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Hargrove Suspended, Allen’s Amazing Turnaround, 30 Goal Club Grows and More

Tuesday, March 21st
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After a day off yesterday, the Allen Americans have one day to practice before taking on the record setting Idaho Steelheads on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Allen got some bad news yesterday afternoon when the league suspended team captain Colton Hargrove for two games after he was given a match penalty in the Utah game on Sunday. It will make a tough task even tougher with Hargrove out of the lineup on Wednesday and Friday.

– Allen will clearly miss Hargrove’s offense. On Sunday he had two goals, two assists and was +3 in just seven minutes of ice time to earn the #1 star of the game. Colton has been Allen’s leading goal scorer since the end of December with 31 goals in 33 games. Allen will also miss his leadership and toughness on the ice. Coach Costello will not use Hargrove’s suspension as an excuse, he will say it gives another player a chance to step up given more ice time. There will be a lot of playing minutes to pass around because Hargrove plays in all situations and eats up a lot of ice time for the Americans.

– A reminder when a player is suspended, they must remain on the active roster during the suspension which means their salary counts toward the salary cap. It is not as simple as just plugging in another player.

–  To look at the Mountain Division standings this morning and see the Allen Americans in second place is very special when you consider how far the Americans have come in a very short period of time. It has certainly surprised me and the reason I will be eating crow at the rink as soon as the team clinches a playoff spot. How far has the team come since the low point of the season? The low point of the season was at the end of a seven-game losing streak on December 7th when Allen’s point percentage was .277. By December 29 the Americans had improved their points percentage to .340 but were still last in the Mountain Division, last in the Western Conference and ranked #27 in the ECHL teams in points percentage. Allen’s climb to second place, where the Americans sit today, started on January 3, but it took until a win in Wichita on January 14 to escape the Mountain Division cellar.

– Digging out of the big hole has been a challenge. Kris Myllari said it best after the game on Friday and rightfully gave coach Costello a lot of credit. “Chad is a coach that had the guts to stick with the roster we had when we were near the bottom of the league, and it has shown in the turnaround. Most coaches would have blown it up and set the reset button. In his first year coaching he had the guts and the trust in the guys in the locker room. We want to reciprocate the trust he has shown in us with our effort. He stuck with us from day one even when we weren’t giving him what he needed. We owe him that much because he stuck with us against a lot of people’s wishes.”

– How good has Allen been since the beginning of the year? The Americans record is 21-10-0-1 which is a points percentage of .661. That is the effort it has taken to go from a points percentage of .222 to second place and a points percentage of .525 today. Stick taps to then entire team and coaching staff for a job well done. I am looking forward eating crow chili soon.

– It has been almost 25 years (1999-2000) since an ECHL team had four players with 30+ goals. It is also a record in Allen franchise history. In 2010-11 Allen had three players score 30+ goals. Here is an update of the 30-goal club in Allen history with 13 games remaining this season. This season’s group will be moving up a few notches by the end of the season.

  • 44 goals – Gary Steffes (2014-15)
  • 41 goals – Chad Costello (2014-15)
  • 39 goals – Hank Crone (2022-23)
  • 35 goals – Colton Hargrove (2022-23)
  • 35 goals – Greger Hanson (2016-17)
  • 34 goals – Bruce Graham (2010-11)
  • 34 goals – Nino Musitello (2010-11)
  • 34 goals – Zach Pochiro (2018-19)
  • 33 goals – Chad Costello (2016-17)
  • 33 goals – Colton Yellow Horn (2010-11)
  • 31 goals – Jack Combs (2022-23)
  • 31 goals – Bruce Graham (2009-10)
  • 30 goals – Corey Mackin (2020-21)
  • 30 goals – Liam Finlay (2022-23)

DID YOU KNOW: With a handful of games remaining in the 2022-23 season the top three teams in points percentage are more dominant than the prior two seasons. Here are the top three teams in points percentage since 2020-21. None of the top three won the Kelly Cup in 2020-21 or 2021-22. Will that trend continue this season?2022-23.825 – Idaho.730 – Cincinnati.710 – Toledo2021-22 (#4, .653, Florida won Kelly Cup).708 – Toledo.697 – Reading.664 – Newfoundland2020-21 (#5, .618, Fort Wayne won Kelly Cup).667 – Florida.653 – Allen.634 – WichitaSince 2005 the lowest a Kelly Cup champion has finished in the regular season is seventh. In 2012 Florida won the Kelly Cup after finishing #7 in the regular season with a points percentage of just .590.

The post Hargrove Suspended, Allen’s Amazing Turnaround, 30 Goal Club Grows and More appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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