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Week Ahead for the Allen Americans, Former Allen Players in Final Four in EIHL (Great Britain), Oldest ECHL Players Leading Team in Points and More

Monday, April 25th
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It is a critical week for the Allen Americans playoff hopes, with home games on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday (all 7:05 pm CDT starts) against Rapid City. How important is this week? By the end of the week Allen could be headed to round two of the playoffs, headed to the golf course or headed back to Rapid City for games six and seven.

–  The question that will be answered this week is, can the Americans play up to their ability or will they underperform. Allen has been in playoff mode the last five games. Those five games include the final three games of the regular season against Iowa (when making the playoffs was in doubt) and the first two playoff games in Rapid City. Allen’s record in those five games was 3-2-0-0, with two of the wins coming in overtime.

– Unfortunately, Allen played up to its capability in just one of the last five games even though the Americans won three of the five. The one good game was the final game of the season against Iowa when the playoffs were literally on the line. Here are a couple of sentences from the blog after that big win against Iowa:

The most familiar refrain heard from coaches and fans after the Allen Americans defeated the Iowa Heartlanders 6-3 last night to qualify for the Kelly Cup playoffs was, “It’s nice to see the old Allen Americans tonight.” What made the difference was Allen came out hitting and finishing its checks from the opening puck drop. The Americans avoided turnovers, got the puck in deep when there wasn’t a play at the blue line and the forecheck was as good as it has been all season.

– There is no way to sugarcoat the fact that Allen is lucky to be back home for three games with the series tied 1-1. When you win a game in overtime after giving up 63 shots and eight power plays you are definitely beating the odds.

– Here are the cumulative stats from the first two playoff games. The rank among the 16 playoff teams is in parenthesis:

  • Goals Scored (average per game)
  • 3.00 – Rapid City (8th)
  • 3.00 – Allen (8th)
  • Goals Allowed (average per game)
  • 3.00 – Rapid City (6th)
  • 3.00 – Allen (6th)
  • Shots For (average per game)
  • 52.50 – Rapid City (1st)
  • 32.50 – Allen (7th)
  • Shots Against (average per game)
  • 32.50 – Rapid City (8th)
  • 52.50 – Allen (16th)
  • Shooting Percentage (goals as a percent of total shots)
  • 9.2% – Allen (9th)
  • 5.7% – Rapid City (14th)
  • Power Play Percentage
  • 9.1% – Rapid City (9th)
  • 0.0% – Allen (16th)
  • Penalty Kill Percentage
  • 100.0% – Rapid City (1st)
  • 90.9% – Allen (7th)
  • Plus/Minus
  • -5 – Rapid City (11th)
  • +5 – Allen (7th)
  • Save Percentage
  • .908 – Rapid City (7th)
  • .943 – Allen (3rd)

– The most glaring stat over the last five games is shots. Allen was outshot in those five games by a total of 225-137. In the two games in Rapid City the Americans were outshot 105-65.

– Statistics aside it is clear the Americans have a very talented team that is capable of  winning this series, if they play up to their potential. Consistency has been an issue for much of the season but the team has played well at home recently. Allen’s record in its last 10 home games is 7-2-1-0.

– The team will have a light practice today and coach Martinson will likely have most if not all of the playoff roster participate. Several players are still listed as day to day, but Allen could have the healthiest lineup in months available for the game tomorrow night and certainly by the weekend.

OTHER COMMENTS

– The European leagues are winding down with some championships all ready decided. The most popular league for former Allen players is the EIHL in Great Britain. Playing this season in the EIHL are former Allen players Dyson Stevenson, Matt Register, Colton Yellow Horn, Josh Lammon, Scott Conway, Tanner Eberle, Jared VanWormer, Dallas Ehrhardt, Greg Chase, Braylon Shmyr, Sam Ruopp, Alex Ranger and Ben Wilson.

The EIHL championship will be decided this weekend. The EIHL playoffs are very different than the ECHL. The first round is just two games with total goals being the tiebreaker. The semi-finals and finals are just one game and are played in one facility, always in Nottingham. This Saturday it will be Belfast Giants vs Dundee Stars in one semi-final game and the Cardiff Devils vs Guilford Flames in the other. The two winners will play Sunday, called the grand final, for the championship.

There are Allen connections on three of the four semi-final teams. In the first semifinal game, Scott Conway and Sam Ruopp play for Belfast vs Dundee who has Alex Ranger and Charlie Combs (Jack’s brother).

In the second semi-final game, Cardiff has Josh Lammon and Matt Register on the team vs Guilford with no Allen connections.

– Newfoundland has lived up to its billing in the first two games of the playoffs. With a team made up of mostly NHL/AHL contracted players the Growlers beat Trois-Riviéres 7-4 and 6-2. Reading is up 2-0 over Maine in the other North Division series. It looks like a North Division final pitting the #2 and #3 teams in the league in points percentage. One of the best teams in the league will get eliminated in the second round.

– The tough luck story of the playoffs is Atlanta who is the #2 seed in the South Division. The Gladiators have to play the first four games of its series with Jacksonville on the road because of arena availability and the new rules on when the first round games must be played. Atlanta not only loses home ice advantage to Jacksonville, the Gladiators won’t get a home game until game five. Jacksonville leads the series 2-0 with two more home games on Wednesday and Thursday.

– The other team in trouble is Fort Wayne. The Komets are the #2 seed in the Central Division, but trail the #3 seed Wheeling 2-0 after losing twice at home over the weekend. The series now moves to Wheeling for games on Wednesday Friday and Saturday. The defending Kelly Cup champions will need a comeback similar to the comeback in Allen last season.

DID YOU KNOW: Six ECHL players born in the 1980’s led their team in points this season. Here are the oldest players leading their ECHL team in points:39 years, 209 days – Jesse Schultz, Cincinnati36 years, 136 days – T.J. Hensick, Toledo35 years, 349 days – Jordan Smotherman, Worcester35 years, 277 days – Chad Costello, Allen33 years, 83 days – Shane Harper, Adirondack33 years, 5 days – Andrew Cherniwchan, South Carolina

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
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Friday, October 25th
Kansas City Mavericks @ Allen Americans
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM CDT
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Saturday, October 26th
Kansas City Mavericks @ Allen Americans
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Wednesday, October 30th
Wichita Thunder @ Allen Americans
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