The Allen Americans were spared the long bus trip to Kansas City yesterday to play just one game but it was for the wrong reason. The game was postponed because of COVID protocol issues with the Mavericks. It is the second Allen game (Orlando the other) that has been postponed because of  COVID issues with an opponent. By my count just over 20 ECHL games have been postponed but that is dwarfed by over 40 AHL games and 90 NHL game postponements. The AHL just extended its season by a week until April 30 to make up games and the NHL has the time from the canceled Olympics for NHL players to make up games. The ECHL will juggle the current schedule to make up games but it is likely all will not get rescheduled. That means like last season the standings will be by points percentage rather than points. If you ask me everyone should stop talking about points and exclusively use points percentage when talking about the standings.

 

– The ECHL All-Star game is scheduled to take place in Jacksonville on January 17. There is no chance the game will be postponed at this late date. The game was postponed last season so Jacksonville has been waiting a long time to present the Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic. The host team Jacksonville Icemen will take on a team of All-Stars representing the other teams in the league.

The Coaches have been announced, Eric Wellwood (Newfoundland) and Dan Watson (Toledo). The All-Star coaching honors got the best team by points percentage in each conference as of December 22.

The referees for the All-Star game will be Jake Rekucki and Riley Yerkovich.

The game will be nationally televised on the NHL Network and live streamed on FloHockey (January 17 at 7:30 pm ET).

The All-Star game has always been a showcase for younger talent. Unless voted on the team as a starter, my recollection is all of the other players are younger. If you look at the Allen roster it is pretty obvious who is the most likely player to represent the Americans. The only rookie in the top 10 in scoring in Gavin Gould who is tied for #2 with 22 points. If the ECHL uses the criteria it has used in the past it is a no-brainer that Gould would be the Allen All-Star.

The players haven’t been announced yet and I heard one of the issues the ECHL is dealing with is so many of the chosen All-Stars are currently in the AHL on loans and call ups. The latest info is the teams will be announced at the end of this week or early next week.

 

– A stat worth noting from the weekend sweep of Idaho which shows how good the Americans offense was in the series is goals scored. Allen scored 12 goals in the three games. In the seven games prior to meeting Allen, the Steelheads allowed a total of six goals.

 

– Antoine Bibeau has been selected as the ECHL Goalie of the Week. Here is the press release with the details.  https://www.echl.com/en/news/2022/1/allen-s-bibeau-named-warrior-hockey-echl-goaltender-of-the-week

Bibeau has 331 minutes played. If he had enough minutes played (480) to be on the ECHL qualified list he would rank #6 in save percentage (.927). His 5-0 record makes Bibeau the only ECHL goalie with three or more wins that is undefeated. It was just three seasons ago (2017-18) that Antoine was selected to the AHL All-Star game.

 

– Former Allen goalie Zach Sawchenko saw his first NHL action when he played 38 minutes in a relief role for the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. Zach is the third player in Allen franchise history to play in the NHL after playing in Allen. There have been many that played in the NHL prior to playing for Allen. Sawchenko has a long way to go to match the NHL careers of the first two Allen players to make it to the NHL. Defenseman Jordie Benn has played in 570 NHL games and goalie Aaron Dell has 121 NHL games played.

FYI the NHL experience on the Americans now is player Antoine Bibeau (four games) as well as coach Steve Martinson (49 games) and assistant coach Kevin Colley (16 games).

 

– So far this season just one of 17 penalty shots (6%) has been successful and Allen has not been awarded a penalty shot. In 2020-21 with only 14 teams playing there were 19 penalty shots awarded and four (21%) were successful. Allen had three of the 19 penalty shots and two of the four successful penalty shots (Spencer Asuchak and Les Lancaster).

 

DID YOU KNOW:  Allen has five players that have 20+ points (Costello – 27, Asuchak – 22, Gould – 22, Troock – 21 and Combs – 20). This despite the Americans playing only 24 games compared to 30 games that teams like Florida and Utah have played. Here is the ECHL Stats post from today:

ECHL teams with the most 20 point scorers this season:
6 – Florida
5 – Allen
5 – Utah
5 – Toledo
4 – Cincinnati
4 – Wichita
4 – Trois Rivières
4 – Indy
4 – Kalamazoo
4 – Kansas City
– Nine teams have just one 20 point scorer. Reading is the only ECHL team with no 20 point scorers.