ALLEN, Texas – Preseason results are certainly not predictive of regular season success. The case in point is the Allen Americans. In their two Kelly Cup championship years (2015 & 2016) the Americans were a combined 0-2 in the preseason with four goals scored and 11 goals allowed. Last season, the worst in franchise history, the Americans were 2-0 in the preseason.
When you only have one preseason game it is nice to get a win and that is exactly what the Americans did last night beating the Kansas City Mavericks on the road 3-2 in overtime. Gabe Gagne scored the game winner just 39 seconds into overtime.
Goal scorers for Allen:
Alex Breton assisted by Brett Pollock and Gabe Gagne
Jordan Topping assisted by Braylon Shmyr and Alex Breton
Gabe Gagne assisted by Brett Pollock
Coach Martinson’s comments to me after the game centered around the team missing a lot of opportunities in the first period and the Americans needing a bit more “jump” going forward.
Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/americans-beat-kc-3-2-in-overtime
Two stats that plagued Allen last season related to shot differential and minor penalties. Allen was ranked #19 in shots taken per game (30.88) and #26 in shots allowed per game (36.11). The Americans led the ECHL in minor penalties averaging 5.87 per game.
Last night Allen was out shot 33-15 including 14-4 in the first period and 12-3 in the third period. Certainly, nothing to be concerned about when you consider the fire power that was not in the lineup. Spencer Asuchak, Olivier Archambault, Mike Heddon, and Shawn O’Donnell did not play. In their ECHL careers, these four players have averaged a combined 11 shots per game.
The Americans took seven minor penalties in the game last night. They killed six of the seven but it is hard to win games when your penalty killers spend so much time on the ice. Last season Allen scored 50 power play goals but allowed 67 power play goals. In 2018-19 ECHL teams averaged 348 minor penalties ranging from 266 (Reading) to 423 (Allen). The Americans style of play will always suggest they will take a lot of penalties but more discipline in taking minor penalties, especially stick penalties (slashing, hooking, tripping) will be a key to success.
The goalie play for Allen last night was outstanding. Jake Paterson and Evan Weninger split the goalie duties with Paterson playing the first 33:28 before Weninger took over. The two combined for a .939 save percentage. Paterson saved 18/19 for a save percentage of .947. Weninger saved 13/14 for a save percentage of .929 and was credited with the win.
The team headed back to Allen after the game which concluded at 9:32 pm. The 475 mile trip had them back in Allen very early this morning. I hope they got some sleep on the bus as they will be at the Community Rink this afternoon for the Red vs White scrimmage.
Three Allen players (Matt Register, Josh Atkinson, Jake Doty) have signed PTO contracts with AHL teams. Register and Atkinson with Iowa and Doty with Ontario. A PTO is a professional tryout contract, this type of contract is limited to 25 games.
Atkinson was in the lineup for Iowa last night as the Wild kicked off the season at home with a 3-2 win over Rockford.
DID YOU KNOW: Best single season shooting percentages since the Allen Americans joined the ECHL (minimum 100 shots):