ALLEN, Texas – If I had to describe the Allen Americans practice on Wednesday it was more of the same. With a goal differential of -18 (40 goals for & 58 against) which is ranked 26th and a shot differential of -95 (461 shots for & 556 shots against) which is also ranked 26th, the drills this week have primarily worked on the forecheck, having proper gaps and overall defensive play. Today, the team will focus on special teams in practice, concentrating on the power play.

– There were 17 players at practice yesterday with one more expected back today. It remains to be seen what the lineup will look like against Tulsa on Friday night. With all of the players recovering from injuries along with the possibility of trades and/or free agent signings, every day can see roster moves. You never know who is coming and going from morning to afternoon. It all reminds me of a quote about change, “The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.”

– If you are not on Facebook you may have missed the Q&A discussion with coach Steve Martinson yesterday. Here are some highlights.

Question: There was talk of bringing in some players willing to drop the gloves with teams coming to Allen with bad intentions. It is hard to watch our players get pushed around physically and defensively.

Answer: We are working on bringing in some players to help the cause. We also need some of our current players to step up and help that problem as well.

Question: Any chance we get Vinny (Arseneau) back?

Answer: Arseneau is under contract in the AHL but we own his rights so if he gets sent down it will be to us.

Question: Is there any indication of when the players on injured reserve will return? It appears that we need to re-find team “physicality” and toughness?

Answer: Josh Thrower is day to day. Casey (Pierro-Zabotel) is out indefinitely. We are hoping to have Kevin Sundher back after Thanksgiving. We have some toughness coming.

Question: When are we going to see some organization on the power play?

Answer: The power play is a work in progress. Having Adam Miller will help the power play tremendously and having (Braylon) Shmyr back is big.

Stats from the ECHL Daily Report

– Three of the four division leaders were not in the playoffs last season. Newfoundland leads in the North Division and is a new franchise. Jacksonville, who leads in the South Division, missed the playoffs by 10 points last season. Kansas City leads in the Mountain Division. The Mavericks were in the Central Division last season and finished 31 points out of first place. Only the Toledo Walleye are in a familiar position, first place in the Central Division. If they continue in first place this would be the fifth straight division championship for the Walleye.

– The top two ECHL rookie scoring leaders are from the same team, the Newfoundland Growlers. Brady Ferguson has 20 points (9G, 11A) and Giorgio Estephan has 18 points (9G, 9A). Allen’s Braylon Shmyr is third in rookie scoring with 14 points (7G, 7A). Shmyr has played seven fewer games than the top two.

– Allen is the only ECHL team that has not won a home game (0-5). Two teams have yet to lose at home. Kansas City is 6-0 and Toledo is 3-0.

– Rapid City has already gone beyond regulation seven times (4 OT, 3 SO). Fort Wayne and South Carolina have yet to go to overtime.

– The Atlanta Gladiators are the only remaining member of the 100% special teams club. Atlanta has a 100% home penalty kill record (0-21).

– The Allen Americans are the only ECHL team to appear on the single-game for saves in all three periods. The Americans are tied for the most saves in the first period (18), fourth for the most saves in the second period (19) and first for the most saves in the third period (20).

Other Thoughts:

– If you haven’t seen the ECHL Plays of the Week where C.J. Motte makes the list here is the link: https://www.echl.com/en/video/2018/11/echl-plays-of-the-week-nov-5-11-2018-v4fHEbYf

– It is that time of year when young players who have college scholarships earned from playing major junior hockey in Canada have to make a decision on whether to continue their pro careers or enroll in a Canadian college. They can still be eligible to play this season for their college hockey team if they enroll in the next several weeks. Players that have struggled in making the transition from juniors to pro often take the option to go to college.

– Talk about teams going in opposite directions, the Kansas City Mavericks have won seven straight games and lead the Mountain Division (tied) with 19 points. The Allen Americans have lost seven straight games and find themselves in last place with eight points.

Did You Know?

Allen is only 14 games into the season and there are just five players that have played in every game and are candidates to be an Ironman by playing in all 72 games. It is a feat that is really difficult to accomplish. The five players are Spencer Asuchak, Alex Breton, Dante Salituro, Josh Atkinson and Chase Lang.

Here are the past Ironmen who played in every regular season game:

2017-18 – Joel Chouinard, Casey Pierro-Zabotel
2016-17 – Chad Costello, Joel Chouinard
2015-16 – Chad Costello
2014-15 – Chad Costello, Aaron Gens, Jamie Schaafsma
2013-14 – Spencer Asuchak, Daniel Tetrault, Mike Berube
2012-13 – Jamie Schaafsma, Jason Deitsch
2011-12 – Jason Deitsch
2010-11 – Colton Yellow Horn, David Strathman
2009-10 – Bruce Graham, Christian Gaudet