Allen Americans practice yesterday was heavily concentrated on shooting practice and for good reason. Earlier in the season the Americans were averaging close to four goals per game and were at the top of the ECHL in scoring. In the last 11 games the Americans scored more than three goals just twice and scored fewer than three goals five times. In the just completed series against Utah the Americans had 95 shots and converted on just 7.3% and that doesn’t include blocked shots and the many shots that missed the net. I have heard coach Martinson say many times if a forward has scored a lot in the past they can do it again. Allen has too many forwards that were goal scorers in the past that are not putting the puck in the net. The bottom line was a practice that concentrated on shooting which included a 3-on-3 cross ice scrimmage that is also fun for the players.
– Today’s practice will have more of a focus on the power play which has improved lately. Allen has scored a power play goal in four straight games and in those four games the power play percentage was 22.7% (5-22). Overall Allen’s power play is now ranked #7 at 17.4% (28-161). The Americans had several 4-on-3 power plays in the Utah series so Martinson wants to work on that at practice today.
– Allen traded goalie Hayden Hawkey to Tulsa yesterday for the rights to former Allen defenseman Miles Liberati. The Americans had signed Hawkey because of injuries and with Jake Paterson returning this week, Martinson could no longer carry four goalies. Liberati finished last season ranked #2 in the ECHL in scoring by defensemen with 46 points (11G, 35A). Only Alex Breton with 55 points (11G, 55A) had more points than Liberati. Miles could not come to terms with Tulsa for the 2020-21 so has not played this season. The bad news is Liberati does not intend to play hockey this season. The good news is Allen has his rights if he changes his mind.
– Martinson continues to work on adding an additional defenseman and/or other players to the roster. It could happen via a trade, an assignment from an AHL team or signing a college player.
– Despite the recent scoring slump Allen is still ranked #3 in the ECHL in average goals scored at 3.33. Florida is #1 averaging 3.64 goals per game. Allen is ranked #6 in average goals allowed at 2.80. Florida is also ranked #1 in average goals allowed at 2.52.
– Allen has the longest road winning streak in the ECHL this season. Between January 8-30 the Americans won six straight road games.
– Colby McAuley leads the Americans in shooting percentage. Colby has scored five goals on 19 shots for a 26.3% shooting percentage. The team shooting percentage this season is 10.3%.
– Les Lancaster has 11 goals and continues to lead all ECHL defensemen in goals scored, two more than second place and four more than third place.
DID YOU KNOW: This information from ECHL Stats shows how much Allen will miss Jesse Mychan who is done for the season. Jesse was one of the most productive goal scorers in the ECHL when he was in the lineup.