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Playoff Possibilities, Allen vs Savannah Game Preview, Highest Scoring Teams and More

Friday, April 7th
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The Allen Americans were idle last night but fell to third place in the Mountain Division. Wichita beat Rapid City 4-3 in overtime and jumped Allen in the standings (by points). The Americans have three games in hand over the Thunder and are still in second place by points percentage. Here are the standings by points and points percentage (2nd thru 6th place):

POINTS

  • 70 – Wichita (3 games remaining)
  • 69 – Allen (6 games remaining)
  • 68 – Utah (5 games remaining)
  • 68 – Kansas City (5 games remaining)
  • 66 – Rapid City (4 games remaining)

POINTS PERCENTAGE

  • .523 – Allen
  • .507 – Utah
  • .507 – Kansas City
  • .507 – Wichita
  • .485 – Rapid City

– Here are how the final standings would look if all teams got maximum points. It is impossible since teams play each other, but this is the potential maximum points for each team:

  • 81 points – Allen
  • 78 points – Utah
  • 78 points – Kansas City
  • 76 points – Wichita
  • 74 points – Rapid City

Allen has the most room for error of the teams vying for the playoffs. Allen could go 3-2-1-0 over the final six games and still lock in a playoff spot even if Wichita wins out. 

– With five teams still in the hunt for three playoff spots there are so many combinations it is hard to track. The odds are very high some teams will be tied when the season ends. Remember the first tiebreaker is regulation wins. Here are how the five teams stack up in regulation wins. The second tiebreaker is regulation plus overtime wins. That number is in parenthesis:

  • 23 – Wichita (31)
  • 24 – Rapid City (29)
  • 25 – Kansas City (30)
  • 27 – Allen (32)
  • 27 – Utah (30)

– The bottom line when you look at all of the numbers above, Allen is the best positioned of the five teams vying for the final three Mountain Division playoff spots. The Americans have the most games remaining and four of the six are at home. Allen is also best positioned if tiebreakers have to be used to determine the final standings/seedings.

– Making the playoffs is not the goal for the Americans so limping into the playoffs in fourth place is not what the team is looking to do. Allen needs to be playing well and that means earning a minimum of eight points in the last six games. Coach Costello set a goal back in December of winning two of every three games the rest of the season and the team has achieved that goal. If Allen is 4-2-0-0 in its remaining six games the Americans will almost certainly finish in second place and have home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

TONIGHT’S PREVIEW

–  When you look at the overtime loss on Wednesday the Americans generated plenty of offense, scoring five goals on 36 shots. The problem was the defensive end of the ice where Allen gave up 41 shots and six goals. Allen’s record when giving up five or more goals this season is 2-18-1-0. It is very clear what Allen needs to do to beat Savannah tonight.

– Allen did a great job of staying out of the penalty box on Wednesday. The Americans took just one penalty in the entire game, Savannah took two. The referee tonight will be the same as Wednesday so it may be another low penalty game, but if you were betting it is likely there will be more power play opportunities tonight. That would play to Allen’s favor given the Americans were 2-2 on the power play on Wednesday and have the #3 ranked power play in the league (24.4%).

– Allen had a good start on Wednesday scoring the first goal of the game and taking the 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The Americans lost the game even though they scored the first goal and led after the first period. Keep in mind Allen is 21-8-2-0 when scoring first and 19-4-1-0 when leading after the first period. If Allen can repeat the good start tonight, they will win the game.

– Allen has to find a way to slow down Savannah’s leading goal scorer, Brent Pedersen, who torched the Americans for five points (4G, 1A) on Wednesday. Pedersen tied the score to send the game to overtime and scored the winning goal in overtime. Allen’s top line needs to outperform Savannah’s top line, but depth scoring is a key to winning tonight.

– Chase Perry will get the start in goal. Perry’s record since joining the Americans is 12-6-0-1 with a 3.22 GAA and .916 save percentage. Mikael Robidoux is expected back in the lineup. Liam Finlay is day to day but not expected to play in the Savannah series. Chad Butcher will not play and is expected to be out a while. Stefan Fournier will not play tonight but is expected to play tomorrow night.

OTHER COMMENTS

– Had several questions about Stefan Fournier after a team in Australia announced he had signed for the 2023 season. The Australian pro hockey league (AIHL) plays in the summer and will start on April 15. Fournier will finish the season with Allen including the playoffs before reporting to the Sydney Ice Dogs. Former Allen forward Kale Kerbashian played in the AIHL one season after the ECHL season wrapped up (2016-17) and told me it was more for fun than anything else. Kale had 25 points (7G, 18A) in just 10 games.

– There are 13 games on the ECHL schedule tonight with a lot of meaningful games. The South Division can fill out all four playoff spots tonight. Jacksonville, Florida and Greenville can clinch a playoff berth and join South Carolina who clinched earlier. Also, Cincinnati and Newfoundland can clinch division championships tonight. Here is the ECHL Today with the previews: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/4/echl-today-april-7

DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about the top team each season in average goals scored. Allen finished #2 in 2016-17 averaging 4.08 goals per game. In 2014-15 was #1 in the ECHL averaging 4.06 goals per game and went on to win its first Kelly Cup.

Powerful offenses, the highest scoring ECHL teams (average goals per game) the last seven seasons:4.07 – Idaho, 2022-233.91 – Newfoundland, 2021-223.38 – Florida, 2020-214.00 – Newfoundland, 2019-203.92 – Cincinnati, 2018-194.03 – Fort Wayne, 2017-184.19 – Toledo, 2016-17None of these teams went on to win the Kelly Cup (in the year they led the league in scoring).

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Kansas City Mavericks
Allen Americans
Friday, October 25th
Kansas City Mavericks @ Allen Americans
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM CDT
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
Kansas City Mavericks
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at
Allen Americans
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Allen Americans
Saturday, October 26th
Kansas City Mavericks @ Allen Americans
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7:10 PM CDT
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at
Allen Americans
ALN Allen Americans
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
Wichita Thunder
Allen Americans
Wednesday, October 30th
Wichita Thunder @ Allen Americans
Puck Drops:
10:30 AM CDT
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Allen Americans
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