As Allen coach Steve Martinson was leaving the ice after practice yesterday his comment was, we have gone from famine to feast with the roster. Indeed all 22 Allen players took part in practice and only Darian Skeoch was in the no contact yellow jersey. However, Skeoch has been cleared for the weekend. That means 21 healthy players tonight and for a change Martinson will have to decide which 16 skaters will play.
– With four games in five days it is a good time to have extra healthy players. Newly signed defenseman Andrew Jarvis will sit out tonight as his equipment is lost and he has been using borrowed skates and equipment in practice. He hasn’t skated much with his college team paused. Players coming back from sickness may need an extra day before getting back in the lineup. When I talked to Martinson this morning, he was still trying to decide who other than Jarvis will sit out.
– Antoine Bibeau will get the start in goal tonight and will likely play in three of the four games this week. That way he can play Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and not have to play in back-to-back games. If that is the way it goes, Hayden Lavigne will get the start in Kansas City on Saturday.
– Allen split the two games against Tulsa last week winning at home (6-3) and losing in Tulsa (4-2). This week the teams will play three times, in Allen tonight and in Tulsa on Friday and Sunday.
– Comparing stats is difficult given Allen’s poor start to the season. Overall stats show Allen averaging 3.5 goals per game versus 3.1 for Tulsa. Goals against favors Tulsa 3.1 to 3.9. However, if you look at Allen’s last 12 games its record is 9-3-0-0 with average goals scored per game of 3.83 and average goals allowed of 3.00. A big difference from the overall stats.
– Special teams could play a key role tonight though there were just four penalties in the last game. Neither of these teams have been great on special teams. Allen has the better power play ranked #17 at 19.0%, Tulsa is ranked #25 at 14.9%. Tulsa has the better penalty kill ranked #9 (82.8%) vs Allen ranked #22 (77.2%). Allen has allowed 11 shorthanded goals and scored four. Tulsa has allowed three shorthanded goals and scored two. The old adage of win the special teams battle win the game is likely.
– Here is the game preview issued by the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/game-preview-americans-host-tulsa-705-pm/
– There are five games scheduled in the ECHL tonight with Tulsa at Allen the only Mountain Division teams in action. Here is the ECHL Today with a preview of all five games: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2022/1/echl-today-jan-12
– The Seattle Kraken do not have a goalie on the taxi squad, Charlotte has three goalies on its roster but just one (Joey Daccord) is a Seattle signee. If Seattle decides to add a goalie to the taxi squad that could impact Antoine Bibeau. Always something to consider and worry about if you are an Allen Americans fan.
– I wrote about player streaks for ECHL Stats this morning and noticed just one Allen player on the list. Branden Troock is tied for #3 in the current road streak category for assists. Troock has assists in his last five road games. He had a total of eight assists in the five games. He will have a chance to extend his streak in Tulsa on Friday. The longest road assist streak this season is seven (A.J. White – Idaho).