 and Utah was 1-4. The Americans penalty kill unit added a shorthanded goal to give Allen the special teams edge. 


- The rubber game of the series tonight is obviously important for both teams with the standings so close you can go from third to fifth place or vice versa in one night. In the first two games of the series Utah won 5-3 on Wednesday and Allen won last night 8-5. The totals for the two games give Allen the edge on goals (11-10) and shots (76-66). The big difference has been on the power play. In the first two games of the series Allen is 4-7 (57.1%) on the power play. Utah is 2-8 (25%) but also gave up a shorthanded goal. 


- The referee tonight is the same as the first two games of the series, Trevor Wohlford. There were a combined seven penalties for 14 minutes last night. Wednesday Wohlford called 10 penalties for 22 minutes. The law of averages would say tonight will bring more penalties and penalty minutes than the first two games. Especially when you consider if the Grizzlies lose tonight, it will leave them with a record of 1-5-0-0 against Allen in the month of February at home. 


- As always, the three keys of scoring first, outshooting Utah and winning the special teams battle will be important tonight. A reminder Allen is 16-6-1-0 (.717) when they score first and 8-19-0-0 (.296) when the Americans give up the first goal. When it comes to shots, Allen is 11-4-1-0 (.719) when it outshoots the opponent and 14-21-0-0 (.400) when the Americans get outshot. 




  • 67 Crone-7 Hargrove-29 McAuley 
  • 21 Combs-17 Butcher-15 Finlay 
  • 44 Fournier-77 Hebert-32 Robidoux
  • 19 Bethune                   25 Brown



  • 4 Myllari-23 Saucerman 
  • 24 Skelly-49 Massicotte 
  • 22 Gally-3 Gagnon 



  • 31 Peressini 
  • 35 Perry (backup)




- Belleville made a trade with the Toronto Marlies yesterday for goalie Dylan Ferguson. Allen fans will remember Ferguson when he played for Fort Wayne and led the Komets to the Kelly Cup in 2021. He played every minute of the playoffs with the exception of the third period of the second game in the second round against Allen. Justin Kapelmaster played the third period when Fort Wayne came back from a 4-1 deficit to win the game in overtime. 


- Ottawa and Belleville have been decimated by goalie injuries this season. Between the two rosters there are nine goalies. Belleville is last in the North Division and will likely miss the playoffs. It is possible Allen could get a goalie assigned later in the season. 


- The ECHL trade deadline is quickly approaching. There can be no trades after March 16. What will definitely pick up is the signing of players just finishing their college or junior careers. This is not affected by the trade deadline.


-  Idaho continued its march to the best record in ECHL history with a 2-0 shutout over Maine last night. The Steelheads have a points percentage of .814 compared to the all-time record of .806 set by the Louisiana IceGators in 2001-02. 


- There will be a blog tomorrow but it will be a short one and not published until late afternoon. I am going crow hunting early in the morning to get ready for the crow I am going to eat when Allen makes the playoffs. I am going to get some extra crows in case Allen earns home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs by finishing second. In that case there will be a double helping of crow to eat.  


DID YOU KNOW: The rich get richer! The top four teams in the ECHL (by points) also have the top four records over the last 10 games. A drive toward the Kelly Cup?
#1 Idaho: 83 points, 7-1-1-1
#2 Newfoundland: 75 points, 7-3-0-0
#3 Cincinnati: 70 points, 8-1-0-1
#4 Toledo: 68 points, 9-0-0-1
Teams with six wins in the last 10 games with league rank and current points:
#5 Jacksonville: 68 points, 6-3-1-0
#8 Greenville: 65 points, 6-4-0-0
#13 Orlando: 57 points, 6-3-1-0
#14 Fort Wayne: 56 points, 6-4-0-0
#17 Allen: 51 points, 6-4-0-0

Friday, February 24, 2023

Allen vs Utah Preview, Full ECHL Schedule Tonight, 25+ ECHL Goal Scorers and More


The Allen Americans started the month of February playing three games in Utah and now they are ending the month of February playing three games in Utah. After sweeping the Grizzlies at the beginning of the month, the start to the current three game series didn't go very well for the Americans. After travel troubles delayed the start of the game on Wednesday (9:30 pm CST), Allen fell to Utah 5-3. After a day off yesterday and time to refresh, game two of the series tonight couldn't be more important. The winner of the game tonight will take over the fourth and final playoff spot in the Mountain Division while the loser will be on the outside looking in. 


- The game tonight will be the eighth of 12 times Allen plays Utah this season. The Americans record in the first seven games is 4-2-1-0. The teams played three games in Allen back in November, the Americans lost in overtime (3-2), lost in regulation (4-2) and won the final game (4-2). Allen and Utah didn't see each other again for almost three months until the two series in Utah in February. That makes Allen's record at home against Utah 1-1-1-0 and on the road 3-1-0-0. 


- If all goes as planned during pregame skate this morning, Allen fans will see recently acquired Stefan Fournier in the lineup tonight and he will be wearing #44.  Here is what coach Costello shared with me about Fournier, "We are very excited to bring Stefan to Allen. He brings size, toughness and he can score. He also brings a veteran presence that will help in the locker room. We have high expectations for the remainder of the season and so does Stefan. We think it will be a great fit."


-  Here are the cumulative stats in the four February games between Allen and Utah.

  • Goals: Allen 21 - Utah 9
  • Shots: Allen 130 - Utah 119
  • Power Play %: Allen 34.6% (9-26) - Utah 9.1% (2-22)
  • Penalties: Allen 39 infractions (99 PIMS) - Utah 45 infractions (141 PIMS)


- Good starts are essential. The team that scored first has won all four games. Playing with the lead is also critical. The team with a lead after the first and second period has won all four games. 


- Allen made some mistakes early in the game on Wednesday and it cost them. They will have to avoid those tonight. What has been working for the Americans is power play. All three Allen goals on Wednesday came on the power play. The Americans have eight power play goals in the last three games against Utah while allowing only two power play goals. 


- Allen didn't have an even strength goal on Wednesday. It is hard to win just on special team goals. If Allen can get some even strength goals and contributions from other than the "Four Sure Gang" the Americans will be hard to beat.  


- No surprise Allen's top four scorers against Utah are:

  • Hank Crone - seven games, 11 points (5G, 6A)
  • Jack Combs - seven games, 11 points (3G, 8A)
  • Liam Finlay - five games, 9 points (5G, 4A)
  • Colton Hargrove - seven games, 9 points (5G, 4A)


- It is hard to predict what kind of game will transpire tonight. In the last four meetings between Allen and Utah, penalty minutes have varied between 22 and 150. It is worth noting they are still #1 (Utah 949 PIMS) and #2 (Allen 933 PIMS) in the ECHL in penalty minutes. With Stefan Fournier added to the mix you never know what will happen. What is certain is both teams will have power play opportunities. In the last four games between these teams, Allen has averaged six per game and Utah has averaged five per game. 


- Chase Perry will get the start in goal tonight. In his two starts against Utah at the beginning of February, Perry stopped 34 of 35 shots (.971) in a 4-1 win and 23 of 24 shots (.958) in a 8-1 win. 



 - There is a full schedule in the ECHL tonight with all 28 teams in action. The Mountain Division teams games in addition to Allen at Utah include Kansas City at Florida, Wichita at Cincinnati, Rapid City at Tulsa and Maine at Idaho. As many as five Mountain Division teams could win or lose tonight because three teams are playing outside the division. Here is the ECHL Today with the previews: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/2/echl-today-feb-24   


- Here are the streaks that could be kept alive tonight:

  • Jack Combs has scored in 15 straight games (24 points). That is the longest current streak in the league.
  • Hank Crone has scored in 13 straight road games (21 points). That is every road game he has played in since December 23. It is the longest road point streak in the ECHL this season.
  • Colton Hargrove has scored in 12 straight road games (21 points) dating back to January 3.
  • Not a streak but an amazing stat. Hargrove's goal last night extends his goal per game average of scoring a goal per game all the way back to December 31. He now has 24 goals in the last 24 games.


- Happy birthday to Allen assistant coach Aaron Gens, who turns 36 today. It has been a few years since Gens last played, so here is a reminder of some of his accomplishments with the Allen Americans:

  • Two-time Kelly Cup champion (2015 & 2016).
  • ECHL most points by a defenseman (2014-15, 56 points).
  • ECHL most assists be a defenseman (2014-15, 48 assists).
  • His 48 assists in 2014-15 are the most by a defenseman in Allen franchise history.
  • His 56 points in 2014-15 is #2 all-time in Allen franchise history by a defenseman. 


DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans have an ECHL high of four players with 25 or more goals this season: Hank Crone (28), Jack Combs (28), Colton Hargrove (28) and Liam Finlay (25). The other 27 ECHL teams combined have just two, Brandon Hawkins, Toledo (25) and Eric Neiley, Atlanta (25).

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Tough Travel Day Ends with a Loss, Game Recap, Video Highlights, ECHL Expansion, Rookie Numbers for All ECHL Teams and More

It was another one of those terrible, horrible no good very bad days for the Allen Americans yesterday that rivaled winter storm Big Red bus stories from years ago. A major winter storm traveling across Utah caused the cancellation of Allen's flight Tuesday evening and many flights heading to Salt Lake City yesterday. Through sheer perseverance by splitting the team into two groups, they all arrived in time to play a game though the start was delayed until 9:30 pm Allen time. To add insult to injury the Americans staged a big comeback after trailing 4-0 to close the gap to 4-3 before falling 5-3 to the Grizzlies. Allen and Utah are now tied for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Mountain Division.


- As I mentioned in the series preview yesterday, Utah is the toughest team in the league playing with the lead. The Grizzlies scored the only two goals of the first period. Allen had plenty of opportunities in the first period with two breakaways and a couple of wide-open nets missed but couldn't get the puck in the net.  The score at the end of the first period was 2-0, but Allen was not being outplayed. The downside to the 2-0 lead is Utah is the only team in the ECHL that has not lost a game all season when leading after the first period.


- When Utah took a 4-0 lead by midway in the second period it looked like the long day of travel for the Americans had caught up with them. However, in a 90 second period the Americans made Utah pay. Just as the Americans did in the series against the Grizzlies a couple of weeks ago, the power play saved the day. Allen scored three power play goals, two of them 5-on-3, from 13:52 to 15:12 of the second period. In 90 seconds the score went from 4-0 to 4-3. Utah took the 4-3 lead into the second intermission. Another reminder of how good Utah is when playing with the lead. The Grizzlies record when leading after the second period is now 18-1-0-0.


- It wasn't that Allen didn't have opportunities to tie the game in the third period. The Americans outshot Utah 15-6 but could not score an even strength goal as there were no penalties on either team in the third period. Allen pulled goalie Luke Peressini at the 18:36 mark but didn't manage a single shot on goal. Utah scored an empty net goal with 27 seconds remaining in the game to make the final score 5-3.


- Goal scorers for Allen were Colton Hargrove (28), Liam Finlay (25) and Hank Crone (28). Jack Combs had an assist so the "Four Sure Gang" all scored. They accounted for six of Allen's seven points in the game. Not sure if this has ever happened in the ECHL before, but there is now a three-way tie between Crone, Combs and Hargrove for the league lead in goals with 28. Next on the leader board is Liam Finlay who is tied for fourth place with 25 goals. There are now seven ECHL players with 25+ goals, four of them play for the Allen Americans.  Here are the video highlights with all of the goals and many of the missed opportunities by the Americans. https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/2/allen-americans-vs-utah-grizzlies---feb-22-2023-6EeMuWYr


- Here are the game recaps from both teams.

Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/game-recap-americans-rally-falls-short-3/

Utah Grizzlies: https://www.utahgrizzlies.com/en/grizzlies-news/fizer-steals-show-in-utah-s-5-3-win


- The teams will take the day off today before resuming the series tomorrow night. The highlight of the game for Allen last night was the power play which was 3-5. Over the last four games in Utah the Americans power play is 9-26 for a whopping power play percentage of 34.6%.


- What hurt Allen last night was its inability to score an even strength goal despite outshooting Utah 39-26, including 29-13 in the final two periods, Allen had numerous grade A opportunities but could not finish.


- The stats show how hard it is to come from behind against Utah. The Grizzlies have lost just one game all season when leading after the first or second period. In the last four games against Utah the team that scored first won them all. A good start will be critical for Allen on Friday and Saturday.



- Except for a win by Idaho, the Mountain Division standings continued to tighten last night with Kansas City and Allen losing and Utah winning. Here are the current Mountain Division standings by points and points percentage with games remaining in parenthesis:

  • 81 points, .810 - Idaho (22)
  • 56 points, .560 - Wichita (22)
  • 50 points, .521 - Kansas City (24)
  • 49 points, .490 - Utah (22)
  • 49 points, .490 - Allen (22)
  • 45 points, .459 - Rapid City (23)
  • 42 points, .447 - Tulsa (25)

Idaho's .810 points percentage is higher than the all-time ECHL record of .806. The Steeleheads are not winning with a ton of contract players. They are in the middle of the pack with five contract players. However, Idaho is one of the three teams in the league with the fewest rookies on the roster, four.


- All of the streaks I talked about yesterday were extended in the game last night:

  • Jack Combs has scored in 15 straight games (24 points). That is the longest current streak in the league.
  • Hank Crone has scored in 13 straight road games (21 points). That is every road game he has played in since December 23. It is the longest road point streak in the ECHL this season.
  • Colton Hargrove has scored in 12 straight road games (21 points) dating back to January 3.
  • Not a streak but an amazing stat. Hargrove's goal last night extends his goal per game average of scoring a goal per game all the way back to December 31. He now has 24 goals in the last 24 games.


- Matt Register leads the ECHL in plus/minus at +49. No ECHL player has finished a season with a higher plus/minus since 1991-92. His +49 would be the third best plus/minus all-time.


- There is talk of an ECHL expansion team to Albuquerque, NM. Here is a video from the local TV station talking to one of the potential owners. Incidentally, the NAHL team that is referred to in the piece, New Mexico Ice Wolves, is coached by former Allen Americans forward Phil Fox, he is also the general manager of the team. The pro team referenced in the video, New Mexico Scorpions, were established in the WPHL in 1996 and finished in the Central Hockey League (CHL) the year before Allen joined the CHL. https://youtu.be/DwBmW31UkYQ

DID YOU KNOW: Rookies play a key role in the ECHL. Here is the number of rookies on each ECHL team’s 22 player roster (20 active, 2 reserve). These numbers do not include rookies on injured reserve. Note there are high ranking teams with very few rookies and high-ranking teams with a lot of rookies. Look for these numbers to rise over the next month as colleges and junior teams finish their seasons and players turn professional.
5: RC
11: IA, REA, SC
13: TR


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Allen vs Utah Series Preview, Utah Snowstorm Causes Delays, NHL/AHL Contracted Players Assigned to ECHL Teams and More

 It is game day for the Allen Americans, but it remains to be seen if the team can get to Utah in time for the game tonight. A major winter storm traveling across Utah yesterday caused the cancellation of many flights including the one the Americans were on last night. This morning there are still issues as the hazardous weather conditions have produced an accumulation of snow at the airfield. The Americans are trying to get to Salt Lake City for the game. UPDATE: The team did find flights and is on the way to Salt Lake City, so game should go on as scheduled. 


- The Americans are headed to Utah for a rematch of a three-game series from the first week in February. It will be difficult to repeat the success of the first three game series when the Americans beat the Grizzlies 4-1, 6-2 and 8-1. Since that three-game sweep by Allen the Americans have a record of 3-3-0-0 and Utah's record is 3-1-2-0. 


 - Allen and Utah enter this series separated by two points in the standings and a playoff spot is literally on the line. Allen currently occupies the fourth and final Mountain Division playoff position with 49 points, Utah is in fifth place with 47 points. If either team takes all six points available in this series, they will be assured of fourth place and could end the week in third place. Third place in the division is occupied by Kansas City (50 points) and the Mavericks will be in Florida this week for a tough three games series against the Everblades. Florida has a .761 home points percentage, the third best in the league.


- Here are some comparisons between Allen and Utah.

  • Allen road record 13-13-0-0, Utah home record 9-11-0-0
  • Goals per game: Allen #8 (3.45) - Utah #24 (2.84)
  • Goals allowed per game: Allen #22 (3.67) - Utah #21 (3.59)
  • Power play: Allen #8 (22.6%) - Utah #17 (19.6%)
  • Penalty kill: Allen #12 (81.8%) - Utah #15 (79.6%)
  • Shorthanded goals: Allen (4) - Utah (4)
  • Shorthanded goals allowed: Allen (5) - Utah (6)
  • Record when scoring 1st: Allen (16-6-1-0) - Utah (14-3-0-0)
  • Overtime Record: Allen (3-1) - Utah (2-3)
  • Penalty minutes per game: Allen #2 (18.84) - Utah #1 (19.12)


- What stands out to me in the stats above is how much Allen has improved compared to the start of the series against Utah at the beginning of the month. A couple of examples. On February 1st Allen was ranked #18 in average goals per game (3.08), today the Americans are ranked #8 (3.45). Allen has seen a similar improvement on the power play. On February 1st Allen was ranked #16 at 20.1%, today it is ranked #8 at 22.6% and is .3% of being in the top five. 


- The games in this series should be high scoring affairs if the recent past says anything. Utah has scored 22 goals in the last five games; Allen has scored 21. The Americans have scored 60 goals in the last 12 games, an average of exactly five goals per game.


- The one stat that jumps out from the list above is the fact Utah and Allen are the two most penalized teams in the ECHL. One thing you can count on is there will be a lot of penalties in this series. Here is a comparison of season totals:

  • Minor penalties: Allen 304 - Utah 281
  • Major penalties (5 minute): Allen 23 - Utah 27
  • Misconduct penalties (10 minute): Allen 14 - Utah 17
  • Game misconducts: Allen 4 - Utah 7
  • Match penalties: Allen 2 - Utah 0

Allen is #1 in the ECHL in minor penalties and match penalties. Utah is #1 in 10-minute misconducts and game misconducts. 


- In the three-game series at the beginning of February there were a total of 39 power play opportunities (21 Allen - 18 Utah), 72 penalty infractions (32 Allen - 40 Utah) and 218 penalty minutes (89 Allen - 129 Utah). It is highly unlikely the penalty fest from the first series will be repeated but there will be plenty of penalties this week. Adding Stefan Fournier to the Allen lineup may in fact tamp down the penalties, but if not, Allen will be better prepared to deal with however Utah chooses to play. 


- As always, the three keys of scoring first, outshooting Utah and winning the special teams battle will be important in the series. Utah is almost unbeatable with a lead. The Grizzlies record when leading after the first period is a perfect 8-0-0-0 and when leading after the second period is 17-1-0-0. Allen doesn't want to be playing from behind in this series.


- The Americans dominated special teams play in the last series in Utah. Allen's power play was 6-21 (28.6%) and the penalty kill was 94.4% (1-18). If Allen can make the Grizzlies pay when they take penalties, which Utah will, the Americans should have a great week.


- When playing Utah, it is always worthwhile to mention the Grizzlies have played Idaho 15 times this season. Idaho is still on pace to have the best season in the history of the ECHL. Utah's record against Idaho is 4-11-0-0. Utah has a current overall record of 22-24-3-0 which is a points percentage of .480. If you eliminate the 15 games against Idaho, the record for the Grizzlies is 18-13-3-0 which is a points percentage of .575. The point being, Utah is a better team than its record reflects. 


- The Allen goal for the week is the same as every week. Win two out of three games and take a minimum of four of the available six points.



- It is hard to keep track of all of the player streaks for the Americans. Even though several were broken last week here are some that are still intact.

  • Jack Combs has scored in 14 straight games (23 points). That is the longest current streak in the league.
  • Hank Crone has scored in 12 straight road games (20 points). That is every road game he has played in since December 23.  It is the longest road point streak in the ECHL this season.
  • Colton Hargrove's 23 game point streak was snapped last week but he still has the second longest road point streak in the league. Hargrove has scored in 11 straight road games (19 points) dating back to January 3. 


- There are eight games in the ECHL tonight. Mountain Division teams in action in addition to Allen at Utah are Maine at Idaho and Kansas City at Florida. Here is the ECHL Today with the previews https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/2/echl-today-feb-22     


- If you didn't see the announcement from the Americans, Stefan Fournier will be wearing jersey #44 which Xavier Bernard had been wearing until he was recalled by Belleville. When Bernard returns to Allen, he will by wearing #5, the same number he wears in Belleville.


DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about NHL/AHL contracted players assigned to ECHL teams. It is no surprise Allen is tied for the fewest in the league. All the more reason to applaud what the Americans have accomplished since the beginning of 2023, a record of 15-7-0-0 and a points percentage of .682.

NHL/AHL contracted players assigned to ECHL teams varies daily and is hard to track. Currently the number assigned ranges from 1 to 14. The number includes players on the active roster and reserve only, contracted players on injured reserve are not included. There are a few exceptions but in general the teams with 5+ contracted players assigned are the best in the league. Eleven ECHL teams currently have a points percentage above .600. Ten of the 11 have five or more contracted players assigned. The one exception is Indy with four. Here are the number of NHL/AHL contracted players assigned to each ECHL team.
1: ALN, IA
6: SAV
7: ORL, SC
8: FW, TOL, TR
10: FLA, REA
14: NFL




Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Allen Trades Gavin Gould for Power Forward Stefan Fournier, Player Profile, Allen's All Time Hat Trick Stats, 3rd Period Comebacks and More


It is getaway day for the Allen Americans as they will leave for Utah early this evening where the team will take on the Grizzlies tomorrow, Friday and Saturday. All games will start at 8:10 pm CST.  Utah will also be traveling today after a grueling east coast swing that saw the Grizzlies play in Greenville on Wednesday, Savannah on Friday and Orlando on Sunday and Monday. Utah finished the four games with a record of 3-0-1-0 with the one loss coming last night. The Grizzlies lost to Orlando 6-5 in overtime. Allen could catch a tired Utah team tomorrow night. 


- The big news yesterday was Allen acquiring power forward Stefan Fournier in a trade with Wichita. Allen traded Gavin Gould, who was acquired in a trade with South Carolina (for Jackson Leppard) a month ago. Gould played 13 games for Allen and had eight points (1G, 7A). This could end up being a good trade for both teams. Allen has gotten roughed up some the last two series against Fort Wayne and Florida. Adding a 6'4" 220 pound  power forward to the third line in place of 5' 8" 155 pound forward should fix that. It could also be a great opportunity for Gould in Wichita. With Allen's roster he was not going to crack the top two lines. If Gould gets top six time for the Thunder, which is likely, he has shown he can produce as he did in Allen last season when he scored 26 points in 23 games. 


- Here is the press release from the Allen Americans announcing the trade:  https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-acquire-forward-stefan-fournier-from-wichita/


- Stefan Fournier is a 30-year-old, 10-year professional who has bounced around between the ECHL, AHL and Europe. Allen will be his 14th team. Fournier has spent parts of five seasons in Wichita starting in 2018-19. Since 2018-19 he is #1 in goals (79), #2 in games played (188), #2 in points (145), #3 in assists (66), and #2 in penalty minutes (250) for Wichita. Here are Fournier's stats by league:

  • ECHL - 268 games, 176 points (96G, 80A) and 481 PIMS
  • AHL - 142 games, 23 points (11G, 12A) and 340 PIMS
  • Europe - 15 games, (5G, 6A) and 128 PIMS     


Stefan Fournier



- Here is a video interview with Stefan Fournier from a month ago when he was in Cardiff which will give you an idea of what makes him tick: https://youtu.be/gzqiVNBxGqY



- Utah lost last night in overtime and gained one point on Allen. Both teams have played 49 games, Allen has 49 points to Utah's 47. The three games this week will likely decide which team occupies the fourth playoff spot after Saturday night. Kansas City is in third place with 50 points and is on the road for three games against Florida. If the Mavericks get swept by the Everblades both Utah and Allen could jump Kansas City and be in third and fourth place by week's end. Like I said yesterday, Allen is currently in fourth place and just as close to second place as last place (7 points) in the division. Allen needs to meet the goal coach Costello set six weeks ago of winning two of every three games. If the Americans can come away from Utah will four points, they will be guaranteed of no worse than fourth place. 


- Despite Allen's great play the last two months the Americans still have a negative goal differential. The Americans have scored 169 goals and allowed 180 for a -11 goal differential. Compare that to the top of the Mountain Division, Idaho has scored a league leading 202 goals and allowed a league leading 107 goals for a hard to believe goal differential of +95. 


- The Americans have had 34 hat tricks since joining the ECHL in 2014-15. Allen has four hat tricks this season, two each by Liam Finlay and Colton Hargrove. They join a select group of Allen players with multiple hat tricks in a single season since the Americans joined the ECHL. At the top of the list is Bryan Moore, the only Allen player with three hat tricks in a season (2016-17). Players with two hat tricks in a season:

  • Liam Finlay (2022-23)
  • Colton Hargrove (2022-23)
  • Branden Troock (2021-22)
  • Greger Hanson (2016-17)
  • Jack Combs (2014-15)

Another exclusive club is defensemen with a hat trick. Allen has had three, Les Lancaster (2020-21), Alex Breton (2018-19) and Konrad Abeltshauser (2014-15). 


DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about third period comebacks. Allen has comeback in the third period to win three times this season on a record of 3-21-0-0. That is a points percentage of .125 when trailing after the second period. 


3rd period comebacks are very rare. The combined ECHL record this season for teams trailing after the 2nd period is 68-448-37–7, a points percentage of just .161.
- Jacksonville has the most 3rd period comebacks with a record of 7-14-0-0 (.333).
- Cincinnati has the best 3rd period comeback points percentage at .400 (5-8-0-2).
- Trois Rivières is the only ECHL team without a 3rd period comeback (0-21-0-0).
- Norfolk has the most losses when trailing after the 2nd period. The Admirals have just one 3rd period comeback win with a record of 1-27-1-0 (.052).

Monday, February 20, 2023

A Deep Dive 0n Remaining Schedule, Allen's 25 goal Scorers, Some WOW ECHL Stats and More


The Allen Americans have had week after week of critically important games and have done quite well. Since the beginning of 2023 the Americans points percentage is .682 on a record of 15-7-0-0. That has allowed Allen to move from last place in the Mountain Division to fourth place and into the final playoff spot. Because the Americans had such a poor start to the season, despite the great record since the first of January, the Americans are still ranked #18 in the ECHL in points percentage (.500). Allen has a lot of work to do over the final 23 games of the season.


- Realistically there are four teams (Allen, Kansas City, Utah and Rapid City) vying for two playoff spots. The four teams are separated by just five points in the standings with Kansas City (50 points) at the top and Rapid City (45 points) at the bottom. If you want to stretch it, there are six teams vying for three playoff spots. Wichita has 56 points in second place and Tulsa has 42 in seventh place. Allen is in the middle of the group with 49 points, seven points out of second place and seven points out of seventh place. 


- The goal for Allen isn't to make the playoffs, the goal has to be to finish in second or third place in the division. The team that finishes fourth in the Mountain Division has two big obstacles facing them. The first is the idea that once you make the playoffs anything can happen. The facts say otherwise. Since Allen joined the ECHL there have been 24 first round series and the fourth seeds have won just three times. Those three teams all lost in the second round. Second, the fourth seed this season will have to play Idaho in the first round. Idaho currently has a points percentage of .806 which is tied for the best points percentage all-time in the ECHL. The Steelheads home record is 20-3-0-0. It is hard to see the fourth seed winning three or four games in Idaho to win the opening round series.


- Which Mountain Division team has the best schedule for the remaining of the season. One way to look at it is home and away games:

  • 16 home, 8 away - Utah
  • 13 home, 10 away - Allen
  • 13 home, 10 away - Idaho
  • 12 home, 11 away - Rapid City
  • 10 home, 15 away - Kansas City
  • 9 home, 16 away - Tulsa
  • 7 home, 15 away - Wichita    


- Another way to look at the remaining games is how difficult are the opponents. Here is the percentage of remaining games against opponents with a points percentage above .550.

  • 56% - Kansas City, 14 of 25, (6 Idaho, 3 Wichita, 3 Florida, 2 Cincinnati)
  • 48% - Rapid City, 11 of 23, (5 Wichita, 3 Idaho, 3 Fort Wayne) 
  • 46% - Utah, 11 of 24, (5 Wichita, 3 Idaho, 3 Cincinnati)
  • 30% - Allen, 7 0f 23, (5 Idaho. 2 Wichita) 
  • 28% - Tulsa, 7 of 25, (3 Cincinnati, 3 Maine, 1 Wichita)
  • 14% - Wichita, 3 of 22, (2 Toledo, 1 Cincinnati)
  • 13% - Idaho, 3 of 23, (all 3 against Maine)


- Conclusions when looking at the data above:

  • Kansas City has the toughest schedule with 56% of its remaining games against top teams and 15 of 25 remaining games on the road. The Mavericks have the second lowest road points percentage in the division (.333).
  • Idaho has the easiest remaining schedule. Maine is the only opponent with a points percentage above .550. Idaho has 13 remaining home games where it has a league leading .870 points percentage. The Steelheads have an excellent chance to have the best regular season in the history of the ECHL.
  • Wichita has only seven home games remaining where it has a .707 points percentage and 15 road games remaining where it has a .357 points percentage. In Wichita's favor, 19 of its remaining games are against teams with a points percentage below .550
  • Top teams outside the Mountain Division will have a lot to say down the stretch. Allen is the only team in the division that does not play a team outside the division with a points percentage above .550.


- It should be a quite the finish in the Mountain Division and there is little doubt it will come down to the final weekend to determine the top four seeds in the playoffs. If it does, here is the schedule for the final two games of the season:

  • Allen vs Wichita (home and home)
  • Idaho at Rapid City
  • Cincinnati at Kansas City
  • Tulsa at Utah


 - Liam Finlay's next goal will give Allen four 25 goals scorers this season with 23 games remaining. I looked back to see how many 25 goal scorers Allen had in each of its seasons since joining the ECHL. Here is what I found:

  • 2021-22: 3 (Asuchak, Costello, Troock)
  • 2020-21: 2 (Mackin, Lancaster)
  • 2019-20: 2 (Sheehy, Topping)
  • 2018-19: 1 (Pochiro)
  • 2017-18: 1 (Guptill)
  • 2016-17: 4 (Hanson, Costello, Moore, Asuchak)
  • 2015-16: 0
  • 2014-15: 3 (Steffes, Costello, Hanson) 


- I will have a complete Allen vs Utah series preview on Wednesday but here are a couple of interesting stats. Allen is 4-1-1-0 against Utah this season, last season Utah was 5-0-0-0 against Allen. In the six games against Utah this season, the Americans have outscored the Grizzlies 26-13.


- There are two games in the ECHL today. Newfoundland is at Reading and Utah is at Orlando. Utah has a game in hand over Allen and if the Grizzlies win tonight, they will close to within one point of the Americans for the final playoff spot. The  upcoming three game Allen vs Utah series will decide which team is in a playoff position at the end of the week.  


DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about some wow stats. If I had to pick out an Allen wow stat it would be the Americans have the top three goals scorers in the ECHL, Combs. Crone and Hargrove. In terms of team stats Allen has one of the best records in extra time games with a points percentage of .800. The Americans are 3-1 in overtimes and 1-0 in shootouts.

Some #1 teams in stats that make you say wow (points percentage and record):
1.00 (11-0-0-0) - Idaho’s record when it is outshot by opponents.
1.00 (12-0-0-0) - Florida’s record when leading after the 1st period.
1.00 (19-0-0-0) - Worcester’s record when leading after the 2nd period.
.935 (21-1-1-0) - Jacksonville’s record when scoring the 1st goal of the game.
.870 (20-3-0-0) - Idaho’s home record.


Sunday, February 19, 2023

Allen Wins Game and Series, Game Recap, Video Highlights, Costello's Comments, ECHL Hockey Fight Stats and More


Goodbye Saturday night, big crowd, specialty jersey curse. The Police/Fire came to the rescue last night as the Allen Americans beat Florida 4-3. Wearing sharp looking Police/Fire specialty jerseys the Americans did a repeat of Friday night. Allen gave up the first goal early in the first period (2:52) but fought back to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Colton Saucerman finally got the monkey off his back, and he threw it to the ice emphatically when he scored his first goal since October 22 to tie the score 1-1. The second goal of the period was scored by Grant Hebert.


Hank Crone and Colton Saucerman celebrate the game winner and the specialty jersey curse breaker!


- It was a tight checking first period even though Florida scored on its first shot of the game and Allen scored on its second. Shot totals at the midway point of the first period were 2-2. By the end of the period the Americans had the shot advantage (10-5) and a 2-1 lead.


- The tight checking continued in the second period. The teams combined for 23 shots, there were three power play opportunities (not successful) and the period produced just one goal. Florida scored the only goal of the second period to make the score 2-2 going into the third period. 


- There were plenty of ups and downs in the third period. Allen took a 3-2 lead early (1:54) in the period, but less than three minutes later gave up their fifth shorthanded goal of the season and the game was tied again, 3-3. The game winner came on a 5-on-3 power play after Florida took a high sticking penalty followed by a delay of game penalty five seconds later. Hank Crone got the game winner for Allen. The Americans out shot Florida 17-4 in the third period and came away with a one goal victory (4-3) and take two of three games from the Everblades. Winning tight games like last night will be crucial down the stretch for the Americans.


- Allen has had a series of one-sided games recently. In its last 10 games the margin of victory, win or lose, has averaged 4.1 goals per game. Allen hasn't been involved in a one goal game in almost a month.  Prior to last night, Allen's last six wins were by scores of 5-2, 7-3, 8-1, 6-2, 4-1 and 6-0. Coach Costello commented in the middle of these lopsided wins that the true test for the team will come in how they perform in tight one goal games that are more indicative of playoff hockey. It is only one game, but the win last night showed how Allen can play in those type of games. 


- Goal scorers for Allen were Colton Saucerman (3), Grant Hebert (5), Liam Finlay (24) and Hank Crone (27). Here are the video highlights. As you watch the highlights note Saucerman immediately throwing the monkey off his back onto the ice, the importance of going to the net as Hebert did on the second goal, the puck battles won on the third goal and the great pass from Finlay to Crone on the game winner.  https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/2/florida-everblades-vs-allen-americans---feb-18-2023-eC9SgM5x   


- Here are the game recaps issued by both teams:

Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/the-americans-take-the-series-against-florida-with-a-4-3-victory-on-saturday/

Florida Everblades:  https://www.floridaeverblades.com/en/news/pendenza-scores-twice-in-4-3-setback-against-allen



"It was good to take two of three at home against a strong Florida team. Everyone in the lineup contributed. I am happy for our group."

"Our challenge for the week was to win the series against a good Florida team. They are a heavy, strong team with several returning players from their championship team last season. Our team showed a lot after the loss on Wednesday."

"My quote of the week was let's find out just how good we are. Can we compete with these good teams. It takes everyone on the roster pulling on the rope to beat good teams like Florida. I think we answered the question."

'It was a tight defensive game. When we win or lose big it is hard to see how we are going to play in tight games that we will see in the playoffs. We showed tonight with all of our offensive players they capable of winning the tight games."

"We will take Sunday off and then head to Utah on Monday for another important series next week."


- Special teams played a huge role in Allen's win last night. To start with Allen stayed out of the penalty box unless they took someone with them. Allen had three infractions for a total of nine penalty minutes, but seven of the nine minutes were from a fight. The Americans limited Florida to one power play opportunity which they killed. Allen had six power plays in the game and scored two of its four goals on the power play, including the game winner by Hank Crone. There is a five-way tie for the most power play points in the ECHL (25 points). Crone and Combs are two of the five.


- Colton Hargrove's 23 game point streak ended last night but it was a sight to see. It is the longest point streak in the ECHL in the last 15 years. His total for the streak was 37 points (23G, 14A). With Hargrove's steak ended the mantle of the longest current point streak in the ECHL goes to his teammate, Jack Combs who has points in 14 straight games. 


- There is not a lot of time for Allen to celebrate its wins over Florida. The team will leave for Utah on Tuesday where they will take on the Grizzlies on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. You can be assured Utah will be looking for revenge after Allen beat them 4-1, 6-2 and 8-1 just two weeks ago. 



- The Allen win last night was great but just as great was the fact that Wichita, Kansas City and Rapid City all lost to strengthen the Americans position in the standings. Allen is now in fourth place but just one point from third place and seven points from second place, a realistic goal for Allen if it can win consistently. Here are the Mountain Division standings by points with points percentage in parenthesis:

  • 79 points - Idaho (.806)
  • 56 points - Wichita (.560)
  • 50 points - Kansas City (.532)
  • 49 points - Allen (.500)
  • 45 points - Rapid City (.459)
  • 44 points - Utah (.468)
  • 42 points - Tulsa (.447)


- The "Four Sure Gang" aka the "A Team" is even more bunched at the top of the ECHL goal scoring list after the weekend. 

  • #1 - Jack Combs, 28 goals
  • #2 - Colton Hargrove, 27 goals
  • #2 - Hank Crone, 27 goals
  • #5 - Liam Finlay, 24 goals


- There are eight games on the ECHL schedule today including the resumption of the Worcester at Norfolk game that was suspended after the first period last night with Norfolk leading 2-0. Both Zambonis suffered mechanical issues which cause the postponement. The game will resume this afternoon but will be closed to the public because there isn't enough time to get support staff, security and safety personnel in place.

Utah is the only Mountain Division in action. The Grizzlies are in Orlando to take on the Solar Bears. Here is the ECHL Today with all of the previews. https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/2/echl-today-feb-19


- The 13th Annual Police vs Fire game was no contest as the Police came out on top 7-0. Here is the game recap: https://allenamericans.com/media/allen-police-shutout-allen-fire-7-0/



DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about players getting close to or reaching the suspension threshold for fighting majors. No Allen players are close to the 10 fights that would get a suspension. According to the hockey fights website Mikael Robidoux has five fights but Robi told me at practice he is at six. Either way he will have to be judicious when he drops the gloves with 23 games remaining in the season. 


According to hockeyfights.com five ECHL players have seven or more fights. Nachbaur has been suspended for one game after getting his 10th fighting major last night against Savannah.
10 - Justin Nachbaur, Greenville
8 - Nico Blachman, Norfolk
8 - Austin Crossley, Florida
7 - Adrien Buraldo, Toledo
7 - Darian Skeoch, Savannah 
A reminder of ECHL Rule 23.7:
When players reach 10 fighting majors, they are suspended for one game. Each subsequent fighting major will be a one game suspension. At 14 fighting majors the suspensions become 2 games. 
If the opposing player is assessed an instigator penalty, the fight doesn’t count.


Saturday, February 18, 2023

Allen Rebounds, Game Recap, Video Highlights, Costello Comments, Tonight's Lineup, ECHL Overtime Stats, All Time 30+ Goal Scorers and More


It was "White Out Night" at the CUTX Event Center last night and the Allen Americans became the white knights on the ice. The Americans ended their three game home losing streak with a decisive 5-2 win over the Florida Everblades before a big Friday night crowd of 5499. 


- Florida got the jump on Allen scoring the first goal just 90 seconds after the opening puck drop and visions of another poor start came to mind. After all, Allen was outscored 8-2 in the first period in the previous three home games. It was not to be last night as the Americans responded less than three minutes later when Hank Crone took a pass from Colton Hargrove and buried the puck. The period ended with the score tied 1-1 but Florida outshot Allen 15-7 and it took goalie Luke Peressini to save the day on several occasions.


- The second period belonged to Allen. The Americans outshot the Everblades 18-10 and scored the only two goals of the period to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. Mikael Robidoux and Jack Combs were the goal scorers. A 3-1 lead was a good sign when you consider Allen's record with a second period lead is 16-3-1-0 and Florida's record when trailing after the second period is 2-11-1-0. 


- The third period started with Florida scoring at 42 seconds after the puck drop to cut the score to 3-2. However, just like in the first period the Americans responded quickly. Just 93 seconds after the Everblades scored, Chad Butcher restored Allen's two goal cushion. Allen controlled the rest of the period, added a goal from Jack Combs to make the final score 5-2. Allen outshot Florida 17-6 in the third period and over the final two periods had a 35-16 shot advantage. It was great to see the outstanding goaltending, the offense clicking and a commitment to defensive that is a hallmark of success for the Americans.


- Luke Peressini had a great game in goal for Allen stopping 29 of 31 shots for a save percentage of .935. Luke had several highlight reel saves in the game.


- Goal scorers for Allen were Hank Crone (26), Mikael Robidoux (5), Jack Combs (27,28) and Chad Butcher (5). Liam Finlay and Kris Myllari had two assists. Colton Hargrove had an assist to extend his point streak to 23 games.  Here are the video highlights:  https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/2/florida-everblades-vs-allen-americans---feb-17-2023-95DOPjqP


- Game recaps from both teams:

Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/game-recap/americans-strong-second-and-third-leads-to-5-2-win/  

Florida Everblades: https://www.floridaeverblades.com/en/news/everblades-falter-against-americans


"I thought we started a little slow tonight but once we got going and hit that button it was on. We took over the game against a very good Florida team."

"I challenged the guys very hard yesterday, I said I just want to see if we are good. We lost the series to Fort Wayne. Florida and Fort Wayne are two very good teams, they are playoff teams for sure. So I wanted to find out how good we are and the guys responded tonight. I think we are pretty good."

"Lots of guys contributed tonight, our penalty kill was incredible despite giving up that one goal."

The quote of the night, "I didn't yell at the refs all night, that was good. The ref came by the bench a few times and I told him I am going to speak very kindly tonight."

"I have to learn to keep my cool as a coach. It is harder to do than I thought because you are not playing so every bad call you sit there and soak in it for a while and then you rip off your coat and get kicked out. But I think I am an internet sensation now."

"Tonight was a fun night. I am really proud of how the guys responded. Peressini played great and made some big saves when we needed them. When we get good goaltending and our offense is clicking we are hard to beat."

"I challenged our defensemen to clear out the net so Peressini could see more pucks and they responded. If Peressini can see the puck he stops it. We also talked about mentally being engaged in the defensive zone. We have a lot of offensive players and sometimes these players are so concentrated on offense when they get to the defensive zone they think it is time to take a break. I know a player who used to do it all the time." (Chad pointing at himself)

"Aidan Brown is day to day and close to returning to the lineup."

- Allen now has an opportunity to win the series with Florida if the Americans can beat the Everblades again tonight. Coach Costello set a goal of winning 2 of 3 games every week some time ago. With the exception of Fort Wayne last week when Allen was 1-2, the Americans have met the goal in every series since the beginning of December. Winning two of three against the reigning Kelly Cup champs would be another big step for Allen.


- What distinguished Allen's play last night was a return to a high compete level and more of a commitment to team defense up and down the lineup. If the Americans can repeat that script tonight and get the goaltending they got from Luke Peressini last night they will win the series. After his performance last night, look for Peressini to get the start again tonight.



  • Crone-Hargrove-McAuley
  • Combs-Butcher-Finlay
  • Gould-Hebert-Robidoux
  • Bethune              Young
  • Myllari-Saucerman
  • Skelly-Massicotte
  • Gally-Gagnon 
  • Peressini
  • Perry (backup)




- The "Four Sure Gang" all had points again last night. Here is the latest on their stats:

  • Jack Combs - Jack had two goals and an assist and now is #1 in the league in goals (28), #2 in points (64) and has a 1.33 points per game average.
  • Colton Hargrove - Colton had an assist last night to extend his point streak to 23 games, the longest point streak since the 2008-09 season. He is #2 in the league in goals (27) and has scored 23 of his 27 goals in the last 22 games. His overall points per game average is 1.21. However, his goals per game average since the end of December is a ridiculous 1.05.
  • Hank Crone - Hank had a goal last night. He is #1 in the league in points (65) and leads the rookie scoring race by nine points. He is #3 in the ECHL in goals (26)  and #3 in assists (39). Hank's points per game average is 1.44.
  • Liam Finlay - Liam had two assists last night and is #3 in rookie scoring (50 points). He is #7 in the ECHL in goals (23) and #11 points. His points per game average is 1.35.   


- The Allen Americans win last night combined with Rapid City's 6-0 home loss to Toledo moved the Americans into sole possession of fourth place in the Mountain Division. Here are the standings by points percentage with games remaining in parenthesis:

  • .802 - Idaho (24 games)
  • .571 - Wichita (23 games)
  • .543 - Kansas City (26 games)
  • .490 - Allen (24 games)
  • .469 - Rapid City (24 games)
  • .468 - Utah (25 games)
  • .435 - Tulsa (26 games)


- Thanks to Joe Ernst, Senior VP of ECHL Hockey Operations, I received some stats on ECHL overtimes since the league went from five minute to seven minute overtimes. Here are the stats by season. 2018-19 was the last season of five minute overtimes. The rest of the years are seven minute overtimes but remember 2019-20 was the Covid shortened season and in 2020-21 there were only 14 teams playing:

  • 2018-19
  • 20.6% of games (200) went to overtime
  • 61.0% (122) were decided in overtime
  • 39.0% (78) went to a shootout  


  • 2019-20
  • 20.3% of  games (162) went to overtime
  • 77.8% (126) were decided in overtime (25 longer than 5:00)
  • 22.2% (36) went to a shootout

  • 2020-21
  • 24.9% of games (121) went to overtime
  • 73.6% (89) were decided in overtime (17 longer than 5:00)
  • 26.4% (32) went to a shootout


  • 2021-22
  • 17.6% of games (170) went to overtime
  • 73.5% (125) were decided in overtime (29 longer than 5:00)
  • 26.5% (45) went to a shootout

  • 2022-23 (thru February 12)
  • 19.3% of games (124) went to overtime
  • 83.1% (103) were decided in overtime (22 longer than 5:00)
  • 16.9% (21) went to a shootout

It is very clear extending overtime by two minutes has had a significant impact on the number of games being decided by shootouts. The last year (2018-19) of five minute overtimes 39% of overtime games went to a shootout. About 66% of the 2022-23 season is complete and only 17% of overtime games have gone to a shootout. If you buy into the premise 60 minute hockey games should not be decided by a shootout which is an individual competition, the NHL, which still has a five minute overtime, should adopt to the ECHL rule. 


- There are 13 games on the ECHL schedule tonight with six of seven Mountain division teams in action. In addition to Florida at Allen, Tulsa is at Wichita, Idaho is at Kansas City and Toledo is at Rapid City. Utah is idle. Here is the ECHL Today with the previews: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/2/echl-today-feb-18


DID YOU KNOW: Allen will end up with four 30 goals scorers this season and could have two or three 40 goals scorers. How does that compare to prior Allen players. Here is the list of 30+ goals scorers in franchise history. The 2022-23 team will be all over this list by the end of the season.

  • 44 goals - Gary Steffes (2014-15)
  • 41 goals - Chad Costello (2014-15)
  • 35 goals - Greger Hanson (2016-17)  
  • 34 goals - Bruce Graham (2010-11)
  • 34 goals - Nino Musitello (2010-11)
  • 34 goals - Zach Pochiro (2018-19)
  • 33 goals - Chad Costello (2016-17)
  • 33 goals - Colton Yellow Horn (2010-11)
  • 31 goals - Bruce Graham (2009-10)
  • 30 goals - Corey Mackin (2020-21)




Friday, February 17, 2023

Allen vs Florida Preview, Bernard Recalled to Belleville, Tonight's Lineup, Projected 100 Point Scorers, Best Goal Differential Teams and More


It's game day for the Allen Americans and the middle game of a three-game series against the Florida Everblades. After losing 8-5 to Florida on Wednesday and giving up 22 goals in the last three games, Allen will need a big effort tonight to get back on track. 


- There is not much to say about the game tonight other than the Americans need to be much better defensively as a team. That means improved defensive play from the goalie, the defensemen and the forwards. Better breakouts, a better forecheck, fewer neutral zone turnovers and chipping the puck in when there is no play will all contribute to fewer shots and goals from Florida. In the last four games the Americans have allowed 41, 50, 41 and 44 shots. It is difficult to win consistently with shot totals like that.   


-  A good start will be imperative if Allen expects to win tonight. Over Allen's last three games, all losses, the Americans have been out shot 51-25 in the first period and outscored 8-2. When you consider Florida is the only team in the league that has not lost a game all season when leading after the first period, Allen can't afford to be playing from behind. 


- The one bright spot in the loss on Wednesday was Allen stayed out of the penalty box, taking only two minor penalties in the game and the Americans scored three power play goals (3-5). Florida's road special team percentages are among the worst in the league. The Everblades are 10.6% on the power play and 71.6% on the penalty kill. Allen needs to capitalize on special teams tonight.


- Yesterday defenseman Xavier Bernard was recalled by Belleville. He played 18 games in Allen and had eight points (0G, 8A). Bernard has the best plus/minus of all defensemen on the team and is second overall. He will be missed. FYI, Allen's roster has six players with a positive plus/minus:

  • +6  Chad Butcher
  • +4  Xavier Bernard
  • +2  Colby McAuley
  • +2  Liam Finlay
  • +2  Zachary Massicotte
  • +1  Hank Crone


- With Bernard being recalled to Belleville the Americans will have every healthy player in the lineup tonight. Dalton Skelly and Dalton Gally have been in and out of the lineup as healthy scratches recently. They will now both be in the lineup as Allen has just six defensemen on the roster (excluding Jared Bethune). 



  • Crone-Hargrove-McAuley
  • Combs-Butcher-Finlay
  • Gould-Hebert-Robidoux
  • Bethune              Young
  • Myllari-Saucerman
  • Skelly-Massicotte
  • Gally-Gagnon 
  • Peressini
  • Perry (backup)



- Three Mountain Division teams are playing teams outside the division tonight. In addition to Florida at Allen, Utah is at Savannah and Toledo is at Rapid City. How has the Mountain Division fared against the other divisions? Here is the record:

  • North: 6-3-0-0
  • South: 1-6-0-0
  • Central: 16-12-1-0


- The ECHL hasn't had a 100-point scorer since Chad Costello did it three seasons in a row from 2014-15 to 2016-17. The top three scorers in the ECHL have a shot at attaining 100 points this season. Here are the projections based on the average points per game and assuming they play in all remaining games:

  • 101 points - Zach O'Brien, Newfoundland
  • 100 points - Hank Crone, Allen
  • 94 points - Jack Combs, Allen


- There are 12 games on the ECHL schedule tonight. Here is the ECHL Today with the previews.  https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/2/echl-today-feb-17


- It is hard to overstate the season Idaho is having in 2022-23. Idaho has a points percentage of .798 and still has a chance at the all-time record of .806. Idaho has the best average goals scored (4.19) and the best goals allowed average. (2.21) in the league for a differential of +1.98. That is almost a goal per game higher than second place Newfoundland (+1.03). Add in Idaho's #1 ranked penalty kill (85.3%) and #3 ranked power play (23.6%) and the Steelheads will have a big opportunity to overcome the Brabham Cup curse (regular season champion) by winning the Kelly Cup.


DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about average goals scored, allowed and the differential. Allen has scored an average of 3.40 goals per game and allowed an average of 3.72 goals per game. The differential is -0.32.


There are just five ECHL teams that average more than 3.50 goals per game and allow fewer than 3.00 goals per game. They are all serious Kelly Cup contenders. The differential between goals scored and goals allowed is in parenthesis:
Idaho: 4.19 vs 2.21 (+1.98)
Newfoundland: 3.94 vs 2.91 (+1.03)
Indy: 3.77 vs 2.92 (+0.85)
Maine: 3.73 vs 2.86 (+0.87)
South Carolina: 3.56 vs 2.87 (+0.69)
Toledo: 3.53 vs 2.71 (+0.82)