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Allen vs Florida Preview, Bernard Recalled to Belleville, Tonight’s Lineup, Projected 100 Point Scorers, Best Goal Differential Teams and More

Friday, February 17th
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It’s game day for the Allen Americans and the middle game of a three-game series against the Florida Everblades. After losing 8-5 to Florida on Wednesday and giving up 22 goals in the last three games, Allen will need a big effort tonight to get back on track.

– There is not much to say about the game tonight other than the Americans need to be much better defensively as a team. That means improved defensive play from the goalie, the defensemen and the forwards. Better breakouts, a better forecheck, fewer neutral zone turnovers and chipping the puck in when there is no play will all contribute to fewer shots and goals from Florida. In the last four games the Americans have allowed 41, 50, 41 and 44 shots. It is difficult to win consistently with shot totals like that.

–  A good start will be imperative if Allen expects to win tonight. Over Allen’s last three games, all losses, the Americans have been out shot 51-25 in the first period and outscored 8-2. When you consider Florida is the only team in the league that has not lost a game all season when leading after the first period, Allen can’t afford to be playing from behind.

– The one bright spot in the loss on Wednesday was Allen stayed out of the penalty box, taking only two minor penalties in the game and the Americans scored three power play goals (3-5). Florida’s road special team percentages are among the worst in the league. The Everblades are 10.6% on the power play and 71.6% on the penalty kill. Allen needs to capitalize on special teams tonight.

– Yesterday defenseman Xavier Bernard was recalled by Belleville. He played 18 games in Allen and had eight points (0G, 8A). Bernard has the best plus/minus of all defensemen on the team and is second overall. He will be missed. FYI, Allen’s roster has six players with a positive plus/minus:

  • +6  Chad Butcher
  • +4  Xavier Bernard
  • +2  Colby McAuley
  • +2  Liam Finlay
  • +2  Zachary Massicotte
  • +1  Hank Crone

– With Bernard being recalled to Belleville the Americans will have every healthy player in the lineup tonight. Dalton Skelly and Dalton Gally have been in and out of the lineup as healthy scratches recently. They will now both be in the lineup as Allen has just six defensemen on the roster (excluding Jared Bethune).

TONIGHT’S EXPECTED LINEUP

  • Crone-Hargrove-McAuley
  • Combs-Butcher-Finlay
  • Gould-Hebert-Robidoux
  • Bethune              Young
  • Myllari-Saucerman
  • Skelly-Massicotte
  • Gally-Gagnon
  • Peressini
  • Perry (backup)

OTHER COMMENTS

– Three Mountain Division teams are playing teams outside the division tonight. In addition to Florida at Allen, Utah is at Savannah and Toledo is at Rapid City. How has the Mountain Division fared against the other divisions? Here is the record:

  • North: 6-3-0-0
  • South: 1-6-0-0
  • Central: 16-12-1-0

– The ECHL hasn’t had a 100-point scorer since Chad Costello did it three seasons in a row from 2014-15 to 2016-17. The top three scorers in the ECHL have a shot at attaining 100 points this season. Here are the projections based on the average points per game and assuming they play in all remaining games:

  • 101 points – Zach O’Brien, Newfoundland
  • 100 points – Hank Crone, Allen
  • 94 points – Jack Combs, Allen

– There are 12 games on the ECHL schedule tonight. Here is the ECHL Today with the previews.  https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/2/echl-today-feb-17

– It is hard to overstate the season Idaho is having in 2022-23. Idaho has a points percentage of .798 and still has a chance at the all-time record of .806. Idaho has the best average goals scored (4.19) and the best goals allowed average. (2.21) in the league for a differential of +1.98. That is almost a goal per game higher than second place Newfoundland (+1.03). Add in Idaho’s #1 ranked penalty kill (85.3%) and #3 ranked power play (23.6%) and the Steelheads will have a big opportunity to overcome the Brabham Cup curse (regular season champion) by winning the Kelly Cup.

DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about average goals scored, allowed and the differential. Allen has scored an average of 3.40 goals per game and allowed an average of 3.72 goals per game. The differential is -0.32.

There are just five ECHL teams that average more than 3.50 goals per game and allow fewer than 3.00 goals per game. They are all serious Kelly Cup contenders. The differential between goals scored and goals allowed is in parenthesis:Idaho: 4.19 vs 2.21 (+1.98)Newfoundland: 3.94 vs 2.91 (+1.03)Indy: 3.77 vs 2.92 (+0.85)Maine: 3.73 vs 2.86 (+0.87)South Carolina: 3.56 vs 2.87 (+0.69)Toledo: 3.53 vs 2.71 (+0.82)

The post Allen vs Florida Preview, Bernard Recalled to Belleville, Tonight’s Lineup, Projected 100 Point Scorers, Best Goal Differential Teams and More appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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