With the ECHL All-Star game taking place tonight (more on that later) it will be a quiet week for most ECHL teams. The official All-Star break is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but every team handles the break differently because of the schedule. Eight teams have a regular season game today (Jacksonville at Atlanta, Maine at Reading, Rapid City at Kansas City and Idaho at Utah. There are no games scheduled tomorrow (17th), one game scheduled on Wednesday (18th) and one game on Thursday (19th). Each team will give the players the time off required by the All-Star break but at different times because of game and travel conflicts. The ECHL is not shutdown like the AHL which has no games scheduled during their All-Star break. The are no AHL games scheduled from February 5 through the 9th. The All-Star game takes place on February 5 (skills competition) and February 6 (All-Star Game.).
– What does this all mean for the Allen Americans this week? The team is taking a break after the win in Wichita on Saturday. Practice will resume on Wednesday and the team will practice Thursday morning before they leave for Wichita in the afternoon. Allen plays Wichita Friday night, is off Saturday night and plays in Kansas City Sunday afternoon (2:05 pm).
– Allen has only two games this week while all of the teams around the Americans in the standings (Utah, Tulsa, Kansas City, Rapid City) will play three games this week. Makes the two road games all the more important for Allen.
– Yesterday I was looking ahead at the Allen schedule for February, and it will be unique for sure. It will also allow Allen fans to see the Kelly Cup champions from the last two seasons. Here are the facts:
- Allen will play 12 games in February.
- Allen will play only 3 teams and just one Mountain Division team the entire month.
- Every team Allen plays will be a three-game series.
- Allen plays Utah six times, all on the road.
- Allen plays two non-division teams in back-to-back weeks at home.
- The month starts and finishes with road trips to Utah.
- The middle two weeks Allen plays Fort Wayne and Florida at home.
ECHL ALL-STAR GAME
– Liam Finlay is off to the All-Star game which takes place tonight in Norfolk. I know it is difficult to find teams to host the All-Star Classic because it takes a lot of time and effort to pull it off and can be very expensive for the host team. It is great that Norfolk stepped up but unfortunate the team is on pace to have the worst season in ECHL history. The Admiral’s record is 6-27-1-2. The format for the game tonight includes four teams of which two of the teams will be players from Norfolk. Here are the details about the game.
– The ECHL All-Star game tonight (7:00 pm EST) will be televised on the NHL Network and streamed on FloHockey. The game will feature four teams (two made up of Norfolk players and one each from the Eastern and Western Conference) competing in a multiple round 3-on-3 running time tournament.– The first round will be round-robin style, with each team competing against the others in six consecutive eight-minute running clock games. All four teams will advance to the second round and will be re-seeded based on each team’s total score. The second round will feature two eight-minute running clock games with the #1 vs. #4 seeds and the #2 vs. #3 seeds. The top two highest-scoring teams after Round 1 and Round 2 will meet in the third round for the final match-up. The finals will feature the #1 vs. #2 seed in a 10-minute running clock game to determine the tournament champion.– A skills competition will take place between rounds with results counting towards cumulative score. The skills competition will feature three events: Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot and Accuracy Shooting. Each competition will feature one player from each team, with the winning player earning points for his team.
– As I wrote yesterday the 3-on-3 format should fit Liam Finlay’s style of play very well. I haven’t heard if he will be in the skills competition. Only three players from each team will be in the skills competition, one for each event.
DID YOU KNOW: Was asked yesterday who Allen’s prior All-Star game participants were. Here are the Allen players that have participated in the ECHL All-Star game since the Americans joined the league in 2014-15:
- 2023 – Liam Finlay*
- 2022 – Gavin Gould*
- 2021 – Game not held
- 2020 – Tyler Sheehy*
- 2019 – Alex Breton*
- 2018 – David Makowski
- 2017 – Chad Costello
- 2016 – Game not held
- 2015 – Jack Combs was selected but left for Europe and was replaced by a familiar name from the Alaska Aces, Olivier Archambault.