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Allen vs Idaho Game Preview, Road Teams Still Perfect, Rookies in the Playoffs and More

Wednesday, May 10th
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– It is game day for the Allen Americans as they will play the first of a possible four games in Idaho starting tonight (8:10 CDT). It is just one game but the difference between being tied 1-1 with a win or down 0-2 with a loss is huge. If the Americans lose tonight, they will be in a hole that will be hard to dig out of if they expect to get the series back to Allen. With a win tonight and the confidence it will give the Americans you can bet this series will likely be back in Allen. Bottom line is a lot is riding on the outcome of the game tonight.

– Here is the playoff primer put together by the Idaho Steelheads before this series started (May 5th). It is a great recap of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs. It has a lot of stats and well worth the read to get you prepared for the games in Idaho. https://www.idahosteelheads.com/en/articles/playoff-primer-mountain-division-finals-5-5-23

– It is hard to draw any conclusions from the first game of this series which Allen lost 5-4. There were only three penalties in the entire game, just one by Allen and that was for not leaving the ice after losing the helmet. If you look at playoff stats thus far, Allen is ranked #14 on the power play (12.5%) and Idaho is ranked #11 (15.4%). On the penalty kill Allen is ranked #1 (94.4%) and Idaho is ranked #12 (76.9%). It is a small sample size but in game one Allen was 1-2 on the power play and killed Idaho’s only power play opportunity. Allen had one of the best power plays in the league during the regular season (23.9%). If the Americans can get the power play back on track like they did in game one and continue the outstanding penalty killing, it will go a long way in getting some wins in Idaho.

– Idaho hasn’t lost in the playoffs when scoring first. Allen is 3-2 when scoring first including the loss in game one after taking a 1-0 lead. Neither team has lost in the playoffs with a lead after the first or second period. Allen can’t expect to win tonight if they are playing from behind. Idaho is too good defensively for Allen to comeback from a deficit, especially in the third period.

– Allen is the least penalized team in the playoffs. The Americans have 49 PIMS in seven games. Compare that to teams like Cincinnati (277 PIMS) or even Newfoundland (119 PIMS). It is pretty clear the Americans will have to play much more physical if they expect to win in Idaho, even if it means more penalties. The Americans have to put more pressure on the Idaho defensemen to disrupt their breakouts.

– I should get the lineup for the game tonight sometime early this afternoon. I will update the blog and put the lineup out on social media when I get it from coach Costello. Based on what I saw at practice on Monday you can expect some minor tweaks in the line combinations.

– 20% of the games thus far in the Kelly Cup playoffs have gone to overtime, so odds are one of the games in Idaho will go extra time. Neither team has lost in overtime, Allen is 1-0 and Idaho is 4-0.

– The two referees scheduled for the game tonight are #28 Rocco Stachowiak and #29 Logan Gruhl.  Typically, the referees will work more than one game so what you see tonight may tell you how the games later in the week will be called.

OTHER COMMENTS

– Newfoundland beat Reading last night 6-3 for its third straight road win and heads home for four games (if necessary) having to win just one more game to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. With a team full of NHL/AHL contracted players (18) the Growlers have been dominant in the playoffs. Newfoundland’s record is 7-1, they have scored 40 goals and allowed just 20.

– Road teams continue to dominate in the second round of the playoffs. Road teams are perfect with a record of 8-0. Road teams have outscored home teams 39-20.

– There are three games on the schedule tonight and one tomorrow night with the home teams leading in all of the series. Here is the ECHL Today with previews of the three games tonight: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/5/echl-today-may-10

  • South Division – Florida hosts Jacksonville with a 2-0 series lead.
  • Central Division – Toledo hosts Cincinnati with a 2-0 series lead
  • Mountain Division – Idaho hosts Allen with a 1-0 series lead
  • North Division – Newfoundland hosts Reading tomorrow night with a 3-0 lead in the series.

– Just two organizations have all three affiliated teams still in the playoffs (final eight):

  • Dallas Stars (NHL), Texas Stars AHL), Idaho Steelheads (ECHL)
  • Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Marlies (AHL), Newfoundland Growlers (ECHL)

How important are rookies in the Kelly Cup playoffs? Here are the eight remaining playoff teams ranked by number and percentage of rookies used in the playoffs:12 – Newfoundland (52%)10 – Reading (43%)9 – Allen (43%)7 – *Idaho (32%)6 – Cincinnati (30%)6 – *Toledo (29%)5 – Florida (25%)5 – Jacksonville (22%)*Rookie leads team in scoring.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
PUCKS N' PAWS/BISCUIT'S BIRTHDAY BASH
Sunday, March 3rd
PUCKS N' PAWS/BISCUIT'S BIRTHDAY BASH
Puck Drops:
2:10 PM CST
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
Wichita Thunder
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Allen Americans
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RED OUT NIGHT (Wear Red)
Friday, March 8th
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Puck Drops:
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Kansas City Mavericks
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Allen Americans
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Credit Union of Texas Event Center
TOP GUN NIGHT
Saturday, March 9th
TOP GUN NIGHT
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM CST
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
Kansas City Mavericks
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at
Allen Americans
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Credit Union of Texas Event Center

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