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Allen Americans President Mike Waddell Resigns, Allen VS Kansas City Preview, Coach’s Corner With Steve Martinson and Do High PIMS Lead to the Kelly Cup

Wednesday, April 6th
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Before I talk about the game tonight, if you haven’t heard, Mike Waddell, has resigned as President of the Allen Americans to take a position as Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs for Campbell University. Campbell University is a private university in Buies Creek, North Carolina with a student enrollment of just over 6000. Mike came to Allen in March of 2020. Here is the press release on Waddell’s hiring from Campbell University: https://gocamels.com/news/2022/4/5/general-mike-waddell-named-senior-associate-a-d.aspx

I had a chance to ask Mike Waddell why and when he is leaving Allen. Here is what he had to say:

“It is pretty simple, I get to go home and work closer to my family.”

“We’ve got great leadership in place with Jonny Mydra and Tommy Daniels, who are poised to take this organization forward. We have a new lease signed to keep hockey in Allen for another five years. We have managed two years of pandemic hockey with a host of engagement restrictions and will emerge with a host of new alliances and partners who are ready to get after it in what should be a “normal” 2022-23 season. Our schedule for next season is almost done, and will have more Friday and Saturday games than we have had the last three seasons and we have fresh opponents coming to Allen which is great for the fans. It looks like one-third of our game days next season will be doubleheaders with Military Vet/College or Police/Fire hockey, and we already have a promo schedule in place that will be announced along with the schedule.”

“It has been an honor to work with Steve, our front office, and with the other clubs around the ECHL. This league is all about developing players and staff to move on and advance in their careers. Our fans are loyal and passionate and it will be exciting to see the plan for 2022-23 forward come together and watching Allen Americans Hockey continue to move forward.”

“I will be in Allen until April 16 and part time until the end of the month.”

GAME DAY

– It somehow seems appropriate given this crazy season, the Allen Americans will have to claw and scratch again just to put a full lineup on the ice for a critical game with a playoff position on the line. The Americans start another four games in five days tonight, taking on the Kansas City Mavericks at the CUTX Event Center.

– Allen will once again play with five defensemen, as Darian Skeoch serves the third game of his three game suspension. Three defensemen are out of the lineup with injuries (Roy, Kearley, Jarvis). Jared Bethune has been an unsung hero this season going back and forth from the frontline to the blueline. Bethune is the Leatherman tool or Swiss Army knife of the team doing whatever is asked to help the team. Players like that are invaluable.

– Allen suffered a big blow on Sunday when Chad Costello missed his first game ever for the Allen Americans after 340 straight starts. Costello will also miss the game tonight. His injury is still being assessed to see how long he will be out.

– In the military they have “sick call” every morning where soldiers report for medical attention. With all of the injuries and illness, coach Martinson won’t know who is in or out tonight until later this morning when he has his sick call. If most of the guys that have been sick can play, the Americans will be okay and will have 16 skaters.

COACH’S CORNER WITH STEVE MARTINSON

“I am hoping we have a full lineup tonight. With Skeoch still suspended, Jared Bethune will help out on defense.”

“Ryan Lohin will be back in the lineup tonight and I expect most of the guys that have been sick will play even if they are not at 100%.”

“Luke Peressini will get the start in goal.”

“I tried to take a focused look at our lack of shots on goal against teams like Tulsa. We have had games when our offensive zone puck possession time was the same or better than the opponent, but we were outshot two to one. It is not any one reason for this, it is a combination of missing the net, getting shots blocked and trying to do too much rather than pass and shoot.”

“We will have some different line combinations tonight and the power play will have a different look with Lohin back in the lineup and Colby McAuley’s return.”

PREVIEW

– The game tonight will be the 11th of the season between Allen ans Kansas City with one final game coming up on Friday. The Americans record against the Mavericks is 6-3-0-1, but Allen has won the last four.

– Here are some comparative stats between Allen and Kansas City:

  • Points Percentage – Allen .538, Kansas City .485
  • Record – Allen 31-26-7-1, Kansas City 29-31-5-2
  • Last 10 Games – Allen 6-3-1-0, Kansas City 2-43-1
  • Ave Goals For – Allen 3.3, Kansas City 2.9
  • Ave Goals Against – Allen 3.4, Kansas City 3.4

– Here are the stats from the 10 head to head games against Kansas City:

  • Goals – Allen leads 37-33
  • Shots – Kansas City leads 334-290
  • Power Play – Allen is 3-38 (7.9%), Kansas City is 7-41 (17.1%).
  • PIMS – Allen 224, Kansas City 180

– If you look at overall power play stats, Allen is ranked #19 at 17.8% and Kansas City is ranked #24 at 15.8%. Allen’s penalty kill is ranked #14 at 80.9% and Kansas City is ranked #17 at 79.4%.

– Allen’s penalty kill has been much improved recently. The Americans have allowed a power play goal in just two of the last eight games.

– Here are the keys for tonight and Friday against Kansas City:

  • A good starts is critical. Coming from behind has not been a strong suit for Allen this season. With a lead after the first period the Americans record is 12-3-2-1. When trailing after the first period their record is 3-12-2-0.
  • Take more shots, the team with the most shots has won seven of the 10 games this season.
  • Play with a lead and don’t fall behind in the second period. Allen is 16-0-1-1 with a second period lead, Kansas City is 17-1-2-0.
  • Maybe the most critical key to the game tonight for Allen is to score a power play goal and win the special teams battle. The Americans have scored more power play goals than Kansas City in just one of the 10 games this season.

OTHER COMMENTS

– When Allen signed on with Seattle as an affiliate it was known the Americans would not get much help since the Kraken didn’t field an AHL team this season. It has worked out to be even less help than envisioned. Seattle’s NHL/AHL contracted players have played a total of 29 games in Allen (Bibeau, Lohin, Henman). On the flip side, Allen contracted players have played 22 games in Charlotte. (Kneen, Asuchak).

– If you are a scoreboard watcher, today will be easy. Tulsa plays at Wichita in a game that starts at 10:30 AM CDT. Here is the ECHL Today with a preview of all 11 games on the schedule.  https://www.echl.com/en/news/2022/4/echl-today-april-6

DID YOU KNOW: From 2015 to 2018 the Kelly Cup Champs had 1644 (Allen), 1189 (Allen), 1415 (Colorado) and 1377 (Colorado) regular season penalty minutes (PIMS). That changed in 2019 when the champion (Newfoundland) had 786 PIMS. What happens this season? Will a high or low PIMS team win the Kelly Cup? Here are the current PIMS for the five teams that have already qualified for the playoffs. The teams rank is in parenthesis:585 – Reading (27th)706 – Toledo (25th)779 – Newfoundland (18th)988 – Atlanta (8th)999 – Florida (7th)Last season the Kelly Cup champion (Fort Wayne) only played 51 regular season games. Based on the Komets’ average PIMS per game that would be 1305 PIMS for a full 72 game season.

The post Allen Americans President Mike Waddell Resigns, Allen VS Kansas City Preview, Coach’s Corner With Steve Martinson and Do High PIMS Lead to the Kelly Cup appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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