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Three Teams Battling for Two Playoff Spots – The Details and a Rare Feat Accomplished Twice in 2021-22

Tuesday, March 22nd
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There was only one game in the ECHL yesterday and it turned out to be helpful to the Allen Americans. Tulsa lost to Toledo (2-1) and gave the Americans a little breathing room in the battle for a playoff spot in the Mountain Division. Here is the latest points percentage for the three teams vying for two playoff spots.

  • .533 – Idaho  (4 wins above .500)
  • .526 – Allen  (3 wins above .500)
  • .516 – Tulsa  (2 wins above .500)

– Allen is preparing for what will certainly be a tough three games in three days series. The Americans will be on the road against the #1 team in the ECHL (Toledo), with a .703 points percentage. The ECHL regular season is quickly winding down and it is crunch time for the three teams trying to claim one of the final two playoff spots. Let’s take a look at the schedule for Allen, Idaho and Tulsa:

ALLEN (14 games remaining)

  • March 25  at Toledo
  • March 26  at Toledo
  • March 27  at Toledo
  • March 30  Kansas City
  • April 1      at Kansas City
  • April 2      at Tulsa
  • April 3      Tulsa
  • April 6      Kansas City
  • April 8      Kansas City
  • April 9      at Wichita
  • April 10    at Wichita
  • April 13    Iowa
  • April 15    Iowa
  • April 16    Iowa

IDAHO (11 games remaining)

  • March 23  Wichita
  • March 25  Wichita
  • March 26  Wichita
  • March 30  at Florida
  • April 1      at Florida
  • April 2      at Florida
  • April 6      Utah
  • April 8      Utah
  • April 9      Utah
  • April 15    at Utah
  • April 16    at Utah

TULSA (11 games remaining)

  • March 23  at Utah
  • March 25  at Utah
  • March 26  at Utah
  • April 1      Wichita
  • April 2      Allen
  • April 3      at Allen
  • April 6      at Wichita
  • April 8      Wichita
  • April 13    at Rapid City
  • April 15    at Rapid City
  • April 16    at Rapid City

– There are lots of ways to slice and dice the remaining schedules. Here are a few that stick out to me:

  • Tulsa plays eight of its remaining 11 games on the road including five of the last six.
  • Allen’s remaining schedule is evenly split, seven road games and seven home games, but the Americans have six of the last eight games at home.
  • Idaho plays six of its remaining 11 games at home. The Steelheads close out the season with three games on the road in Florida (.642) and then five straight games against Utah (3H, 2A). Utah is #1 in the Mountain Division
  • All of Tulsa’s remaining games are against Mountain Division teams, but the Oilers have to travel to #1 Utah for three games this week and close out the season with three games at #2 Rapid City.
  • Wichita has a chance to play the spoiler as the only team that will play Allen, Idaho and Tulsa down the stretch.

– Looking at the schedules above you have to like Allen’s chances. The Americans have three games in hand over Idaho and Tulsa so more opportunity to improve their points percentage. After this week, Allen will play its final 11 games against teams with a lower points percentage than the Americans compared to three of 11 for Idaho and Tulsa.

– Allen will undoubtedly have the healthiest lineup in months going into the Toledo series this weekend. Coach Martinson will have plenty of options.

– The Allen power play was 0-5 on Sunday against Wichita, but 2-3 on Friday in Wichita. The two power play goals on Friday was the first time the Americans had two power play goals in a game since January 16. In three of Allen’s last five games they have not scored on the power play. It talking to coach Martinson after the game on Sunday, he said he will be making some changes on power play time.

– With 14 games remaining, only two players have played in all 58 Allen games. Kris Myllari and Chad Costello.

– The NHL trade deadline was yesterday and with all of the movement it looks like Charlotte ended up with some additional forwards. The Checker’s roster now shows 19 forwards. I know there are some injuries among the group but by any measure that is a lot of forwards. Since Ryan Lohin was recalled to Charlotte (March 3) he has played in just one game and since January 20 he has played in just two. With the added forwards from the NHL trade deadline, maybe Charlotte will send Lohin back to Allen to get some playing time.

DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about ECHL players scoring five goals in a game. That hasn’t happened for an Allen player since the team joined the league in 2014. Here are the three players with four goals in a game since the Americans joined the ECHL:

  • Zach Pochiro – January 11, 2019   (Allen beat Wichita 7-3)
  • Greger Hanson – February 10, 2017  (Allen beat Rapid City 9-3)
  • Jack Combs – December 10, 2014   (Allen beat Rapid City 5-3)

Scoring five goals in a single game is a rarity but has happened twice this season. Here is a list of the most recent players to score five goals in a single game. One player is on the list twice. One team is on the list three times. The most recent five goal scorer accomplished the feat in his second game after being traded.Ryan Dmowski, Idaho,  March 19, 2022Lewis Zerter-Gossage, Maine,  November 12, 2021Dane Walters, Toledo,  April 8, 2017Evan Rankin, Toledo,  April 2, 2016Shawn Szydlowski, Fort Wayne,  March 21, 2015Kyle Kreamer, Ontario,  January 3, 2014Evan Rankin, Toledo,  January 17, 2010Chase Fitzpatrick,  Dayton, November 3, 2007

The post Three Teams Battling for Two Playoff Spots – The Details and a Rare Feat Accomplished Twice in 2021-22 appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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