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Allen vs Fort Wayne Series Preview, Tonight’s Lineup, SPHL Team Ceases Operation, 7 Marathons, 7 Days, 7 Continents and More

Thursday, February 9th
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The Allen Americans take on the Fort Wayne Komets tonight in a rare Thursday night home game at CUTX Event Center. The teams will play the next three nights in a series that is critical for both teams. The Americans and Komets are currently in fourth place in their respective divisions trying to move forward. Why is it important for both teams to move up in the standings. Because fourth seeds don’t fare well in seven game Kelly Cup series. Fourth seeds have to take on the best team in the division in the first round and it rarely ends well. Since 2017 fourth seeds are 1-15 in opening round series.

– Both teams come into this series feeling good about how they are playing. Fort Wayne has won six straight games, the longest current streak in the ECHL. They are 8-1-0-1 in the last 10 games, the best record in the league. The Americans have won three straight, are 8-2-0-0 over the last 10 games and have won 10 of their last 12 games.

– Allen did not win more than two games in a row from the beginning of the season to mid-January. In the last three weeks the Americans have had a three-game win streak, a four-game win streak and are currently on another three-game win streak. Allen started the season 5-12-1-0 (.305) but in the last 18 games have a record of 12-4-0-0 (.750).

– Fort Wayne started its season 5-8-3-2 (.417) but in the last 11 games has a record of 8-2-1-0 (.773). It is clear both of these teams are coming into this series playing their best hockey.

– Since Allen joined the ECHL in 2014-15 the Americans have played Fort Wayne as many times (four) in the playoffs as in the regular season. Fort Wayne has never played a regular season game in Allen. In the 2021 Kelly Cup playoffs Allen lost to the Komets 3-1, two of the loses were in overtime. I won’t relive the overtime loss in Allen when Fort Wayne came back from a 4-1 deficit with 12 minutes remaining in the game. Allen is 1-3 against Fort Wayne in the regular season with all the games on the road, most of them years ago. The Americans were 0-1 in 2016-17 and 0-2 in 2017-18. Allen’s lone regular season win against the Komets was earlier this season. It was a 5-4 shootout win. Luke Peressini stopped all three Fort Wayne shooters and Hank Crone scored the game winner.

– Fort Wayne has one of the better road records in the league, 13-7-0-0 (.650). Allen’s home record is 8-8-1-0 (.500). Here are some other stat comparisons:

  • Average goals scored per game: 3.3 Allen, 3.7 Fort Wayne
  • Average goals allowed per game: 3.5 Allen, 3.6 Fort Wayne
  • Power play percentage: 21.1% Allen, 23.0% Fort Wayne
  • Penalty kill: 81.8% Allen, 84.4% Fort Wayne
  • Goal differential: -9 Allen, +3 Fort Wayne

– Allen has scored first in 51% of its games with a record of 16-5-1-0 (.750). When Allen doesn’t score first its record is 5-16-0-0 (.238). That tells you all you need to know about the importance of a good start for the Americans.

– Neither team should expect good results when playing from behind. Allen’s record with a second period lead is 14-3-1-0 (.805). Fort Wayne’s record with a second period lead is 17-0-1-0 (.972).

– Including the 2021 playoffs Allen and Fort Wayne have gone to overtime in three of the last five games they have played. The extra time stats for these teams this season favor Allen, The Americans are 3-1 in overtimes and 1-0 in shootouts (.800). Fort Wayne is 2-4 in overtimes and 1-2 in shootouts (.333).

– Allen is averaging 3.3 goals per game for the season but over the last eight games the Americans are averaging 5.0 goals per game. The top four point scorers are all fire and will be trying to extend their terrific scoring. Here is a summary:

  • Colton Hargrove – 18 game point streak, (17G, 11A)
  • Liam Finlay – 10 game point streak, (10G, 8A)
  • Hank Crone – 13 game points streak, 22 points (8G, 14A)
  • Jack Combs – points in 17 of last 20 games (11G, 20A)

TONIGHT’S LINEUP

  • Crone-Hargrove-McAuley
  • Combs-Butcher-Finlay
  • Gould-Bethune-Robidoux
  • Skelly              Young
  • Myllari-Saucerman
  • Bernard-Massicotte
  • Gally-Gagnon
  • Peressini
  • Perry (backup)
  • Hebert (on reserve, will not play)

OTHER COMMENTS

– Idaho beat Tulsa last night 5-0 at home They will play again on Friday and Saturday. These teams played three game last week in Tulsa and the Oilers won twice. It was the first-time all-season Idaho has lost two games in a row. Playing the same team six straight games almost always ends up in fisticuffs. There were four fighting majors last night and it was only game four. When you consider Tulsa is ranked last in the ECHL in fighting majors and Idaho is ranked #18, two fights in a game is quite unusual. Makes you wonder what will games five and six have in store.

– The SPHL Vermilion County Bobcats announced this morning they have ceased operations, effective immediately. They are the team that didn’t show up for its last home game, so this is not a big surprise. The team’s record was 4-24-2-0 and its average attendance was 513 per game. Here are the details:  https://vermilioncountyfirst.com/2023/02/09/mervis-industries-facebook-page-rescinds-any-involvement-with-vermilion-county-bobcats/

– I don’t normally post non-hockey stories but this one really hit me when I saw it last night. Maybe because I just got back from Antarctica and have now visited all seven continents. This feat seems almost impossible to comprehend but a bunch of overachievers just ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. This has actually been going on for several years but the first I have heard of it. For around $45,000 you can sign up for the World Marathon Challenge. One of the participants was from Frisco, there was an 80-year-old from Oklahoma who completed the challenge for the second time and the first ever hand-cycle participant completed the challenge. The first stop was Antarctica. I read in another story it was -11 (actual temp) with 40 MPH winds. Check this out: https://www.outsideonline.com/health/running/culture-running/kilgore-wins-world-marathon-challenge/

– Here is a recap video and link: https://youtu.be/3NAdMsdL1NM

DID YOU KNOW: A few examples of ECHL teams that had poor starts but are now playing great and one example of just the opposite.Allen started 5-12-1-0 (.305), more recently 12-4-0-0 (.750)Maine started 4-7-1-0 (.375), more recently 13-3-0-1 (.794)Toledo started 7-10-1-1 (.421), more recently 13-3-0-1 (.794)Worcester started 13-2-0-0 (.867), more recently 5-13-2-0 (.300)

The post Allen vs Fort Wayne Series Preview, Tonight’s Lineup, SPHL Team Ceases Operation, 7 Marathons, 7 Days, 7 Continents and More appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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