ALLEN, TX – The Allen Americans have arrived in Colorado and will take on a hot Eagles team tomorrow night (7:05 MST). It will be the seventh and final time these team have played this season. Here are some facts to keep in mind going into the Colorado game.
– Allen is 3-3 against the Eagles this season.
– The Americans are 1-1 in Colorado having won 3-1 on October 21 and lost 4-1 on December 16.
– Colorado has a five game win streak including a 3-1 win over Fort Wayne on Wednesday.
– Allen has won three straight games and gotten a point in five straight games.
– In the first six games, Allen is 4-26 (15.4%) and Colorado is 3-22 (13.6%) on the power play.
– The number of combined penalties in the six games were 14, 20, 22, 20, 6, 6.
– Colorado has scored the first goal in all six games they have played against Allen this year.
– The game will feature the top two ECHL scorers in Chad Costello & Trent Daavettila.
– Riley Gill will be making his first start since January 17.
Defenseman Nolan Descoteaux was released by Allen yesterday. In 24 games with the Americans, Nolan had six points (2 goals 4 assists) and was a +1. In addition to his time in Allen, Descoteaux has played in Rapid City (seven games) and Atlanta (seven games) this year.
Rick Pinkston is back with the team having spent the last month with the San Jose Barracuda. Rick played in five games for the Barracuda, had no points and was a +2.
– Riley Gill will be in goal for Allen this weekend with Nolan Bowker serving as the back up.
After Utah and Tulsa had closed the gap on Allen for the fourth seed in the Western Conference, the Americans have re-established a five point lead after winning three games last weekend.
There are four teams right behind Allen with some moving up and some moving down. Those on the upswing are Cincinnati and Colorado and those going backwards are Utah and Tulsa. Here is how the battle for the fourth seed stands with points, games remaining and record in the last ten games.
69 points: Allen – 16 games remaining (5-3-1-1)
64 points: Cincinnati – 17 games remaining (8-1-0-1)
64 points: Utah – 16 games remaining (3-5-0-2)
62 points: Colorado – 17 games remaining (7-3-0-0)
61 points: Tulsa – 18 games remaining (5-4-1-0)
The top two teams in the ECHL are also two of the least penalized teams in the ECHL. Toledo leads the Eastern Conference with 77 points and has the fewest penalty minutes in the league (563). Missouri leads the ECHL in points with 92 and has the third fewest penalty minutes (595).
Thanks to Mark Costello for reminding me that yesterday was the five-year anniversary of the most famous fight in Allen Americans history.
Judd Blackwater played in Allen for the 2010-2011 season and was known as an elusive forward who could put the puck in the net. A teammate described him as a guy that could stick handle his way out of a telephone booth. Judd had 49 points (20 goals 29 assists) in just 49 games. Blackwater is best remembered for a fight on March 2, 2011 in what some have described as one of the best KO fights ever in terms of dominance, entertainment, and originality. Judd was known as a guy who didn’t fight often (he had only two fights that year) but handled himself well when he dropped the gloves.
On a team that had Kip Brennan as the enforcer, Judd Blackwater vs Jim Jorgensen is the fight everyone remembers. I have posted this video several times over the years and whether you have never seen it or watched it 100 times you will enjoy the fight as well as the classic call by Tommy Daniels.
What gets forgotten about the game was Judd also scored the game winning goal as Allen defeated Bossier-Shreveport 5-3.
That was definitely not a bright spot for Jim Jorgenson.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Thanks to Shayne for today’s question.
Q: Any news on ownership or affiliation change?
A: You hear rumors that there are local groups looking into buying the team, doing due diligence and having discussions with the ECHL but they are in fact just rumors. It is possible but not certain something could happen before the start of next season. As for affiliation change, coach Martinson has said publicly on many occasions the affiliation with San Jose is the best he has ever had in his coaching career. He doesn’t see that changing.
DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans have been outscored in the second period 63-58 but in the third period they have outscored their opponents 63-48.