ALLEN, TX – After completing three days off for the delayed All-Star break, it is back to work today for the Allen Americans. Allen is preparing for two big games on Friday and Saturday in Kansas City.
It is hard to believe that it is the end of February and these two franchises, who started the same year (2009-10) back in the Central Hockey League (CHL) and have so much history together, are battling just to make the playoffs in their respective divisions.
– To say Allen and Kansas City are struggling would be an understatement. The Americans have lost 11 of their last 16 games including five of their last six. It is even worse for the Mavericks who haven’t won a game the entire month of February and are on an eight-game losing streak.
– The season is 75% complete and it is still uncertain if Allen and Kansas City will be in the playoffs. At least Allen is currently in a playoff spot occupying fourth place in the Mountain Division with a slim one-point lead over fifth place Tulsa. Kansas City has been in free fall in February and is now out of the playoffs looking in. The Mavericks are in fifth place in the Central Division, five points behind fourth place Kalamazoo and just one point ahead of sixth place Indy. Any way you slice it, the games this weekend will be huge for both teams in their pursuit of a playoff spot.
– One way to look at the teams moving forward and those losing ground in the Mountain Division is points earned over the last 10 games. What that shows is Colorado losing a lot of ground to Idaho and the rest of the contenders all playing around .500 hockey. Here is the complete list of points earned over the last 10 game. Maximum points is 20.
14 points – Idaho
11 points – Allen
11 points – Tulsa
9 points – Utah
9 points – Wichita
7 points – Rapid City
6 points – Colorado
– Colorado played in Wichita last night and beat the Thunder 5-3. The teams play again tonight in a rare back to back midweek series. After the game tonight Colorado heads to Tulsa to take on the Oilers on Friday and Saturday.
– The hottest team in the ECHL right now is the Fort Wayne Komets who have a point in 10 straight games and a record of 9-0-0-1. At the other end of the spectrum as the coldest team in the league is Kansas City who has lost eight straight with a record of 0-7-0-1.
DID YOU KNOW: Allen has three players with 15 or more goals (Guptill, Pierro-Zabotel, Moore). There are five teams in the league that have five players with 15 or more goals (Florida, Fort Wayne, Idaho, Manchester, Wheeling). There are two teams that have three players with 20+ goals (Fort Wayne & Idaho). There are two players in the ECHL with 30 or more goals. Michael Joly (Colorado) has 36, and Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman (Manchester) has 30.