ALLEN, Texas – Not much new to write about today, so not sure where this post will start or finish, so let’s get started:
– The Iowa Wild took it in the shorts last night, losing to Chicago 10-2. Allen’s AHL affiliate was down 4-0 after the first period and 9-0 after the second period. Iowa had seven players in the lineup that have played in Allen, including defensemen Matt Register and Phil Beaulieu, who played in their first game for the Wild since being recalled by Iowa last Monday. Former Allen goalie, Joel Rumpel, saw his first action with Iowa. Joel was the backup goalie but replaced the starting goalie in the third period, with Iowa trailing 9-0. Iowa plays Chicago again today.
– Iowa Wild gave up 10 goals to Chicago last night. The most goals scored by a team in the ECHL this season is eight. Wichita scored eight against Kansas City, and Greenville scored eight against Orlando.
– There were six games in the ECHL last night, and the total attendance was 17,025, for an average of 2837 per game. In this year of COVID restrictions, that is an impressive number. Jacksonville had a crowd of 4635 last night. The top three teams in average attendance are Jacksonville (3454), Florida (3220), and Rapid City (2981). What they have in common is they come from states with no attendance restrictions for sporting events.
– Fort Wayne, who is the perennial ECHL attendance leader, has played two home games and had a COVID restricted sellout of 2943 for both games.
– Florida leads the ECHL in many statistical categories and is the hottest team in the league, with a record of 8-0-0-1 in its last nine games. The Everblades started the season with five straight wins but then lost four of seven games after several key players recalled the AHL. Florida got some players back from the AHL, signed some players, traded for players, and got back on track in a big way. In their last 13 games, the Everblades are 11-1-0-1.
– One player Florida signed in the middle of January was former Allen goalie Jake Hildebrand, who had signed with Kalamazoo before it opted out of the 2020-21 season. Last season in Kalamazoo, Jake had a GAA of 3.50 and a save percentage of .889 playing for a team with a points percentage of .443. This season, playing for a good team that is first in average goals scored (3.92) and first in average goals allowed (2.20), Jake has the best stats in the ECHL. Since joining Florida, Hildebrand’s record is 6-0, and he is tops in the league in GAA (2.00) and save percentage (.934). Jake was the ECHL Goalie of the Week last week.
– A who’s who of former Allen Americans play for SC Csikszereda, which is a professional team in Miercurea-Ciuc, Romania, Colton Yellow Horn (2009-12), Jack Combs (2014-15), and Judd Blackwater (2010-11). Imagine being able to watch these three exciting players in a community of less than 40,000 population. Blackwater leads the group with 49 points (16G, 33A) in 31 games. Yellow Horn has 45 points (16G, 29A) in 30 games. Combs arrived later and has 34 points (16G, 18A) in just 24 games. Their team is in third place in a ten-team league but only one point out of second place and three points from first place.
– Alex Lavoie has played in 10 games since joining his new team (HC Vita Hasten) in Sweden and has 11 points (4G, 7A). His team is in 11th place in a 14 team league.
– The top three ECHL players in taking minor penalties this season all have ties to the Allen Americans. First with 16 minor penalties is Cole Fraser, second is Zane Franklin with 15 minor penalties, and third is Bryan Moore with 14 minor penalties. Moore managed to get his 14 penalties in just nine games. Greenville traded Moore to Wichita and failed to report, so he is out of hockey now.
– Allen has two goalies (C.J. Motte & Frank Marotte) currently in Bridgeport (AHL). Bridgeport signed them because of injuries, so one or both may return to Allen in the not too distant future. This could present some tough choices for coach Steve Martinson. Paterson, who was brought in when Allen lost Motte and Zach Sawchenko, has been outstanding. He is currently ranked second in the ECHL in GAA (2.10) and second in save percentage (.932). I know Martinson isn’t fond of carrying three goalies, but he might soon be in that position.
– Hopefully, Joe Garreffa, who just returned to Allen, can pick up where he left off when San Jose recalled him. Joe leads all ECHL rookies with a shooting percentage of 23.1%. He has six goals (fourth among rookies) in just 26 shots.
– This didn’t get as much publicity as some of the other decisions the ECHL Board of Governors made this week, but they decided the 2021-22 season will start a little later than normal. The 2021-22 season will open October 22, 2021, and run through April 17, 2022.
– Allen has the best record in the ECHL when they score the first goal (12-1-0-0).
– Allen has scored goals on three of their five shootout attempts for a 60% conversion rate, the best in the ECHL.
– Spencer Asuchak sets a new Allen Americans record every game he plays. Spencer is now at 368 regular-season games played, 121 more than second-place Tyler Ludwig. If you include playoffs, Asuchak has played in 451 games, 143 more than the second-place Ludwig.
– Asuchak’s close hometown friend, Casey Pierro-Zabotel, is not playing pro hockey this season. He played last season for Adirondack, and they opted out this season. Since Casey started playing in the ECHL in 2009-10, he has been one of the greats. For his 11 years in the league from 2009-10 to 2019-20, the guy known as CPZ is ranked third in games played (621), second in goals (173), second in assists (370), and first in points (543). An impressive career for sure which includes two Kelly Cup championships (Allen and Colorado).
Did You Know?
Allen’s record for penalty minutes in a season is 274 set by Derek Mathers in 2016-17. Did you know in 1985-86, Martinson, playing for the Hershey Bears (AHL), had 432 penalty minutes averaging 6.25 PIMS per game.
For all things Allen Americans, follow Barry Janssen on Twitter @AllenAmericans1. For the latest stats and trends in the ECHL, follow @ECHLStats. And for the latest news on your favorite AHL & ECHL team, “Like” The Sin Bin on Facebook!