A couple of big moves by Allen were announced yesterday as the Americans are bringing back two former players. Allen has signed Colby MacAuley and traded Jackson Leppard to South Carolina for Gavin Gould. Here is the Allen Americans press release with the details: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-trade-for-gould-sign-mcauley/
– Colby MacAuley returns to Allen for the fourth time in his career which started in his rookie season (2017-18) when he was under contract with Allen’s AHL affiliate at the time, the San Jose Barracuda. The following season MacAuley ended up in Orlando because the Americans lost their affiliation with San Jose. His second stint in Allen was in 2020-21 when he had signed with Idaho before the Steelheads opted out of the season. Idaho retained his rights, so he resigned with Idaho in 2021-22. His third stint in Allen was last season at the tail end of the season under some interesting circumstances. Here is what I wrote about his arrival in Allen last season. I wrote this on April 1, 2022, and some thought it was an April Fool’s joke:
“I will call this the “Hail Mary” trade or Martinson pulling a rabbit out of a hat. This story starts when McAuley and teammate Evan Wardley were traded by Idaho to last place South Carolina on March 16 for forward Ryan Dmowski. You might remember, Dmowski scored five goals in his second game for Idaho. McAuley and Wardley made a decision not to report to South Carolina which set off a scramble among many ECHL teams to obtain their rights from the Stingrays. Nothing happened because the players decided they were going home rather than join a new team for the last few weeks of the season. Once McAuley was back home in Canada, I am sure everyone was convinced he was done for the year, but not Steve Martinson. A last-minute call probably went something like this, we (Allen) are playing well, Colby was a piece Allen needed down the stretch (tough, gritty, skilled) and the Americans could face Idaho in the playoffs. It all happened quickly, and Martinson was able to make a trade with South Carolina for McAuley’s rights and he was once again an Allen American. A great last-minute pickup that will help down the stretch and do you think McAuley might be motivated if Allen and Idaho should meet in the playoffs.”
– What will Colby bring to the Allen Americans? It is no surprise to Allen fans, but every scouting report you read on Colby says the same thing, a hardworking, tough, skilled player that can score, will drop the gloves, plays both ends of the ice and is a leader. In 173 ECHL games Colby has 120 points (54G, 66A) and 330 penalty minutes. He has also played in 41 AHL games over four seasons with 11 points (4G, 7A). Here are his Allen stats by season:
- 2017-18: 34 games, 20 points (8G, 12A) 72 PIMS, +8
- 2020-21: 20 games, 16 points (8G, 8A) 38 PIMS, +4
- 2021-22: 4 games, 5 points (3G, 2A) 2 PIMS, +4
– Colby has worn several numbers in Allen over the years, #27, #17 and #29. He wore #29 last season and will be wearing it again tonight against Wichita.
– Gavin had a great season in Allen last year after the Americans acquired him in an early season trade with Greenville that sent Jackson Leef to the Swamp Rabbits. The speedy left shot forward (5’8″ 160 pounds) had 26 points (9G, 17A) in 23 games before he was lost for the season with an injury that required surgery. Gavin was selected to play in the 2022 ECHL All-Star game and scored a goal.
It is ironic the return of Gould and MacAuley happened on the same day. If you remember, when Allen acquired MacAuley from South Carolina at the end of last season it was for future considerations. It wasn’t known until after the season (June 13) that Gould was the future consideration that brought MacAuley to Allen.
– When you look at the Jackson Leppard for Gavin Gould trade, to me it looks like a trade that could work out for both players. They both have much more potential than they have shown this season. Gould has played in 20 games and has eight points (0G, 8A) and is even on plus/minus. Leppard has played in 31 games with 10 points (3G, 7A) and had a plus/minus of -14. After 20 goals last season I know he was disappointed in his production this season.
Both players will get fresh starts with teams that really want them, and I will predict they will both play better with their new team. For Leppard it is a move to the best team in the South Division (points percentage) with a chance for a deep playoff run plus the Charleston area is a great place to work and live. For Gould he will be reunited with Chad Costello and a system he thrived in last season. My reporting is he never wanted to leave Allen and is thrilled with the trade. This could easily be one of those win-win trades, only time will tell.
– Gould will not join the team on the road, he is due to arrive in Allen on Monday. He wore #5 last year but will switch to #20 when he takes the ice for the Americans.
ALLEN VS WICHITA PREVIEW
– Allen should go into the game tonight with plenty of confidence having beaten the Thunder in Wichita twice last week (3-2 and 4-3) and riding a season long best three game win streak. For the season Allen is 6-5-0-0 in its 11 games with Wichita. After tonight Allen won’t see Wichita again until the last two games of the season (April 14 & 15) when they will play home and home.
– Wichita’s record is 21-13-3-0 (.608) and Allen’s record is 14-19-1-0 (.426). However, Allen has been the better team recently. The Americans are 6-4-0-0 over the last 10 games, Wichita is 5-4-1-0. Allen has won three straight games and five of the last seven. Wichita has lost four of its last seven games.
– If you look at season totals Wichita has the better stats. They score more (3.4 vs 2.9) and allowed fewer (2.9 vs 3.7) goals on average. The Thunder also have a better power play percentage (24.3% vs 19.4%) and penalty kill percentage (83.2% vs 81.3%). However, as Wichita coach Bruce Ramsay said in his pregame interview last week, Allen’s team is much improved in the last few weeks. While it will be difficult for the Americans to win three straight in Wichita, they will have three lines tonight that can score. Here is the lineup:
- Perry (backup)
– Allen and Wichita have had some legendary conflicts over the years and challenges back and forth have been frequent. Special teams will likely be a factor in the game tonight.
– I wrote this yesterday but it is worth repeating.
– Allen has relied heavily on three players to provide the offense recently. Hank Crone has a six game points streak with 12 points (4G,8A). Colton Hargrove has scored nine goals in his last eight games. Jack Combs has a point in eight of the last nine games with a total of 13 points (5G, 8A). What Allen needs is more players contributing consistently. With Liam Finlay back from injury with his 1.09 points per game average, the addition of Grant Hebert (2 points in 3 games) and Colby MacAuley added to the lineup the Americans should get more scoring from up and down the lineup.
– If you watched the All-Star game on Monday you saw Liam Finlay was wearing #13. I asked him if that was a tribute to Chad Costello who will one day have the #13 retired by the Americans. Finlay told me it was a tribute to Costello but it was also the number he wore in college.
– If you are scoreboard watching tonight, tracking the battle between Allen, Tulsa and Utah who are all tied for last place with 29 points, all you have to do is watch one game other than the Americans. Utah is at Tulsa tonight, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. The only hope for Allen fans is none of the games go to overtime.
– There are a total of 11 games on the ECHL schedule tonight. Here is the ECHL Today with the previews: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/1/echl-today-jan-20
DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about winning streaks. Allen’s longest win streak (three games) is matched by three other Western Conference teams. Only Tulsa is lower with a two game win streak. At the other end of the spectrum only five of 14 Western Conference teams have winning streaks of more than four games.
Long win streak’s don’t necessarily mean great success. Here is the longest win streak in each ECHL division this season. The team’s points percentage and rank in the division standings is in parenthesis:NORTH9 games: Worcester (.554, 4th)SOUTH7 games: Jacksonville (.643, 3rd)CENTRAL8 games: Fort Wayne (.545, 3rd)MOUNTAIN12 games: Idaho (.814, 1st)
The post Allen Signs MacAuley, Trade Leppard for Gould – The Details and Connections, Allen vs Wichita Preview, Tonight’s Lineup, ECHL Longest Win Streaks and More appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.