Friday, November 24, 2023

Allen vs Tulsa Series Preview, Lineup Changes, ECHL Points Leaders with Projected Points and More


 After a day off in Tulsa for Thanksgiving the Allen Americans are back in action with games tonight and tomorrow night against the Oilers. The Allen schedule against Tulsa this season is unusual. It is not unusual that the teams will play 16 times, but 10 of the 16 will be at the CUTX Event Center. What is even more strange is after this weekend Allen has only two road games left in Tulsa. They will travel to Tulsa on February 16 and the last day of the season on April 14. Not the case at home where Tulsa will be the opponent in 32% (10 of 31) of Allen's remaining homes games.


-  Tonight will be the third game between Allen and Tulsa this season. They played twice at the beginning of  November and split the games. Allen won the first game 6-5 in overtime (Matt Marcinew with the game winner). The next night Tulsa won 5-1. Here are the cumulative stats for the two games:

  • Allen was outscored 10-7
  • Allen was outshot 97-56
  • Allen was 1-5 (20%) on the power play
  • Tulsa was 2-9 (22.2%) on the power play
  • Allen took 10 penalties for 47 minutes (37 minutes by Mikael Robidoux)
  • Tulsa took 6 penalties for 12 minutes
  • Tulsa scored first in both games


-  In the overtime game that the Americans won they were outshot 48-27 and Tulsa made a big comeback after trailing 5-2. Tulsa took a 2-0 lead before Allen scored five straight goals. Tulsa came back from the 5-2 deficit and tied the score 5-5 with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Marcinew scored the game winner just 58 seconds into the overtime. 


- As always special teams will play a big role in this two game series. Allen is #2 in penalty minutes per game (19.36) while Tulsa is #22 averaging 10.15 penalty minutes per game. Tulsa actually has more five minute major penalties than Allen (6 vs 5) but there is a big difference in minor penalties. Allen has taken 83 minor penalties compared to just 51 for Tulsa. Here are the special teams percentages:

  • Power Play
  • 21.4% - Allen's overall  percentage
  • 18.4% - Tulsa's overall percentage
  • 21.6% - Allen's road percentage
  • 13.0% - Tulsa's home percentage
  • Penalty Kill
  • 77.5% - Allen's overall percentage
  • 77.5% - Tulsa's overall percentage
  • 83.7% - Allen's road percentage
  • 69.2% - Tulsa's home percentage

 - Looking at the stats above the overall percentages are close but if you compare Allen's road numbers to Tulsa's home numbers a big advantage goes to the Americans. Allen has the better power play (21.6% vs 13.0%) and penalty kill (83.7% vs 69.2%). 


- Playing with a lead is often emphasized with good reason. Here are some stats for both teams that make the point very well:

  • 3-0-0-0: Leading after 1st period
  • 4-1-0-0: Leading after 2nd period
  • 0-6-0-0: Tied after 1st period
  • 0-2-0-0: Tied after 2nd period
  • 1-4-0-0: Trailing after 1st period
  • 0-7-0-0: Trailing after 2nd period
  • 3-0-0-0: Leading after 1st period
  • 5-0-0-0: Leading after 2nd period
  • 2-1-0-0: Tied after 1st period
  • 0-0-0-0: Tied after 2nd period
  • 1-5-1-0: Trailing after 1st period
  • 1-6-1-0: Trailing after 2nd period

It is very clear from the stats above the importance of playing with the lead, especially for the Americans. In three of Allen's four wins this season the Americans had the lead after the first period and in all four wins they led after the second period.


- Allen will have eight or nine players in the lineup tonight that were not in the lineup when the Americans played the Oilers at the beginning of  November. Hopefully they will be able to carryover the winning ways from the Wichita game on Wednesday. Forward William Provost, who was acquired from Fort Wayne in the Chad Butcher trade, will be in the lineup tonight wearing #9. There will also be another new forward in the lineup tonight, Johnny Walker who just returned from Europe (EIHL) where he played for Dundee.


- Allen Americans lineup tonight vs Tulsa:


Perry (backup)



- A player to keep an eye on tonight is Tulsa's leading scorer,  #15 Eddie Matsushima. In the two games in November he lit up the Americans for five points (2G, 3A). On Wednesday in Tulsa's 3-2 win over Kansas City, Matsushima had three points (1G, 2A) and his goal was the game winning goal. 


- The referee scheduled tonight is #8 Tyler Hascall. He was the referee in Wichita on Wednesday. It was a rare night when Allen was called for fewer penalties (4) than Wichita (8). Remember, he is the referee that called zero penalties in the entire game in an Allen vs Toledo game two years ago.    



- There was one game in the ECHL on Thanksgiving, Fort Wayne beat Iowa 4-3 in a shootout. Iowa had won seven straight games before losing to the Komets. Iowa's streak of eight games earning a point is still intact and the longest in the league. Chad Butcher played his first game for Fort Wayne since being traded from Allen. His box score was all zeros and he was -1. I saw this post from Justin Cohn quoting Fort Wayne coach Jesse Kallechy on Butcher's debut. "He traveled all day yesterday and got in a 30 minute practice. I like what he brings. He skates well, brings good energy and I trusted him enough to play him. And he is only going to get  more comfortable."

- It is a big night around the ECHL with 13 games on the schedule. All seven Mountain Division teams will play. In addition to Allen at Tulsa, Wichita is at Kansas City, Idaho is at Rapid City and Newfoundland is at Utah. If Allen can win tonight they will definitely make some progress in the standings. Here is the ECHL Today previewing all 13 games:


- No news on Colton Hargrove but it certainly doesn't sound good. Coach Costello's quote in the Americans recap press release after the win in Wichita says in part, "It was a tough way to win the game. It came at a price. Colton Hargrove leaving the game with a serious injury, and knowing he is going to be out for a lengthy period. The win is bittersweet." That quote tells you all you need to know about the seriousness of Hargrove's injury. Costello told me they will have more details later after the results of tests are known.


DID YOU KNOW: It is fun to play the what if game when looking at points. The ECHL Stats post today is such an exercise. FYI, Allen's leading scorer, Matt Marcinew, is on pace to have 82 points this season and Hank Crone is on pace for 93 points despite missing the first 10 games of the season. 

Last season the ECHL points leader, Hank Crone (Allen) had 105 points. It is still early in the 2023-24 season but five players already have 20+ points & are on pace to score more than 105 points. To do so they would have to continue their current pace the entire season and play every remaining game which is a tall task. Odds of any ECHL player exceeding 105 points this season are very slim. Here are the leading point scorers with projected points based on current pace in parenthesis:
22 - Max Andreev, KC, (106)
21 - Mark Rassell, IDH, (108)
21 - Wade Murphy, IDH, (108)
21 - Mitchell Fossier, ATL, (117)
20 - Jalen Smereck, CIN, (120)


  1. Devastating start to the season. But that’s the way she goes.

  2. 2nd period...SOG 18-2 - won't pay for flo-hockey ever again so I must assume both were quality shots

  3. Much better 3rd period! Must have been a little locker room motivation between periods

  4. No it was all penalty’s. Looks like the ref’s realized they lost us 2 games at home vs KC and helped us out. This team only scores on Powerplays.