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Chad Costello Returns, Practice Update, Division Standings, Points and Goals Projections for Allen’s Top Scorers, Best ECHL GAA and More

Wednesday, February 8th
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I attended the Allen Americans practice yesterday and without a doubt the best part was seeing coach Chad Costello back on the ice leading the drills. I know I speak for everyone to say it is good to have him back.

– The Americans had a great week last week winning three straight games in Utah but now the focus needs to change from the past to the future. This week Allen will have another one of those three games in three days (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) against Fort Wayne, but at least the Americans will be at home.

– There were a few players given an extra maintenance day and did not practice, but everyone is expected to be ready for the game on Thursday. A reminder, this series will pit the team with the best record in the ECHL over the last ten games in Fort Wayne (8-1-0-1) against the team with the second-best record in Allen (8-2-0-0). It should be a great series.

– Kansas City played Wichita at home last night and beat the Thunder 5-1. With the Mavericks victory they moved past Allen into third place in the Mountain Division. Here are the standings based on points percentage with points in parenthesis. Notice the rank is the same by both.

  • .791 – Idaho (68)
  • .589 – Wichita (53)
  • .523 – Kansas City (45)
  • .500 – Allen (43)
  • .466 – Rapid City (41)
  • .453 – Utah (39)
  • .452 – Tulsa (38)

– While Allen plays three games this week outside the division the remaining Mountain Division teams will play each other. Tulsa will play three games in Idaho and Utah will play two games in Rapid City. Kansas City and Wichita will play twice (home and home). Lots of opportunities for all teams to make progress.

– The other day I wrote about the impact Jack Combs, Hank Crone, Liam Finlay and Colton Hargrove have had on Allen’s success this season. Just looking at goals, Combs is tied for #1 in the ECHL (24 goals), Crone is tied for #3 (22 goals). Finlay and Hargrove are tied for #6 (21 goals). The four have scored 62% of Allen’s goals. I asked you for suggestions for a name for this group. Here are some of the suggestions in no particular order.

  • Four Horsemen
  • Fantastic Four
  • The A Team
  • Fearsome Foursome
  • Harlay Crombs
  • American 4 Fathers

Not sure any of these names will stick. Maybe I will ask the players for an opinion.

– How many goals and points will these four players end up with by the end of the season? Here is a projection based on current goals per game and points per game if the players play in all remaining Allen games. If you did these projections based on points and goals over the last 20 games these totals would be a lot higher. Bottom line is Allen could see 100 points scorers and 40 goal scorers in the same season for the first time since 2014-15 when Gary Steffes had 44 goals and Chad Costello had 41 goals and 125 points. They are the only two 40+ goal scorers in franchise history. Here are the projections:

  • POINTS
  • 95 – Crone
  • 92 – Combs
  • 80 – Finlay
  • 75 – Hargrove
  •  GOALS
  • 40 – Combs
  • 40 – Finlay
  • 38 – Crone
  • 37 – Hargrove

– If you have been watching transactions the last few days you have seen players from the ECHL still heading to Europe and players from Europe returning to the ECHL. Former Allen defenseman and ECHL Defenseman of the Year, Alex Breton, just left for Europe after returning to the ECHL this season (Trois Riviéres). South Carolina’s leading scorer and the ECHL’s leading goal scorer with 24 goals (tied with Jack Combs) was just suspended by the team so assume he is also headed to Europe. Stefan Fournier left for Europe after starting the season with Wichita but has recently returned. He is a vet so can sign with any ECHL team. The bottom line is the ECHL deadline for players to return from Europe and report to an ECHL team is just one week away, but the movement is not over.

– Special teams are always critical to success and will be a factor over the remaining games of the season. I posted about the ECHL teams with a combined power play and penalty kill percentage above 105% which is considered outstanding. Anything below a 100% is considered poor.  Here is a breakdown of the Mountain Division:

  • 108.0% – Idaho
  • 105.2% – Wichita
  • 102.9% – Allen
  • 100.8% – Utah
  • 100.3% – Kansas City
  • 93.2% – Tulsa
  • 92.1% – Rapid City

– Which Mountain Division teams have the most advantageous schedule the remainder of the season. Here are some stats:

  • Allen has the most home games remaining (19), followed by Rapid City (17). Wichita and Tulsa have just 10 home games remaining.
  • Allen has nine of its remaining 29 games outside the division, all at home. Allen will play three game series against Fort Wayne this week, Florida next week and Savannah in April.
  • Kansas City has 8 games left against Idaho, Allen (5), Tulsa, Utah and Rapid City (3), Wichita (1)
  • 16 of Wichita’s last 18 games of the season are against teams currently at or below .500.

DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about players with low GAA this season. FYI, Allen’s lowest single season GAA was set in 2016-17 by Riley Gill at 2.22.  Riley had seven shutouts that season. That was also the season Gill was selected as the ECHL Goalie of the Year.Last season two ECHL goalies finished with a GAA under 2.50. So far this season there are seven (minimum 840 minutes played):*1.93: Remi Poirier, Idaho2.17: Clay Stevenson, South Carolina2.35: John Lethemon, Toledo2.36: Adam Scheel, Idaho2.44: Luke Cavallin, Newfoundland2.44: Francois Brassard, Maine2.48: Tyler Parks, Atlanta*An ECHL goalie hasn’t finished a season with a GAA below 2.00 since 2017-18 when Parker Milner (South Carolina) finished with a GAA of 1.86.

The post Chad Costello Returns, Practice Update, Division Standings, Points and Goals Projections for Allen’s Top Scorers, Best ECHL GAA and More appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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