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The Challenges of the November Schedule, Comparing Allen’s Start to Last Season, Chad Costello’s Staff, Top ECHL Scorers and More

Tuesday, November 1st
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As the Allen Americans prepare for the one game they have this week, which will be the fourth straight game against Wichita, the rest of the month of November has to be on their minds. Starting on November 9th, Allen will play nine games in 18 days. Starting with three home games against Utah (9th, 11th, 12th), the Americans will then travel to Cincinnati (16th, 18th), Fort Wayne (19th) and Idaho (23rd, 25th, 26th). It will be a grueling stretch for Allen who will not have Spencer Asuchak or Mikael Robidoux available for any of these games.

–  November will be a big challenge for the Americans. They are down to 20 players and that includes Stephen Baylis who has yet to play a game. Baylis told me he hopes to be in the lineup on Friday in Wichita. Allen needs to make an addition to the roster either by a player assignment from Ottawa or signing a player. Spencer Asuchak was placed on IR yesterday, so that will free up salary cap money that could be used to add a player to the roster.

– In addition to likely being short on players, November will be a challenge because five of the six games on the upcoming road trip will be against Cincinnati and Idaho, who currently lead their divisions. Cincinnati is still undefeated (4-0) and Idaho is (3-1). Both teams are in the top five in points percentage in the league.

– It’s very early in the season but some trends appear to be emerging about the 2022-23 Allen team. Here is where Allen currently ranks on some team stats compared to where they ended last season. The first number is this season (after four games), the second number is for the entire 2021-22 season:

  • Average Penalty Minutes – 3rd (24.00) vs 11th (13.89)
  • Power Play Percentage – 15th (20.0%) vs 16th (18.5%)
  • Penalty Kill Percentage – 17th (78.3%) vs 14th (80.4%)
  • Average Goals for Per Game – 19th (2.75) vs 9th (3.33)
  • Average Goals Against Per Game – 7th (2.50) vs 20th (3.39)
  • Average Shots for Per Game – 21st (27.0) vs 27th (28.2)
  • Average Shots Against Per Game – 6th (26.0) vs 26th (35.3)
  • Team Shooting Percentage – 9.6% vs 11.7%
  • Team GAA – 2.49 vs 3.33
  • Team Save Percentage – .904 vs .904
  • Attendance: 14th (4797) vs 18th (3220)

– It is difficult to draw any conclusions from the stats above given it is so early in the season, but most encouraging is Allen is allowing 10 fewer shots per game so far this season compared last season when Allen finished dead last in this category.

The Americans are averaging twice as many penalty minutes per game this season which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The concern is Allen is taking an average of 8.25 minor penalties per game and playing shorthanded and average of 5.75 time per game, which is one of the highest averages in the league. Last season Allen averaged 4.31 minor penalties per game and played shorthanded an average of just 3.54 times per game. Reducing stick penalties and undisciplined penalties has to be a goal for the Americans going forward.

–  Chad Costello has put together an amazing staff for the 2022-23 season. At the ECHL level with tight budgets, it is not easy to find coaches willing to help. Allen has been lucky to find talented coaches to supplement the full-time hockey operations staff. Here is my unofficial list of the Allen Americans hockey operation staff. Those marked with an asterisk are full time and at every practice:

  • Chad Costello* – Head Coach and General Manager
  • Aaron Gens* – Assistant Coach
  • Gary Steffes – Mental Performance and Player Development Coach
  • Chris Meriney – Assistant Coach and Manager of Hockey Administration
  • Chris Johansen – Goalie Coach
  • Jordan Dutton* – Head Athletic Trainer
  • Tony Deyzner* – Head Equipment Manager

Very few ECHL teams have the depth and breadth of coaches to help their players, whether they are rookies or veterans. Having a staff like this is also a great recruiting tool for Chad Costello.

OTHER COMMENTS

– The ranks of the undefeated teams will definitely be reduced this week. If it doesn’t happen this morning (10:30 EDT) when winless Fort Wayne (0-2-1-1) visits Cincinnati (4-0-0-0) for a student field trip game, it will happen tomorrow. The two 5-0-0-0 ECHL teams will meet on Wednesday (7:05 pm EDT) when Newfoundland visits Worcester.

– Allen’s record this season now stands at 2-2-0-0 which is an improvement from last season when the Americans started 1-1-2-0. Coincidentally, Allen’s fifth game this season will be the same and last season, at Wichita. Last year the Americans won 3-1 with Kris Myllari scoring the game winning goal.

– In addition to the Fort Wayne at Cincinnati day game, two other games are scheduled tonight, Greenville is at Atlanta and Utah visits Kansas City. Here is the ECHL Today with previews:  https://www.echl.com/en/news/2022/11/echl-today-nov-1

DID YOU KNOW: Only two weeks into the season, but some early candidates for ECHL scoring champion. Players averaging 1.75 or more points per game (minimum 4 games played):2.25 – Alex Wideman, Indy2.20 – Isaac Johnson, Newfoundland2.00 – Zach O’Brien, Newfoundland2.00 – Ryan Dmowski, Idaho1.75 – Matt Berry, Cincinnati1.75 – Louie Caporusso, Cincinnati1.75 – Pat Guay, Savannah1.75 – Mitchell Hoelscher, Indy1.75 – Carter Turnbull, South Carolina

The post The Challenges of the November Schedule, Comparing Allen’s Start to Last Season, Chad Costello’s Staff, Top ECHL Scorers and More appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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