ALLEN, Texas – As expected, it was a quiet day for the Allen Americans yesterday on trade deadline day. It doesn’t mean there weren’t deals on the table and conversations taking place but at the end of the day, there were few trades around the ECHL yesterday.
The next critical date for the Americans is two weeks away. That is the date AHL players who have not played in the ECHL this season must be assigned in order to play in five regular-season games before the end of the AHL season (May 16). Players need five regular-season games played to qualify for the ECHL playoffs. There are plenty of obstacles in getting AHL players who have not spent time in the ECHL this season assigned by May 7, so no guarantees but it is clear ECHL coaches are having discussions with AHL teams.
Allen finds itself in a familiar spot in the standings trailing second-place Wichita by .028 percentage points and just ahead of fourth-place Utah by .094 percentage points. Depending on the results this weekend, Allen could be in first place or fourth place.
Allen’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is 27.
Utah/Allen Series Overview
Next up for the Americans is a three-game series against the Utah Grizzlies starting tonight at the Allen Event Center. Allen plays Utah 18 times this season, more than any other team.
As a reminder here is a breakdown of the 72-game Allen schedule by team:
18 games – Utah (8 home 10 away)
16 games – Rapid City (7 home 9 away)
13 games – Tulsa (8 home 5 away)
11 games – Wichita (8 home 3 away)
11 games – Kansas City (5 home 6 away)
3 games – Greenville (0 home, 3 away)
Allen and Utah have already played 11 times this season, and the Americans record in those 11 games is 8-2-0-1. Five of the 11 games have gone into extra time. The odd stat of the day is Allen has been involved in four shootouts this season and they have all been against Utah. The Americans won three of the four shootouts and the lone overtime game so advantage Allen if games go extra time this weekend.
With 11 head-to-head games between these teams here are the totals:
- Allen leads in goals (38) averaging 3.45 per game.
- Utah has scored 28 goals for an average of 2.54 per game.
- Shot totals are almost identical (303 vs 300) which is an average of 27 shots per game.
Head-to-head on special teams, Allen’s power play is 10-48 (20.8%) and Utah’s is 7-47 (14.9%). The difference is even more stark if you look at the last time Utah visited Allen for three games at the beginning of April. Allen was 4-18 (22.2%) and Utah was 1-14 (7.1%) on the power play. Allen also had a shorthanded goal in that series.
How important is it for Allen to score the first goal against Utah? In the 11 head-to-head games, Allen’s record when scoring first is 6-0-0-0. When Utah scores first, the Americans record is 2-2-0-1.
Both teams enter the series not playing well recently. Allen has lost three of its last four games after winning six of seven. Utah has lost four of its last six games though they did win the last game against Kansas City.
Here are coach Steve Martinson‘s comments from this morning:
“The key to the game is getting back to solid team defense and avoid defensive mistakes that allow odd-man rushes and easy scoring chances.
“It will help having Dyson Stevenson and Corey Mackin back in the lineup tonight.”
“Frank Marotte will get the start in goal.”
“I am not worried about our even-strength scoring. Our roster is full of players that have led their teams in scoring and we have four lines that can score. Our new players will get stronger with every game they play.”
It seems like every game recently Allen has a player unable to play because of illness or injury. My reporting is that will probably be the case again tonight. Stay tuned.
One measure of the depth of the Allen Americans this season is game-winning goals. Allen has 26 game-winning goals this season with 16 different players having at least one game-winning goal. The leaders are Les Lancaster (4), Jesse Mychan (4), and Corey Mackin (3). The ECHL leader in game-winning goals is Michael Huntebrinker from Florida with seven.
Did You Know?
Average penalty minutes per game have been going down recently for Allen and leaguewide. Allen’s average penalty minutes per game have been 12.83 (this season) and 12.02 (last season).
Here is my ECHL Stats post today which tells the story:
Average penalty minutes per game leaders since 2012-13:
17.06 – Florida, 2020-21
16.84 – Fort Wayne, 2019-20
23.49 – Allen, 2018-19
19.60 – Allen, 2017-18
19.89 – Allen, 2016-17
19.82 – Colorado, 2015-16
22.83 – Allen, 2014-15
19.69 – Idaho, 2013-14
24.18 – Utah, 2012-13
— ECHL Stats (@EchlStats) April 23, 2021
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