ALLEN, Texas – It is game day for the Allen Americans as they venture into the North Division for a rare visit. While Allen played six games against the North Division last season going 1-5 they did not play any games against the North the prior three seasons (2015-18).
– Allen starts their four-game road trip against the Adirondack Thunder with games tonight (6:00 pm CST) and Saturday (4:00 pm CST). Adirondack is currently in fourth place in their division with a record of 11-10-2-2, have lost their last three games (two in OT) and are 4-4-2-0 in their last 10 games. Allen is first in the Mountain Division with a record of 17-4-3-0 and are 7-1-2-0 in their last 10 games.
– The biggest difference between these teams is goal scoring. Allen is ranked sixth averaging 3.71 goals per game. Adirondack is ranked 22nd averaging 2.88 goals per game. The teams are closer in goals allowed with Allen ranked eighth (2.96) and Adirondack ranked 13th (3.20).
– Comparing Allen’s road and Adirondack’s home special teams percentages shows both teams struggle on the power play. Allen is at 10.6%, while Adirondack is at 12.5%. The Americans have an advantage on the penalty kill 87.2% to 79.5%.
– Scoring first is always a key to victory and even more so with these teams. They have a combined record of 19-4 when scoring first.
– If either game against Adirondack goes to overtime the advantage goes to Allen. The Americans have one of the best records in the league in overtime and they have had a lot of practice as 42% of their games have gone to overtime. In 10 overtime games, Allen’s record is 7-3. Adirondack has the worst record (tied) in the league in games that have gone extra time. In five games the Thunder have won one, lost two in overtime and lost two in shootouts.
– Allen’s offense has been clicking, scoring 28 goals in the last six games for an average of 4.67 per game. Only once was Allen held under four goals. Balanced scoring has been the key. In the last six games, 10 different players have scored goals and nine of the 10 scored multiple goals.
– Allen has a few players dinged up, as is always the case this time of the season, but will get reinforcements with Jordan Topping and Turner Ottenbreit back in the lineup. Goalies Jake Paterson and Zach Sawchenko have been alternating games the last three weeks so if that trend continues, Sawchenko should get the start tonight with Paterson in goal on Saturday.
– Allen hasn’t had a player that has been with the team the majority of the season average a point a game since 2016-17 when Chad Costello, Greger Hanson, David Makowski, Spencer Asuchak and Bryan Moore all averaged more than a point per game. This season five players are averaging 1.00+ points per game.
1.10 – Olivier Archambault
1.09 – Gabe Gagne
1.09 – Tyler Sheehy
1.08 – Les Lancaster
1.00 – Josh Brittain
– Going into this weekend, ECHL teams have played between 30% and 36% of their 72 game schedule. It is time for concern for the eight teams with winning percentages below .500 and time for optimism for the nine teams above .600. A winning percentage of .600+ is a guaranteed ticket to the playoffs. In the last five seasons, one team (Atlanta 2017-18) made the playoffs with a winning percentage below .500.
Here are the lowest winning percentage to make the playoffs in each of the last five seasons:
.528 – Jacksonville (2018-19)
.479 – Atlanta (2017-18)
.549 – Utah (2016-17)
.556 – Quad City (2015-16)
.528 – Wheeling (2014-15)
None of these teams made it past the first round of the playoffs and their combined record in the first round was 5-16-4-0.
– All 26 ECHL teams are in action tonight with most Mountain Division teams taking on teams outside the division. The exception is Wichita vs Tulsa who play three times this weekend, all in Tulsa. The Oilers are seven points behind the Thunder who occupy the fourth playoff spot. This is a must-win series for Tulsa.
Did You Know?
The Allen Americans leading goalie as measured by goals against average (GAA) for each season since they joined the ECHL.
2.47 – Zach Sawchenko (2019-20 thru 24 games)
3.27 – C.J. Motte (2018-19)
3.15 – Jeremy Brodeur (2017-18)
2.22 – Riley Gill (2016-17)
2.74 – Riley Gill (2015-16)*
2.59 – Riley Gill (2014-15)*
*Kelly Cup champions
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