– Steve Martinson is back in Allen from a week in Iowa and reports that in addition to being involved in the “Black Aces” practices he had the opportunity to work with the Wild staff in planning for next season. He still expects to get more players assigned to Allen than last season. The recruitment process is still in the very early stages. Keep in mind the ECHL protected lists are not due until June 1, the season ending roster is not due until June 15, the first day to sign players isn’t until June 16 and qualifying offers aren’t due until June 30.
– If you have been following the conference finals of the Kelly Cup playoffs you have watched the lower seeded teams (Newfoundland in the Eastern Conference, Toledo in the Western Conference) take 2-0 leads.
Newfoundland vs Florida – This is the typical 2-3-2 series where the higher seeded team (Florida) started with two home games. The Growlers went to Florida and beat the Everblades 2-0 in game one and 5-1 in game two. Newfoundland now heads home for the next three games. NHL history paints a bleak picture for the odds of Florida coming back in this series. According to the website WhoWins, in NHL conference finals when a team starts on the road and takes a 2-0 lead they go on to win the series 95% of the time.
Tulsa vs Toledo – This series pits the Mountain Division champions (Tulsa) against the second place team from the Central Division (Toledo). Because of arena availability this series is 2-3-1-1 and the higher seeded team (Tulsa) had to start on the road. Toledo held serve at home beating Tulsa 6-2 in game one and 4-1 in game two. The series now moves to Tulsa for the next three games on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. WhoWins shows in the history of the NHL, in the conference finals, when a team starts at home and takes a 2-0 lead they have gone on to win the series 90.2% of the time.
– The full ECHL schedule won’t be published until sometime in June but teams can put out their home schedules whenever they want. The only announcement from the Americans thus far is they will open the 2019-20 season at home on October 11 against the Tulsa Oilers.
– Here are some of Allen’s away games based on opponents releasing their home schedules:
Rapid City – Allen will make one trip to Rapid City for three games against the Rush on February 12, 14 and 15.
Kansas City – Allen visits Kansas City five times spread out throughout the season. It seems strange but they play just one game against the Mavericks on all five trips to Kansas City. Here are the dates:
– Based on home schedules released by other ECHL teams, Allen will not be visiting Indy, Fort Wayne, Brampton or South Carolina in 2019-20.
– The second official announcement about players from last season happened this past week. The first or course was the retirement of captain Joel Chouinard. The latest was the announcement that defenseman Etienne Boutet has signed to play in the top league in France (Ligue Magnus) for a team called Rapaces de Gap which translates to the Gap Raptors. Gap is an alpine town in the southeast of France with a population of just over 40,000. Former Allen players that have played in Ligue Magnus include familiar names like Brian McMillin and Jonathan Lessard. Here are some others that played briefly in Allen and went on to play in France:
Dallas Ehrhardt (2013-14)
Alex Quesnel (2010-11)
Spencer Edwards (2011-12)
– Dallas Ehrhardt has played in England the last three seasons for the Manchester Storm and is also a member of the Great Britain national team which for the first time in 25 years is playing in the top tier of the Hockey World championships against the elite teams in the world (United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland). A great experience for Dallas and his teammates playing against some of the best players in the world. Great Britain is the lowest ranked team in the tournament (#22) and has lost to Germany 3-1 and Canada 8-0.
– Allen’s AHL affiliate, the Iowa Wild, are on the verge of elimination in the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs. Iowa is trailing Chicago in the series 3-2 with game six (tonight) and game seven if necessary on Wednesday. Both games will be in Chicago. The Wolves took the lead in the series with a 7-4 win over the Wild in Iowa on Friday night.
– Former Allen Americans are playing a big role for the Toledo Walleye in the Western Conference finals against Tulsa. Toledo has taken a 2-0 lead in the series. Chris Crane had the game winning goal last night to go along with an assist in game one. Bryan Moore had a goal in game one, it was his sixth goal of the playoffs. Matt Register had three assists in the two games against Tulsa.
– Matt Register is going for his fourth straight Kelly Cup championship having won in Allen in 2016 and in Colorado in 2017 and 2018. Register is the only player in ECHL history that has won three straight Kelly Cup titles.
DID YOU KNOW: Allen’s home opener in 2019-20 will be against Tulsa (October 11). It will be the third time in team history the home opener has been against Tulsa. The first two did not go well for the Americans. In 2011-12 Tulsa beat Allen 4-1 and in 2014-15 the Oilers beat the Americans 9-6. Here are the teams Allen has played in their first home game each season.
2009-10 – Corpus Christi
2010-11 – Texas
2011-12 – Tulsa
2012-13 – Arizona
2013-14 – Wichita
2014-15 – Tulsa
2015-16 – Quad City
2016-17 – Missouri
2017-18 – Orlando
2018-19 – Wichita
2019-20 – Tulsa