ALLEN, TX – After some time off the Allen Americans will start preparing today for a trip to Kansas City where they will take on the Mavericks in a rare Sunday and Monday series.

It is unusual to play Kansas City for the first time two months into the season but with the Mavericks moving to the Central Division this year the teams will only play each other eight times compared to 13 times last season. Kansas City has had an up and down season thus far which is similar to the Americans. The Mavericks are currently in third place in the Central Division with a record of 12-10-0-0 while Allen is in fourth place in the Mountain Division with a record of 12-6-2-1.

– In yesterday’s article, there was a discussion of how the Americans turned around their season last December and what a daunting task it will be to match that performance this year. As a reminder of just how good the team played in December last season, here are some of the highlights:

– 10-2-1-1 record including 5-0-1-0 on the road.
– Outscored their opponents 67-29 for a goal differential of +38.
– Averaged 4.78 goals per game
– Allowed 2.07 goals per game
– Power play percentage of 29.4%
– Penalty kill percentage of 89.2%
– Plus/minus total of +168. Went from one of the worst (-27) to first (+134) in one month
– Four shutouts outscoring opponents 23-0

– With such a great month you would assume accolades would follow and they certainly did. It was probably the best month ever for individual honors. Here is the list:

Riley Gill – ECHL Goalie of the Week (December 4th)
Riley Gill – ECHL Goalie of the Week (December 11th)
Riley Gill – ECHL Goalie of the Month (December)
Spencer Asuchak – ECHL Player of the Week (December 23)
Spencer Asuchak – PHPA ECHL Performer of the Month (December)
David Makowski – ECHL Plus Performer of the Month (December)
Chad Costello –  Named ECHL All-Star game starter

– Every once in a while I like to go through every stat listed on the ECHL website and see how many  Allen is #1 in individual or team stats. FYI being #1 can be good or bad. It means best or worst in the ECHL. Here are the current #1’s.

#1 – Average penalty minutes per game by a team (24.52)
#1 – Casey Pierro-Zabotel most assists (19)
#1 – David Makowski most minor penalties by a defenseman (19)
#1 – Record when scoring first (10-0)
#1 – Lowest road penalty kill percentage (72.1%)
#1 – Zach Pochiro most points in a game (5)
#1 – Joel Chouinard most power-play points in a game (4)
#1 – Most minor penalties in a game by one team (15)

– The ECHL announced their player of the week yesterday and the honor went to former Allen Americans forward Matt Willows who now plays for the Reading Royals. Willows had one goal and five assists on the week as Reading was 1-1-1-0 in their three games. Bryan Moore was a runner-up for player of the week with five points (3 goals 2 assists) as Allen was 2-0-0-0 on the week. Bryan obviously had better stats but was hurt by the fact Allen only played two games last week.

– You may remember there was a rookie in Allen’s training camp by the name of Tyler Coulter who coach Martinson traded to Jacksonville prior to the start of the season. Coulter had completed his junior career with the Brandon Wheat Kings, committed to play college hockey at the University of Calgary but decided to turn professional.  A player can actually turn pro and still play college hockey that same season as long as he enrolls by a certain date which is sometime around the end of December. Coulter has decided to leave pro hockey to attend the University of Calgary.  Here is a story about Tyler’s decision. https://bdnmb.ca/former-wheat-king-leaves-the-pro-ranks-heads-to-university/

It is always somewhat of a gamble when dealing with rookies who have college scholarship money available as there is always a risk they will leave the pro ranks and play college hockey. This same thing happened to Allen when they traded Tanner Eberle for defenseman Michael Webster last month.

– If you haven’t had a chance to watch the video of the Allen Americans singing the SpongeBob theme song featuring Bryan Moore here it is. When you are wearing SpongeBob specialty jerseys you have to sing the song and the boys showed they have a sense of humor.

DID YOU KNOW: There are lots of ways to compare attendance across professional leagues. Here are the best and worst teams in average attendance this season by league. Information courtesy of hockeydb.com.

NHL
21473 – Chicago Blackhawks
12595 – New York Islanders

AHL
9520 – San Diego Gulls
3157 – Hartford Wolf Pack

ECHL
7868 – Toledo Walleye
1981 – Norfolk Admirals

SPHL
4967 – Huntsville Havoc
1872 – Mississippi RiverKings

While the NHL averages over 17,000 per game the other professional leagues draw a lot fewer fans. Here is the average attendance thus far this season by league:

5404 – AHL
4150 – ECHL
3024 – SPHL

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