The Allen Americans schedule this season is heavily weighted to teams in the Mountain Division. 86% (62 of 72) of Allen’s games are interdivisional. Of the 10 games outside the division just four are at home. The Americans played Norfolk twice back in November and will play the Kalamazoo Wings tonight (Friday) and tomorrow night (Saturday).
– The game tonight will be the second time these teams have played. In their only other meeting (October 40, 2016) the Wings beat the Americans 5-3 in Kalamazoo.
– The Allen roster has been depleted by injury, illness, callups and loans. When I talked to coach Martinson after practice yesterday he did say he will have 16 skaters for the game tonight. Stepan Falkovsky and Alex Guptill, who missed games because of illness were practicing yesterday as was Ben Owen who hasn’t played since December 7. Not practicing included Spencer Asuchak, Josh Btittain and Cole Fraser. There is a chance Allen could get some players back from the AHL after the weekend but that always depends on the injury situation with the AHL clubs. With so many forwards out of the lineup, I wouldn’t be surprised if Martinson gives Gary Steffes a call to help out this weekend.
– Allen is first in the Mountain Division with a record of 24-7-6-1 but has struggled recently losing six of their last eight games. Fortunately the Americans earned a point in four of the six losses as three were in overtime and one in a shootout. Allen’s record over the last 10 games is 4-2-3-1.
– Kalamazoo is in last place in the Central Division with a record 12-17-3-0. Their road record is 4-11-1-0. The Wings have lost their last three games and have a record of 5-5-0-0 in their last 10 games. Before their current three game losing streak Kalamazoo had won five straight games.
– Kalamazoo has struggled in their defensive zone. They have given up six goals in each of their last three games. For the season they are last in the league in average goals allowed, giving up an average of 4.19 goals per game. Former Allen goalie Jake Hildebrand and rookie Jake Kielly split goaltending duties for the Wings.
– If you look at per game average, Allen scores more goals (3.84 vs 3.13) and allows fewer goals (3.13 vs 4.19) than Kalamazoo.
– I say this all the time but the stats prove the importance of a good start for the Americans. Their record when they score first is 16-2-1-0 . With a lead after the first period, Allen has a record of 14-2-2-0.
– Comparing Kalamazoo’s road and Allen’s home special teams record shows they both have struggled. Allen, at home, is ranked #23 on the power play (13.2%) and #12 on the penalty kill. Kalamazoo, on the road, is ranked #19 on the power play (15.4%) and last on the penalty kill (74.2%).
– Allen’s power play had improved dramatically before the Christmas going 9-36 (25%) in the eight games before the break. However, in the last five games after the break, since Tyler Sheehy was recalled to Iowa, the power play is 2-19 (10.5%).
– Tommy Daniels received a big honor yesterday when the ECHL announced he has been selected to do the play by play for the upcoming All-Star game which takes place in Wichita on January 22. The All-Star game will be broadcast live on the NHL Network. A national audience will get to see and hear what Allen fans have appreciated since 2009-10, Tommy is at his best doing play by play. If you haven’t seen the press release issued by the Americans which details Tommy’s extensive radio career here it is. Can’t believe Tommy didn’t highlight his year as a traffic reporter, flying over DFW in a helicopter or his pro wrestling broadcast experience. The guy has done it all! Congrats to “TD” given the nickname of Touchdown Tommy Daniels by Bruce Graham. https://allenamericans.com/americans-broadcaster-tommy-daniels-selected-as-play-by-play-voice-for-the-warrior-echl-all-star-classic/
– With the All-Star game taking place in Wichita, Matt Harding and his crew at Team Sin Bin will have more than six hours of coverage starting the evening before the game and ending with a post game show after the game. For the first time they will have a live stream broadcast of the game. Here are all of the details: https://thesinbin.net/the-sin-bin-announces-coverage-plan-for-25th-echl-all-star-classic/
– The Kalamazoo Wings are coached by Nick Bootland the brother of former Allen player and fan favorite Darryl “Booter” Bootland. Booter played for his brother the year before he signed with the Allen Americans in 2012-13. Bootland was part of Allen’s first two championship teams.
DID YOU KNOW: With a win against Kalamazoo tonight:
– Steve Martinson will have 1028 pro wins as a coach and pass John Brophy for #2 all time.
– Allen will have 57 points and pass their total for the entire season last year when they finished with 56 points.
– Allen will have 25 wins, matching their total for all of the 2018-19 season.