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Allen’s Season Comes to Disappointing End in Idaho, Plenty of Reasons to Celebrate

Monday, May 15th
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The Allen season came to an unceremonious end yesterday in Idaho as the Steelheads shutout the Americans 6-0 to win the series 4-1 and advance to the Western Conference finals. I am sure for all Allen fans, but speaking for myself, the way the season ended was tough to take. You get so invested in the team, the players and the coaches it is difficult to see it come to an end so swiftly and in an uncompetitive game. The end of the season always creates a lot of uncertainty. I will have more to say about that in my season wrap up/thank you blog tomorrow.

– Here are the game recaps and highlights:

Allen Americans recap: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-season-ends-with-game-5/

Idaho Steelheads recap: https://www.idahosteelheads.com/en/articles/adam-scheel-shuts-out-americans-in-series-clinching-victory-over-allen

Video highlights: https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/5/allen-americans-vs-idaho-steelheads—may-14-2023-Or6bcZI8

– In my opinion the Americans got wore down by playing four games in five days while being shorthanded. Playing two or three players short on the road in the playoffs is not the formula for success. Here is the final tally for the four games in Idaho with all stats favoring the Steelheads (1st number):

  • Record: 3-1
  • Goals: 23-12
  • Shots: 204-119
  • PIMS: 78-175
  • Power Play: 37.5% (9-24) – 20% (3-15)
  • Scoring first: 4-0

– If you are an Allen fans there are many reasons why the Americans lost this series and I have seen a lot of them over the last few days. There will be plenty of time in the upcoming days and weeks to analyze the schedule, the playoff roster, the officiating, the performance, undisciplined penalties and all of the other reasons. The fact of the matter is Idaho is just a better team than Allen. Idaho had the best record in the 35-year history of the ECHL during the regular season (.826 points percentage). Idaho beat Allen early in the season when the Americans weren’t playing well. Idaho beat Allen in March when the Americans were playing well. Now the Steelheads have beaten Allen in the playoffs. When the final record against Idaho (regular season and playoffs) is 1-12 it says all you need to know about who the better team is.

– The poor ending in Idaho should not take away from an amazing season by the Americans. When Allen was dead last at the end of December with a record of 5-12-1-0 and a points percentage of .306, very few (including myself) gave the Americans a chance of making the playoffs. Coming from that far behind has happened very rarely in the ECHL. The Americans not only made the playoffs they finished second in the Mountain Division and earned home ice in the first round of the playoffs. From the low point in December, Allen’s record the rest of the season was 32-20-1-1 (.611). The cherry on top of the big regular season comeback was defeating Kansas City 4-2 in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs. It was a long way from last place in December to the final eight of the Kelly Cup playoffs. Remember, in the last five seasons the only time Allen made it to the second round of the playoffs was in the 14 team 2020-21 season. Coach/GM Costello, the team and the entire staff should be congratulated on an outstanding season. The success this season has built a great foundation for Costello going into the 2023-24 season.

OTHER COMMENTS

– The Idaho vs Toledo Western Conference finals should be a great series. It will pit the best team in the regular season in Idaho against the best team thus far in the playoffs in Toledo. With a perfect 8-0 playoff record, Toledo is #1 in average goals scored (4.88) and #2 in average goals scored (1.75). Idaho’s playoff record is 8-3 and the Steelheads rank #3 in average goals scored (4.09) and #8 in average goals allowed (3.00). The series format will be 2-3-2 and the home ice advantage Idaho earned by winning the Brabham Cup could be critical. The series will start Saturday in Idaho.

– The one undecided conference finalist could be decided tonight. Florida leads Jacksonville 3-2 with game six in Jacksonville tonight. Jacksonville is trying to rebound from trailing 0-3 in the series. If necessary, game seven will be in Jacksonville tomorrow night. Here is the ECHL Today with a preview: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/5/echl-today-may-15

– Average attendance for the 65 ECHL playoff games thus is 4364 but that number will surely go up. The top two teams in playoff attendance are still alive. Toledo is #1 (8063) and Jacksonville is #2 (7152). The lowest average attendance of the teams still in the playoffs is Newfoundland (4073). FYI the average attendance in the playoffs last season was 4385 over 85 playoff games.

– Two teams still alive in the playoffs would defy the odds and overcome history if they go on to win the Kelly Cup. Florida ranked #11 in the regular season and Idaho won the Brabham Cup. Here are the last 17 Kelly Cup champions with their regular season finish in parenthesis. Anyone who says once you get in the playoffs anything can happen hasn’t looked at ECHL history. The Brabham Cup curse has been in effective since 2014 when Alaska won both the Brabham Cup and Kelly Cup. However, no team has won the Kelly Cup from lower than seventh place in the regular season going back to 2005.

2022 – Florida (3rd)2021 – Fort Wayne (5th)2019 – Newfoundland (3rd)2018 – Colorado (4th)2017 – Colorado (3rd)2016 – Allen (6th)2015 – Allen (2nd)2014 – Alaska (1st)2013 – Reading (2nd)2012 – Florida (7th)2011 – Alaska (1st)2010 – Cincinnati (5th)2009 – South Carolina (4th)2008 – Cincinnati (1st)2007 – Idaho (6th)2006 – Alaska (1st)2005 – Trenton (4th)

DID YOU KNOW: There are five ECHL teams remaining in the quest for the 2023 Kelly Cup. Here is how they ranked in the regular season standings by points percentage among the 28 ECHL teams:1. Idaho – .8263. Toledo – .6814. Newfoundland – .6816. Jacksonville – .64611. Florida – .590Idaho, Toledo and Newfoundland have already advanced to the conference finals.

The post Allen’s Season Comes to Disappointing End in Idaho, Plenty of Reasons to Celebrate appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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