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Allen vs Idaho Series Preview, Tonight’s Lineup, Mountain Division Weekend Schedule, WOW Numbers from Stat Sheet and More

Friday, March 10th
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It is game day for the Allen Americans as they are in Idaho to take on the Steelheads tonight (8:10 pm CT). It will be the fourth of eight regular season games against Idaho. The teams will play again on Saturday night and then play the last three games in Allen on March 22, 24, 25.

–  Allen is 0-3 against Idaho but those games were early in the season. Allen visited Idaho at the end of November and lost 7-4, 5-1 and 5-2. The Americans are a much better team now, but the challenge is no less daunting. Idaho’s home losses list is very short; October 28, December 3 and January 13. Interestingly, Utah is the only team to beat the Steelheads at home, however Idaho is 11-4-0-0 overall against the Grizzlies this season.

–  When you look at the ECHL stats so many of them show why Idaho is still on pace to have the best points percentage in the history of the league. Maybe the most impressive stat is Idaho is #1 in average goals scored (4.02) and #1 in average goals allowed (2.15). That makes for a goal differential of +103. Another Idaho stat that is hard to comprehend is the Steelheads are 12-0-0-0 when being outshot by their opponent.

– Here is the latest weekly update issued by Idaho which will gives you a much better synopsis of the team and this two-game series than I could put together. Game previews usually include players to watch on the opponent’s team. In Idaho’s case it is half of the team. Check this out and you will be already for the series:  https://www.idahosteelheads.com/en/articles/idaho-steelheads-weekly-week-21-3-8-23

– Here is the Allen Americans Weekly with team leaders and other stats. Note the start times are not correct. Both games in Idaho will start at 8:10 pm Allen time. https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-weekly-36/

– Idaho doesn’t want to underestimate the Americans. Yes, Allen is in fourth place in the division and trails Idaho by 32 points, but the Americans have been one of the best teams in the league since January 1 with a record of 19-8-0-0. The Americans can match Idaho’s offensive firepower, they have averaged 5.0 goals per game over the last 19 games. This series will turn on the defensive end of the ice and that is where Allen will have to excel. Idaho gives up an average of 2.15 goals per game and has a team save percentage of .926. Allen gives up an average of 3.70 goals per game and has a team save percentage of .894. For Allen to be successful this weekend the Americans will have to be much better defensively.

– Allen has a better overall power play percentage than Idaho (24.4% vs 22.4%). However, Idaho has the best home power play percentage in the league (28.1%). Allen’s road power play percentage is 23.9%. The penalty kill also favors the Steelheads. Idaho’s penalty kill at home is #1 at 87.6%. Allen’s road penalty kill is ranked #10 at 80.9%. When it comes to penalty minutes and power play opportunities there is a big discrepancy. Allen has taken 980 penalty minutes including 325 minor penalties. Idaho has taken 623 penalty minutes and just 235 minor penalties. A key to the game will be Allen staying out of the penalty box.

–  Both of these team are excellent when they score first. Allen is 17-6-1-1 (.729) and Idaho is 31-4-1-1 (.865). Odds are the first goal will win both games in this series.

– Neither of these teams have gone to overtime this season very much. Allen five times (9%) and Idaho six times (11%). If there is an extra time game this weekend Allen has a slight advantage. The Americans are 3-1 in overtime and 1-0 in shootouts. Idaho is 2-1 in overtime and 1-2 in shootouts.

– There are plenty of streaks on the line in the game tonight:

  • *Hank Crone has scored a goal in eight straight games.
  • Jack Combs has an assist in eight straight games.
  • Jack Combs has a point in 19 straight games.
  • *Jack Combs has an assist in eight straight road games.
  • Colton Hargrove has a goal in four straight road games.
  • *Hank Crone has a point in 15 straight road games.
  • Colton Hargrove has a point in 14 straight road games.

*Longest streak in the ECHL this season.

TONIGHT’S LINEUP

– With Chad Butcher placed on injured reserve this week, Grant Hebert will move up to center the line between Combs and Finlay. Aidan Brown will center the third line. Chase Perry gets the start in goal.

FORWARDS 

  • Crone-Hargrove-McAuley   
  • Combs-Hebert-Finlay 
  • Fournier-Brown-Robidoux
  • Young

DEFENSEMEN

  • Myllari-Saucerman 
  • Skelly-Massicotte
  • Gally-Gagnon 

GOALIES

  • Perry
  • Peressini

OTHER COMMENTS

– Wichita beat Rapid City 6-4 last night to jump ahead of Allen in points. Here are the Mountain Division standings with points percentage in parenthesis:

  • 89 points – Idaho (.809)
  • 59 points – Kansas City (.536)
  • 59 points – Wichita (.518)
  • 57 points – Allen (.528)
  • 53 points – Utah (.491)
  • 49 points – Rapid City (.445)
  • 46 points – Tulsa (.426)

–  Mountain Division teams have between 15-18 games remaining, so every game is now critical. Here is the weekend schedule. Who is going to gain ground and who will lose ground.

  • 2 games: Allen at Idaho (Friday, Saturday)
  • 2 games: Cincinnati at Tulsa (Friday, Saturday)
  • 2 games: Wichita at Rapid City (Friday, Saturday)
  • 3 games: Kansas City at Utah (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)

– Two ECHL divisions have a pretty wide gap between the last playoff spot (fourth place) and fifth place. In the North Division Newfoundland, Maine, Reading and Worcester are in the playoff spots. Worcester has a nine-point lead over fifth place Adirondack. The same is true in the Central Division. Toledo, Cincinnati, Indy and Fort Wayne are in the playoffs. Fifth place Wheeling trails fourth place Fort Wayne by nine points.

– It is a big night all over the ECHL with 13 games on the schedule. Here is the ECHL Today with the previews:  https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/3/echl-today-march-10

DID YOU KNOW: Some WOW numbers from the stat sheet:– Toledo has a 16-game point streak (15-0-0-1).– Greenville has gone to overtime in 30% of its games.– Idaho is #1 in both average goals scored (4.02) and average goals allowed (2.15).– Idaho’s record when being outshot by its opponents is 12-0-0-0.– Florida is 13-0-0-0 when leading after the 1st period.– Jacksonville is the only team that has not allowed a shorthanded goal on the road.– Toledo’s road penalty kill percentage is 88.4%.– Jacksonville is 24-1-1-0 when scoring the first goal of the game.– Utah is #1 averaging 18.43 PIMS per game, Worcester is #28 averaging 8.96 PIMS per game.

The post Allen vs Idaho Series Preview, Tonight’s Lineup, Mountain Division Weekend Schedule, WOW Numbers from Stat Sheet and More appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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