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ALLEN, Texas – I swear you can attend an Allen Americans practice this time of year and know the series standing just by observing the body language and counting the smiles on the ice. With a 2-0 series lead it was a pleasant day to watch practice yesterday. I would describe practice as a combination of some very serious high octane systems work and some fun. The fun came in the form of a three-on-three cross ice mini-tournament at the end of practice.

Tristan King has been skating when the team was on the road and practicing without any restrictions when the team is in town so when he is cleared from a medical standpoint he will be ready to go. It is a day-to-day thing but he is definitely getting close.

– How important is a 2-0 lead in this series with Idaho? I decided to take a look back at the 16 previous series since Steve Martinson took over in Allen in 2012-13. He is 15-1 in those 16 series and of course won four straight championships. Counting the current series with Idaho the Americans have taken a 2-0 lead four times in 17 series, 12 series were tied 1-1 after two games and in one series Allen was down 0-2 and lost to Colorado.

Here is the year-by-year breakdown of each series after two games, the team involved and the series result. Note every time Allen has had a 2-0 lead in a series the Americans won the series 4-1.

Year & Team After Two Games Series Result
2018 – Idaho 2-0 ????
2017 – Utah 1-1 Won 4-1
2017 – Colorado 0-2 Lost 4-2
2016 – Idaho 1-1 Won 4-3
2016 – Missouri 1-1 Won 4-2
2016 – Fort Wayne 2-0 Won 4-1
2016 – Wheeling 1-1 Won 4-2
2015 – Tulsa 2-0 Won 4-1
2015 – Rapid City 1-1 Won 4-2
2015 – Ontario 1-1 Won 4-3
2015 – South Carolina 1-1 Won 4-3
2014 – Brampton 2-0 Won 4-1
2014 – Quad City 1-1 Won 4-3
2014 – Denver 1-1 Won 4-1
2013 – Denver 1-1 Won 4-1
2013 – Missouri 1-1 Won 4-3
2013 – Wichita 1-1 Won 4-3

– Here is a brief recap of the current status of the ECHL first round playoffs series:

North Division

#1 Adirondack vs #4 Worcester – This series is a 1-2-2-1-1 format with Adirondack in the lead 2-1. This has been a low scoring series with a combined total of nine goals in three games including two shutouts. Game four is Wednesday night in Adirondack.

#2 Manchester vs #3 Reading – This series is the typical 2-3-2 format and Manchester has the lead 3-0. It has been a tough series for team owner Jack Gulati and the Reading Royals as they have lost all three games in overtime. The first two games went to double overtime and last night Reading lost game three at home in overtime by a score of 4-3. Reading scored first and had a 3-2 lead after the second period but could not hang on. The game was decided 17:34 into overtime. These teams have to be exhausted having already played five overtime periods. In four days they played three games that totaled 269 minutes of playing time. That is the equivalent of  4.5 games in four days, whew! The teams have the day off today before resuming with game four on Wednesday in Reading.

South Division

#1 Florida vs #4 Atlanta – This series is a 2-3-2 format and got under way last night with Florida winning 4-1. Atlanta hung in for a while as there was no scoring in the first period but the Everblades eventually wore them down out shooting the Gladiators 49-21. Game two is tonight in Florida.

#2 South Carolina vs #3 Orlando – This series is a 2-3-2 format and has been the surprise of the playoffs thus far. South Carolina had 29 more points than Orlando in the regular season and head to head was 7-3-0-1 against the Solar Bears. However, Orlando has taken a 2-0 series lead winning in South Carolina 2-0 and 2-1. The series is now back in Orlando for game three on Thursday.

Central Division

#1 Toledo vs #4 Indy – Another 2-3-2 format which has Toledo ahead 2-0. It took double overtime for Toledo to win game one at home by a score of 4-3. Game two had the identical score (4-3) but was decided in regulation time. The series now shifts to Indy for game three on Wednesday.

#2 Fort Wayne vs #3 Cincinnati – This 2-3-2 series opened in Fort Wayne and the Komets hold a 2-0 lead. It took double overtime to win game one and former Allen captain Jamie Schaafsma was the hero with the game winning goal in overtime. Game two was decided in regulation with the Komets coming out on top 3-1. Each team scored a goal in the last 37 seconds of the game. The series now moves to Cincinnati with game three scheduled for Thursday.

Mountain Division

#1 Colorado vs #4 Wichita – This format is 2-3-1-1 and actually started in Wichita because of scheduling conflicts is Colorado. The Eagles lead in the series 2-0. Game one went to overtime before Colorado won by a score of 2-1.

Last night, Colorado jumped out to a lead scoring 25 seconds into the the game. Wichita regrouped and had a 2-1 lead early in the second period on goals by former Allen players Travis Brown and Dyson Stevenson. The wheels then came off on the Thunder as Colorado scored four unanswered goals to win the game 5-2. The series heads to Colorado for game three on Wednesday.

#3 Allen vs #2 Idaho – Allen has a 2-0 series lead in this 2-3-2 format series. Game three is in Allen on Wednesday.

– Allen fans will be paying close attention to the AHL playoffs with special focus on two series. Vincent Arseneau and his Utica Comets vs Toronto Marlies, while Colby McAuley and his San Jose Barracuda takes on Tucson Roadrunners.

Here is some info on these two series:

North Division

#1 Toronto Marlies vs #4 Utica Comets – Toronto was the best team in the AHL during the regular season with a record of 54-18-2-2, 112 points and a winning percentage of .737. Utica’s regular season record was 38-26-8-4, 88 points and a winning percentage of .579. If you have to pick one stat to compare teams the best indicator might be goal differential. Toronto scored 254 goals and allowed 170 for a goal differential of +84. Utica scored 211 goals and allowed 216 for a goal differential of -5. The format for this series is 2-2-1. The games in Toronto are April 21, 22, and 29. The two games scheduled in Utica are on April 25 & 27. Depending on how this series goes, Arseneau could be back in Allen if the Americans advance to the second round.

Pacific Division

#1 Tucson Roadrunners vs #4 San Jose Barracuda – Tucson’s regular season record was 42-20-5-1, 90 points and a winning percentage of .662. San Jose’s record was 34-26-4-4, 76 points and a winning percentage of .559. Tucson’s goal differential was +41 and San Jose’s was -12. What San Jose has going for them is a lot of momentum as they won their last six games of the season to sneak into the playoffs. They are the hottest team in the league even though they have the worst winning percentage of any of the 16 playoff teams. The format for this series is 2-3. The first two games will be in San Jose on April 19 & 21. The final three games are scheduled in Tucson on April 25, 27 & 28.

DID YOU KNOW:  I came across this odd and meaningless stat when looking at Allen’s ECHL history in game three. The Americans have played in 10 game three playoff games since joining the ECHL. The losing team in all 10 games has scored either one or two goals.

In the first seven games the losing team had one goal and the last three the losing team had two goals.

Here are the game three scores since Allen joined the ECHL. To keep the streak alive the losing team tomorrow night needs to score two goals.

2015
5-1
4-1
4-1
4-1

2016
3-1
5-1
2-1
3-2

2017
4-2
4-2

2018
?-?

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