The Utah in Allen tonight for one game before the Grizzlies travel to Wichita for three games this weekend. It will be the fourth time this season Allen has played the Grizzlies, the Americans won two of three games in Utah at the end of January.
– Allen’s schedule is always dominated by games with Tulsa (230 miles from Allen) and Wichita (360 miles form Allen). That is not the case with the current schedule. The schedule for the last two months of the season (April 4 to June 6) hasn’t been released but you can assume their will be a heavy dose of games against Tulsa and Wichita. What is clear is the current schedule has a lot of games against Utah (1240 miles from Allen). Between January 29 and April 3 the Americans schedule has 29 games, 11 of them (38%) are against Utah.
– Allen’s record is 13-5-1-0 (27 points) with a points percentage of .711. Utah’s record is 11-4-1-0 (23 points) with a point percentage of .639.
– Utah arrives in Allen on a three game win streak. Their last loss was in a shootout at home on January 30 against Allen. The Americans enter the game tonight having lost three of their last four games.
– In their three head to head games Allen had the edge in goals (11-8) but Utah had the edge in shots (85-83). Utah was 4-14 (28.6%) on the power play, Allen was 3-14 (21.4%). Allen took 16 penalties for 40 minutes, Utah took 17 penalties for 40 minutes. Based on the head to head stats these teams are evenly matched.
– If you compare special team rankings Utah on the road is #5 (18.2%) on the power play and #1 on the penalty kill. Allen at home is ranked #6 (15.6%) on the power play and #8 (82.1%) on the penalty kill. Utah has the stats edge on special teams both head to head and overall. This will be a key tonight for the Americans.
– With the advantage scoring the first goal of the game provides it is not a surprise the team that scored first won all three games these team recently played in Utah. Allen’s record when scoring first is 10-1, Utah’s record when scoring first is 7-1-1-1. Allen has given up the first goal in their last four games and lost three of them. The Americans have to get off to a better start tonight if the expect to win. Being ready to play from the first puck drop will be more important than ever for Allen to get out of this mini-slump.
– The top scorers for Allen in the three head to head games against Utah were Jesse Mychan with five points (1G, 4A) and Matt Register with four points (1G, 3A). Corey Mackin had two goals in the three games. Utah had four players with three points in the three games against Allen but two of them were loaned to Colorado (AHL) yesterday. They lost their top scoring defenseman, Miles Gendron and forward Riley Woods.
– A couple of other team stats worth noting are shooting percentage and save percentage. Allen scores on 10.3% of their shots on goal, Utah on 9.7%. Team goalie stats shows Allen with a .922 save percentage and Utah at .901.
– With the exception of Colby McAuley, who is on injured reserve, everyone else should be available for the game tonight which means one defenmseman will sit out. Jake Paterson will get the start in goal and if you notice what looks like a new player on the ice it is just Zane Franklin sans the big red beard.
– Jesse Mychan has the current second longest point streak in the ECHL. He has at least one point in six straight games. In those six games he has three goals and six assists. Matt Register has also been on a points scoring binge with points in six of his last eight games. In those eight games Matt has 10 points (2G, 8A). He is now #2 in the ECHL in points by defensemen with 16, just one point behind the leader.
– Allen’s NHL affiliate has had a big COVID breakout. The Minnesota Wild had five players on the COVID list last week but that increased to nine on Sunday and 11 on Monday. More games have been postponed and the team isn’t sure when they will return to play. In the story it says Minnesota will not call up a bunch of players from Iowa to replenish the roster so this should not impact Allen. Here is a story with all of the details: https://www.kvrr.com/2021/02/08/minnesota-wild-has-2-more-games-postponed-as-covid-19-issues-continue/
– Here is the Allen Americans weekly update from Tommy Daniels: https://allenamericans.com/news/press-release/americans-weekly-update-5/
– Allen’s roster has been stable for a couple of weeks. Based on past history Steve Martinson is always trying to improve the roster and that is even more the case when the team is struggling. My guess is you will see roster changes soon.
– Allen’s AHL affiliate, Iowa Wild, is off to a 1-1-1-0 start after three games. Tyler Sheehy has played in all three games, has one assist and is in the top five on the team in plus/minus (+2). Tyler wasn’t given much of a chance to show what he could do at the next level last season as he had a MVP type season in the ECHL (he was runner-up). If given a chance to play regularly in Iowa it may be playoff time before Sheehy is back in Allen.
– Posted this on my ECHL Stats page today. Some stats that got my attention.
DID YOU KNOW: Tuesday night home games were good to the Americans last season. They played four, won three and lost the other in overtime. The score in the three wins were 5-1, 6-5 and 4-0. The overtime loss was 6-5. If the Tuesday night luck holds look for the Americans to score a lot of goals tonight.