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Allen vs Wichita Preview, Coach’s Corner, Allen’s Top January Goals Scorers, ECHL Century Club Members and More

Wednesday, February 2nd
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The Allen injury report is as bleak as the weather forecast as the Americans get ready take on the Wichita Thunder tonight at the CUTX Event Center. I attended practice yesterday and there were so many players sitting in the stands it looked like a midweek game in section 112. Zach Hall was the only injured player that participated in practice, and he is still listed as day to day. It is likely the Americans will be playing shorthanded tonight.

– Even though it has been over a month since Allen has played Wichita, the game tonight will be the 10th of the season against the Thunder. The Americans record against Wichita is 6-3-0-0 and the Americans won all four meetings in December. The last time Wichita beat Allen was the middle of November.

– Allen enters the game tonight on a three game win streak, a record of 4-4-1-1 in the last 10 games and a .527 points percentage which places the Americans in fifth place in the Mountain Division. Wichita enters the game having won its last game, a record of 4-5-1-0 in the last 10 games and a .413 points percentage which places the Thunder last (seventh) in the Mountain Division.

– If you compare head to head stats in the nine games Allen and Wichita have played this season here is what you find:

  • In six of the nine game the team that scored first won.
  • The team with the most shots won eight of the nine games.
  • Allen has out shot its opponent just nine times all season. Five of the nine were against Wichita.
  • Wichita has outscored Allen 32-31 including 7-0 on opening night. In the other eight games Allen has outscored Wichita 31-25.
  • Allen is 5-30 (16.7%) on the power play while Wichita is 8-30 (26.7%).
  • Allen has 113 PIMS vs Wichita’s 126 PIMS

– If you compare overall stats instead of head to head stats you get a little different story:

  • Both teams have the exact same power play percentage (18.8%).
  • Wichita has the better penalty kill percentage (84.9% vs 80.2%).
  • Allen is ranked #11 in goals per game (3.30), Wichita is ranked #25 (2.73).
  • Allen is ranked #24 in goals allowed (3.62), Wichita is ranked #16 (3.28).
  • Allen’s best period has been the third (41 goals for, 40 goals against), Wichita’s worst period has been the third (31 goals for, 45 goals against).

–  Despite having one of the worst points percentages in the league (#26), Wichita has the third best team save percentage in the ECHL (.912) compared to Allen’s .898. The Thunder top goalie, Evan Buitenhuis, has been a workhorse. He leads the ECHL in games with 29 (six more than any other goalie). He has played 1641 minutes (265 more than #2) and has 903 saves (213 more than #2). Despite Wichita’s poor record, Buitenhuis has a save percentage of .919. He plays almost every game including 15 games straight at the start of the season. His number of games, minutes and saves would be even higher but he missed eight games when he was loaned to the AHL.

– Allen has used six different goalies this season with Hayden Lavigne starting 15 games and Antoine Bibeau starting 10.

– None of the nine games Allen and Wichita have played this season have gone to overtime. If the game goes to overtime tonight it will be a chance for one of these teams to win an overtime game. Allen is 0-4 in games decided in the seven minute 3-on-3 overtime period and Wichita is 0-5.

COACH’S CORNER WITH STEVE MARTINSON

“We will be a player short tonight.”

“Jake Kearley should arrive around 1:30 this afternoon and will be in the lineup tonight.”

“I expect Zach Hall to return to the lineup tonight.”

“Hayden Lavigne will get the start in goal.”

“I released goalie Chase Perry yesterday because I couldn’t keep three goalies with all of our injuries without putting another player on injured reserve. Perry played really well in his one start for us but after talking to our goalie coach I made the decision to release Perry.”

“I don’t expect to get any players back from Europe before the February 15 deadline. Our players from last year are all doing well and enjoying playing overseas, plus they would have to take a pay cut if they returned.”

“Jeremy Yablonski spent some time on the ice before practice working with some players on fighting technique. Fighting is a skill and Yablonski is an excellent teacher of this skill. The game has changed and players today have to be more than a fighter. More fights happen today because a player makes a big check and is challenged.”

OTHER COMMENTS

– Who were the top goal scorers for Allen in the month of January (15 games)? Here are the top five with plus/minus for the month in parenthesis:

  • 9 goals (+6) – Chad Costello
  • 6 goals (+11) – Branden Troock
  • 5 goals (+5) – Jack Combs
  • 5 goals (+4) – Spencer Asuchak
  • 5 goals (-1) – Jackson Leppard

– Kansas City beat Tulsa at home last night in the only game scheduled in the ECHL. Kansas City is just behind Allen in the standings (.476 vs .527). Tulsa is just ahead of the Americans at .551. Tulsa is idle tonight so Allen can move into fourth place and a playoff spot with a win over Wichita. Allen’s points percentage with a win will be .554.

– There are seven games on the ECHL schedule tonight. The only other Mountain Division team in action is Idaho, who hosts Jacksonville. Here is the ECHL Today with game previews:  https://www.echl.com/en/news/2022/2/echl-today-feb-2

DID YOU KNOW: Notice Allen is the only ECHL team with three players (Costello, Combs, Asuchak) on the list below and they are all playing on the same line right now. They are also the top three in points for the Americans. Maybe they should call them the “Century Line” not because they are the three oldest players on the team but because they are in the 100 goal club.

Kansas City’s Darik Angeli scored his 100th ECHL goal last night, joining an exclusive club of 16 current ECHL players with 100 career goals. Here is the ECHL 100 career goals club:244: Justin Taylor, Kalamazoo196: Adam Pleskach, Tulsa180: Michael Pelech, Atlanta174: Shawn Szydlowski, Fort Wayne164: Chad Costello, Allen152: John McCarron, Florida139: Andrew Cherniwchan, South Carolina122: Derek Nesbitt, Atlanta120: Jack Combs, Allen120: Kyle Bonis, Toledo114: Spencer Asuchak, Allen113: Justin, Cincinnati110: Jesse Schultz, Cincinnati110: Spencer Watson, Indy100: Olivier Archambault, Trois Rivières100: Darik Angeli, Kansas City

The post Allen vs Wichita Preview, Coach’s Corner, Allen’s Top January Goals Scorers, ECHL Century Club Members and More appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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