ALLEN, TX – It is game day in Allen as the Americans take on Colorado this afternoon at 4:05 after losing to the Eagles 1-0 Friday night. The game today will be the fourth and final home game against the Eagles but the teams do play once more in Colorado (April 5).

There are all kinds of reasons the game this afternoon is critical. Allen has lost four straight home games, the Eagles have beaten the Americans two out of three games in Allen, and last night Tulsa beat Wichita and now has a higher winning percentage than the Americans.

These teams have played five times this year with Colorado winning three of the five. The Eagles have out shot Allen 153-135 and out scored the Americans 17-9. Colorado also has the edge on the power play going 3-19 (15.8%) compared to Allen who is 2-23 (8.7%). Colorado has taken 42 penalties for 122 minutes. Allen has taken 40 penalties for 126 minutes.

It will be interesting to see how the game this afternoon plays out. There were 20 fighting majors in their first four games but no fisticuffs on Friday. Just six minor penalties (five on Allen) were called in the game on Friday by referee Stephen Thomson, who is also scheduled to be the referee for the game this afternoon. Odds would say he will be a little busier today.

– Here is a comparison between Allen and Colorado:

ALLEN COLORADO
Team Record 19-14-1-0 (39 points) 16-16-2-0 (34 points)
Division Ranking 2nd – Central 4th -West
Conference Ranking 4th – Western 10th – Western
Home Record 7-6-1-0 11-5-2-0
Road Record 12-8-0-0 5-11-0-0
Last Game 1-0 L (Colorado 1-0 W (Allen)
Goals For/Against 97/97 87/84
Power Play 20.0% (27/135) 19.0% (22/116)
Penalty Kill 84.8% (20/132) 87.2% (18/141)
Leading Scorer Costello  (12G, 33A = 45pts) Daavettila (14G, 22A =36pts)

– Here is how Allen and Colorado rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 3rd (17.65) – Colorado 1st (19.59)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 15th (2.85) – Colorado 26th (2.56)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 14th (2.85) – Colorado 7th (2.47)
Shots For Per Games: Allen 24th (28.00) – Colorado 20th (29.09)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 15th (30.24) – Colorado 2nd (26.00)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 15th (30.24) – Colorado 2nd (26.00)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 15th (30.24) – Colorado 2nd (26.00)

– The game today features the top two scorers in the ECHL. Keep your eye on Allen’s #13 Chad Costello (45 points) and Colorado’s #45 Trent Daavettila (36 points). The other Eagle player to watch is #29 Jesse Mychan who set up the game winning goal on Friday. Mychan has lit up Allen with eight points (4 goals 4 assists).

– If you are looking for a positive stat how about this. The Americans have played a team back to back nine times this year and only once (in Utah) did they lose both games. In the other eight they swept three times and split five times. Odds are Allen comes out on top today.

– Allen’s trouble this year has not been finishing as only three teams in the league (Missouri, Orlando, Rapid City) score on a higher percentage of their shots than Allen. The problem has been getting enough shots. The Americans are ranked #24 in the ECHL averaging just 28 shots per game. Combine Allen’s inability to generate a lot of shots with Colorado being ranked #2 in the ECHL in shots allowed (26 per game) and you have a key to the game. If Allen can generate 30 shots and get a power play goal they should be fine. Okay, throw in scoring the first goal of the game too as they need all the help they can get. If that all happens the Americans win for sure.

OTHER COMMENTS:

– Something happened last night that hasn’t happened in a long time. Allen slipped to third place in their division based on win percentage. Tulsa beat Wichita 6-4 and are still technically in second place in the Central Division with 36 points compared to Allen with 39. However, Tulsa is in second place in win percentage because they have played three fewer games than Allen.

Here are the Central Division standings by win percentage:
.879 – Missouri
.581 – Tulsa
.574 – Allen
.329 – Wichita

–  Colorado goalie Eric Levine doesn’t qualify for being listed among the top goalies in the ECHL stats because he has not played enough minutes. He has 536 minutes and needs 660 to qualify. He is just a few games from becoming qualified but he is the top goalie in the ECHL with a GAA of 1.01 and save percentage of .963.

– Rylan Schwartz had another goal last night for Orlando as they beat Wheeling 6-3. Orlando is in last place in the South Division but have won three games in a row and Schwartz has a goal in all three games. Since the first of the year, Rylan has nine points (five goals four assist) in five games and is a +6. Orlando has won five of the six games. Talk about coming back strong after a serious injury. Too bad Schwartz didn’t return to Allen.

– Greger Hanson (San Jose) and Spencer Asuchak (Chicago) were both healthy scratches last night. San Jose won and Chicago lost.

– Missouri continues their march toward the record books beating Rapid City last night 3-1. They now have 58 points in 33 games. Second place Florida has 51 points in 37 games.

– After Missouri, who is #1 with 58 points the next nine highest point totals come from the Eastern Conference.

– Today is another Faith and Family night at the Allen Americans. Right after the game Gary Steffes will met with fans, answer questions and talk about his journey. No matter what, if any, religious affiliation you have I would encourage you to stick around for 30 minutes after the game and listen to an inspiring young man in Gary Steffes. Ask him about how his life as a professional hockey player squares with his faith as he has a thought provoking answer.

DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans have scored 97 goals and allowed 97 goals so far this season. At that pace they would end the year with 205 goals for and 205 goals against. The 205 goals scored would be 87 fewer than last year and the lowest goal total in team history by 24 goals. The 205 goals allowed would be three fewer than last year and the third best goals allowed number in team history.

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