I attended practice yesterday to get an update on the Allen Americans roster. It seems like every day there are roster changes and yesterday was no exception. Here is a status on the roster from my observations at practice and a discussion with coach Martinson:
– Kolten Olynek has been released. He played 19 games with Allen and had three points (0G, 3A). Olynek got caught up in a numbers game as the roster had to be trimmed.
– Ryan Lohin was recalled by Charlotte yesterday. Just like when Nolan Kneen was returned to Allen for the series in Cincinnati, the expectation was Lohin would be in Allen for more than two games. When Lohin arrived in Allen (March 3) he had played just one game for Charlotte since January 2 and was coming off an injury. In his two games with the Americans, Lohin had one assist. The Checkers have a game on Thursday so maybe Lohin will be in the lineup.
– Tyler Poulsen was at practice wearing the yellow no contact jersey. Tyler hasn’t played since early February when he was sidelined with an injury. Tyler wasn’t allowed to skate while he was out so conditioning will dictate his return. It is possible he could return before the end of the weekend.
– Zach Hall was also wearing a yellow no contact jersey but was a full participant in practice yesterday and looked like he is ready to play. Hall has been out of the lineup since February 16. He is listed as day to day so you could see him anytime.
– D-Jay Jerome was the third player in a no contact yellow jersey who also was a full participant in practice. Per coach Martinson, he will be available this week. Jerome last played in the Cincinnati series (February 27).
– Chad Butcher was practicing without the yellow jersey so he looks like he is ready to come back into the lineup, but a final decision won’t be made until today.
– Newly acquired defenseman Nick Albano was at practice and will be ready to go. He didn’t have a number assigned at practice but it looks like he will be wearing #5.
– Branden Troock, Ben Carroll and Andrew Jarvis were not at practice. Per coach Martinson, the team has not gotten the results of Troock’s MRI so the extent of his injury is still unknown.
– Martinson is confident despite all of the roster pluses, minuses and maybes, he will have a full lineup for the games this week.
– Charlotte’s roster still shows 12 defensemen and that number could increase as NHL and AHL teams are starting to sign a lot college players now that the college seasons are coming to an end. Between acquiring college players and injured players returning to the lineup in Charlotte, you have to expect it won’t be long before Nolan Kneen is returned to Allen.
– Here is the latest AHL update on teams not in playoff positions. As I wrote last week a big factor in ECHL playoff success is the help teams get from their AHL affiliates. It is no secret if a team’s AHL affiliate doesn’t make the playoffs it can be a big help in getting players sent to the ECHL. Here are the AHL teams currently not in a playoff position with their ECHL affiliate. The ECHL team’s rank in their division is in parenthesis (top four make the playoffs).
- Bridgeport Islanders – Worcester (3rd)
- Lehigh Valley Phantoms – Reading (1st)
- Syracuse Crunch – Orlando (4th)
- Cleveland Monsters – Kalamazoo (6th)
- Iowa Wild – Iowa (5th)
- Texas Stars – Idaho (3rd)
- Tuscon Roadrunners – Rapid City (2nd)
- San Jose Barracuda – Orlando (4th)
– Allen has 10 home games remaining with three of them this week. The Americans finish the season with six of their last eight games at home, including the final three (April 13,14,16) against Iowa. I am sure many Allen fans saw finishing the season against an expansion team that was mired in last place for much of the early part of the season as a big advantage. Turns out Iowa is now one of the hottest teams in the ECHL, with a record on 9-1-0-0 over the last 10 games.
– Chad Costello continues to be in the thick of the ECHL points race. Four players have reached the 60 point plateau:
- 63 points (20G, 43A) – TJ Hensick, Toledo
- 63 points (15G, 48A) – Will Grader, Fort Wayne
- 62 points (24G, 38A) – Chad Costello, Allen
- 60 points (25G, 35A) – Blake Winiecki, Florida
– Allen gave up seven goals in the loss to Tulsa on Saturday, tied for the most goals allowed all season. That game was an aberration and disguises just how good the Americans have been in allowing goals over the last six weeks. Here are the goals allowed by the Americans over the last 19 games with the record for those games:7 goals: 0-1-0-05 goals: 0-0-1-04 goals: 1-2-1-03 goals: 1-4-0-02 goals: 4-1-0-01 goal: 3-0-0-0Maybe the most telling of these stats is the Americans have lost four of five games when allowing three goals. By the way, the lone win when allowing three goals was a 4-3 overtime win.DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL stats post today is about the best teams over a 10 game period right now. These are the teams playing well as the season winds down. Allen’s record over the last 10 games is 4-5-1-0. There are 14 ECHL teams with more than four wins in the last 10 games and and just six teams with fewer than four wins. The Americans will clearly have to pick up the pace over the next 10 games if they have any hopes of making the playoffs.Having a points percentage of .800 or more over a 10 game period is great anytime of the season, but to accomplish that at this time of the season is especially satisfying. Here are the ECHL teams playing great down the stretch. Playoff contenders for sure. Best points percentages and records over the last 10 games:.950: Reading, 9-0-0-1.900: Atlanta , 9-1-0-0.900: Iowa, 9-1-0-0.800: Florida , 8-2-0-0.800: Newfoundland, 8-2-0-0