ALLEN, Texas – It is another busy week for the Allen Americans as they are in Wichita tonight to take on the Thunder. The Americans then return home to play four games in five days, Friday and Saturday against Kalamazoo followed by Monday and Tuesday against Utah. It is hard to believe by a week from today Allen’s regular season will be almost 60% completed.
The game tonight against Wichita will be the seventh of 12 times Allen will play the Thunder this season. The Americans record in the first six meetings was 4-0-2-0. The teams have split the two games they have played in Wichita this season with both going to overtime. The final score in both games was 3-2.
In the six head to head matchups between Allen and Wichita, the Americans lead in goals (26-14) and shots (218-187). The Americans have scored a power-play goal in all six games going 6-24 (25%). Wichita’s power play is 3-21 (14.3%) against Allen.
Only one of the six prior games was the typical high penalty affair Allen and Wichita fans are used to seeing. In a game on December 10 which Allen won 5-1 the teams combined for 68 penalty minutes which included eight fighting majors and four double minor penalties for roughing. In the other five games against the Thunder, the combined penalty minutes ranged from 14 to 20.
If you compare road (Allen) and home (Wichita) season long special teams percentages these teams are very close. Wichita has the edge on the power play (16.9% vs 16.0%) and Allen has the edge on the penalty kill (79.7% vs 74.3%).
Scoring first is always important. In the two games, Allen lost to Wichita they gave up the first goal. The Americans record when scoring first is 16-2-1-0. Wichita’s record is 13-3-3-0.
Allen is ranked #4 in the league in average goals scored per game (3.86). Wichita is ranked #22 (2.84).
Alex Guptill did not make the trip to Wichita, he stayed home because of an illness. With Guptill out sick, Tyler Sheehy in Iowa and Brett Pollock in San Diego the Americans will be missing their #1, #3 and #4 leading scorers tonight.
Yesterday the ECHL announced the players for the upcoming All-Star game which will take place in Wichita on January 22. Tyler Sheehy will represent the Allen Americans unless he is still in Iowa. There is a good chance he will be back in Allen in time to attend the All-Star game. Former Allen defenseman, Mike Brodzinski was also selected to the All-Star team representing the Orlando Solar Bears. Here is the press release with a list of all of All-Stars and other details about the game: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2020/1/rosters-set-for-2020-warrior-echl-all-star-classic
Here is the ECHL Today with a short preview of the four games on tap in the ECHL tonight: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2020/1/echl-today-jan-7
With a win tonight, Steve Martinson will pass John Brophy for second on the all-time wins list for professional coaches.
I saw a lot of dialogue on social media recently with fans discussing the moment of the decade for the Allen Americans. That question is an easy choice for me and it gives me an excuse to post the best championship video ever:
DID YOU KNOW: How does the Mountain Division fare in the overall ECHL standings? Here is how each team ranks based on winning percentage with their winning percentage in parenthesis:
#2 – Allen (.730)
#7 – Utah (.618)
#9 – Idaho (.608)
#10 – Rapid City (.603)
#16 – Kansas City (.500)
#18 – Wichita (.486)
#22 – Tulsa (.446)
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