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ALLEN, Texas – The Allen Americans released their playoff roster last night. Allen was one of the teams that chose to release their playoff roster early. Here it is:

Forwards (11)

Spencer Asuchak
Jared Bethune
J.C. Campagna
Alex Carrier
Matt Foget
Alex Guptill
Tristan King
Bryan Moore
Zach Pochiro
Braylon Shmyr
Casey Pierro-Zabotel

Defensemen (8)

Gordie Ballhorn
Joel Chouinard
Mike Gunn
Miles Liberati
David Makowski
Eric Roy
Dalton Thrower
Josh Thrower

Goalies (2)

Jeremy Brodeur
Jake Paterson

Playoff Eligible Players (5)

Olivier Archambault
Vincent Arseneau
Colby McAuley
Alex Schoenborn
Stephon Williams

– The most important thing to note is 21 players have been named to the roster. Steve Martinson has only two slots remaining for the five players on the “playoff eligible list” which means after he names those two players (once they become available) the roster will be frozen. My bet is those two roster spots will go the Arseneau and McAuley.

– Many times in past, players that were in Allen all season had to be left off the playoff roster because there weren’t enough spots. Not the case this season as everyone made the playoff roster.

– The Kelly Cup playoffs will get started on Thursday night with one game (Orlando at South Carolina). Last Thanksgiving I made predictions on which teams would make the playoffs. The premise, based on past history, was that 75% – 80% of the playoff teams are already decided by Thanksgiving even though only 20% of the season is complete. When I made the predictions I said I would revisit them and here are the results. To start with here are the 16 teams in the 2018 Kelly Cup playoffs.

2018 Kelly Cup Playoff bracket. Courtesy: ECHL

Here are my predictions from November 24, 2017 followed by the results:

North Division – This is the toughest division to predict because only six points separate first and last place. I am going with Wheeling, Reading, Adirondack and Brampton. Manchester and Worcester miss the playoffs.

RESULTS:  I said this was the toughest division and only two of four predictions were correct. Don’t know how I picked Brampton over Manchester even though they were tied in points at Thanksgiving. Congrats to Worcester who made the playoffs in their inaugural season.

South Division  – This one is easy and you can take it to the bank based on history. Florida, South Carolina, Greenville and Atlanta are in. Orlando, Jacksonville and Norfolk can already make tee times and plan vacations.

RESULTS: Got three out of four correct and obviously it wasn’t easy and if you took it to the bank you lost. Greenville won nine of 10 games just before Thanksgiving and had a big lead on Orlando but a colossal collapse by the Swamp Rabbits allowed Orlando to pass them. Greenville lost 18 of their last 22 games.

Central Division – Toledo, Kansas City, Cincinnati and Fort Wayne make the playoffs. Kalamazoo, Quad City and Indy stay home.

RESULTS: Got three of four correct and the one I missed (Kansas City) was in the playoff race till the last weekend of the season. Congrats to Indy who lost 10 of their first 12 games and came from last place at Thanksgiving to earn a playoff spot with a win on the last day of the season. Indy had a record of 9-2-3-0 the last there weeks of the season.

Mountain Division – Wichita, Colorado, Idaho and Allen are in while Tulsa, Utah and Rapid City miss the playoffs.

RESULTS:  Nailed this one with all four team making the playoffs. Tulsa battled to the end and made it close but lost their last four games.

The final results show 12 of 16  (75%) playoff teams were known at Thanksgiving. All you have to do next season is check out the standings while chowing down on Thanksgiving turkey and if your team is in fourth place or higher in the division, make plans for the playoffs.

– Allen will not have home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Allen has won many game sevens at home in the past but if you look at home and away playoff records since the Americans joined the ECHL, home ice has not been much of an advantage. Allen is 20-12 at home and 18-10 on the road. Last season in the playoffs, the Americans were 1-4 at home and 5-1 on the road.

DID YOU KNOW: Spencer Asuchak will have sole possession of first place on the all-time post season games played list after game one of the series with Idaho. He is currently tied with Greger Hanson at 76 games. Spencer will be moving up the all-time post season list in several categories.

Points – Spencer is #4 all-time in post season points (49) and needs four points to pass Bruce Graham for third place.

Goals – Spencer is #4 all-time in post season goals (23) and could pass #3 Bruce Graham (24) and #2 Gary Steffes (29).

Assists – Spencer is #6 all-time in post season assists (26) but could vault passed Tyler Ludwig, Jamie Schaafsma, and Bruce Graham who are all tied for third place with 28.

Penalty Minutes – Nobody to pass on the all-time post season penalty minute list. Spencer is #1 with 124 minutes. Vincent Arseneau is #2 with 104 penalty minutes.

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