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Allen vs Wichita Game Preview, Finlay Returns, Perry Gets First Start, Historical Fighting Stats, Player’s View of Veterans, Defensemen Used Stats and More

Friday, January 13th
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It is game day for the Allen Americans and an opportunity to build on the win against Tulsa on Wednesday. The Americans are in Wichita to take on the Thunder tonight and tomorrow night.

– The last time these teams played (New Year’s Eve) it was a 7-3 loss for the Americans at home. The roster that will take on Wichita this weekend is quite different. Aiden Brown (injured reserve), Mikael Robidoux (suspended), Lord Anthony Grissom (traded) and Logan Flodell (reassigned) all played in the NYE game. Players that did not play on NYE who will play tonight include Colton Saucerman and Liam Finlay who were injured and players that have been added to the roster recently, Chase Perry (goalie), Xavier Bernard (defenseman) and Grant Hebert (forward).

– Given where Allen and Wichita are in the Mountain Division standings the Americans have fared pretty well against the Thunder. Allen’s overall record is 12-19-1-0 (.391) which places them in last place. Wichita’s overall record is 20-11-3-0 (.632), good enough for second place in the division. Head-to-head against the Thunder, Allen is 4-5-0-0 including 3-3-0-0 at home and 1-2-0-0 in Wichita.

– In its last 10 games Allen is 5-5-0-0, Wichita is 7-2-1-0. Both played Tulsa in their last game. Allen beat the Oilers 5-3 at home on Wednesday. Wichita played Tulsa on the road last Sunday and beat the Oilers 3-2 in a shootout.

– Given where Allen and Wichita are in the standings it is no surprise the stats favor the Thunder. Wichita scores more goals (3.3 vs 2.9) and allows fewer (2.9 vs 3.8). Wichita has the better power play (24.2% vs 19.7%) and penalty kill (83.1% vs 80.7%). I don’t think these stats mean much with the roster taking the ice tonight.

– Adding Finlay’s offense to a lineup with Hargrove (7 goals in 6 games), Combs (13 points in last nine games) and Crone (17 points in last 11 games) should give the Americans a boost. Here is the lineup for tonight:

  • Crone – Hargrove – Pochiro
  • Combs – Butcher – Finlay
  • Leppard – Hebert – Young
  • Bethune (10th forward)
  • Myllari – Saucerman
  • Massicotte – Bernard
  • Skelly – Gagnon
  • Perry – Peressini (backup)

OTHER COMMENTS

– Coach Costello in his post-game press conference on Wednesday talked about how the Mountain Division is not as tough as it was in years past. It was always known as the toughest division in the ECHL. In fighting majors this season the seven Mountain Division teams are ranked #7, #9, #13, #16, #21, #22 and #27. It is a far cry from past years when the division was #1, #2 and #4 (2015-16) and #1, #2 and #3 (2018-19). In Allen’s first Kelly Cup season (2014-15) the Americans had 63 fighting majors which was only good enough for #4 in the division. Colorado was #1 with 85 fighting majors. The following year when Allen won its second Kelly Cup it finished #2 in the league with 59 fights.

– Last season Iowa and Norfolk tied for #1 in fighting majors with 50. Just ten years ago in 2012-13, 50 fights would have been ranked #17.

– Yesterday I included my ECHL Stats post about veterans in the ECHL posing the question if the role of veterans is changing, since there are so few vets on rosters. Only four teams have a full complement of the four veterans allowed. Most ECHL teams (17 of 28) have two or fewer vets on the roster including five with none. I received a lot of feedback on the post including one from long time ECHL player Derek Nesbitt, who played in 615 ECHL games over 11 seasons and also played in 372 AHL games. His resume includes a Kelly Cup, and he was the long-time captain in Atlanta before he retired last season to become an assistant coach in Atlanta. Nesbitt’s answer to my question on the role of veterans in the ECHL captures what I have seen in the 10 years of writing this blog including four Allen championships. I quote Derek Nesbitt, “It (role of vets) better not be changing. Vets are a must for these teams. The right ones provide so much for your room (locker room) both on and off the ice.”

– All seven Mountain Division teams are in action tonight so there will be movement in the standings. In addition to Allen at Wichita, Rapid City is at Tulsa, Utah is at Idaho and Iowa visits Kansas City. Here is the ECHL Today with a preview of these games and all of the other ECHL games tonight. All 28 teams are in action including one game (Savannah at South Carolina) which will start in the second period with the score tied 0-0. It is the resumption of a game on December 17 that was suspended after the first period due to a “Zamboni malfunction.” https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/1/echl-today-jan-13

DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about the number of defensemen used by teams thus far. Allen is right at the league average of 11, but that includes Jared Bethune who has played mostly forward this season.

The ECHL has used 287 defensemen thus far in 2022-23 and it is less than halfway through the season. In the entire 2021-22 season the ECHL used 375 defensemen.Average defensemen used per team this season is 11, ranging from 8-17. Here are teams that have used the most and fewest defensemen:Most17 – Fort Wayne15 – Norfolk15 – SavannahFewest8 – Rapid City9 – Florida9 – Idaho9 – Jacksonville9 – Kansas City9 – MaineIt is no coincidence all the teams on the fewest list are currently in a playoff position and all those on the most list are currently out of playoff positions.

The post Allen vs Wichita Game Preview, Finlay Returns, Perry Gets First Start, Historical Fighting Stats, Player’s View of Veterans, Defensemen Used Stats and More appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
PUCKS N' PAWS/BISCUIT'S BIRTHDAY BASH
Sunday, March 3rd
PUCKS N' PAWS/BISCUIT'S BIRTHDAY BASH
Puck Drops:
2:10 PM CST
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
Wichita Thunder
WIC Wichita Thunder
at
Allen Americans
ALN Allen Americans
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
RED OUT NIGHT (Wear Red)
Friday, March 8th
RED OUT NIGHT (Wear Red)
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM CST
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
Kansas City Mavericks
KC Kansas City Mavericks
at
Allen Americans
ALN Allen Americans
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
TOP GUN NIGHT
Saturday, March 9th
TOP GUN NIGHT
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM CST
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
Kansas City Mavericks
KC Kansas City Mavericks
at
Allen Americans
ALN Allen Americans
Credit Union of Texas Event Center

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