ALLEN, TX – It is game day for the Allen Americans as they take on the Rapid City Rush tonight (7:35 pm CST) at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Allen plays Rapid City six times this season (3 home, 3 away) and five of the games take place in the next 12 days. It is hard to understand how with a season that is six months long you would play the same team five out of the next seven games.

– The team arrived in Rapid City yesterday afternoon but from what I understand “Big Red” came down with the flu so the bus is out of service. At least they were able to make it all they way and didn’t have to go out of service until they arrived in Rapid City.

New Allen Americans player Jon Martin. Photo Courtesy: San Jose Barracuda

– San Jose assigned forward Jon Martin to Allen yesterday and he will be in Rapid City for the game tonight. Martin is a power forward (6′ 2″ & 218 pounds). Martin signed a three-year NHL entry-level contract with the Sharks in March 2016.

The scouting report describes him as an above average skater for his size with good hands. His presence in the corners and in front of the net are a strength. His compete level does not wane and he is a hard player to play against. The big winger spent most of his junior career with the Kootenay Ice (WHL) before being traded to the Swift Current Broncos for the start of the 2015-16. Oddly, Martin scored more goals (38) in his one year with Swift Current than he scored in his four previous years combined. He has played in 22 games with the Barracuda this season and scored four points (1 goal, 3 assists).

Here are Martin’s stats, courtesy

– In their lone meeting this season which took place in Rapid City on November 19, the Americans outshot the Rush 36-21 but lost the game 6-3. Jamie Murray started that game but gave up four goals on 14 shots over two periods and was replaced by Riley Gill. Goal scorers for Allen were Mathers, Gens, and Marchment. Last season Allen was 4-0 against Rapid City and since the teams joined the ECHL Allen is 12-5 against the Rush.

– Here are the current stats comparing Allen and Rapid City:

Allen Rapid City
Team Record 29-16-2-2 (62 points) 15-23-7-0 (28 points)
Division Ranking 1st – Mountain 7th -Mountain
Last Game 8-5 Loss (Tulsa) 5-3 loss (Quad City)
Goals For/Against 185/145 135/162
Power Play 19.6% (43/219) 16.3% (28/172)
Penalty Kill 83.5% (39/237) 84.5% (22/142)
Most PIMs Mathers (206) Grant (91)
Leading Scorer Costello (24-63-87)
Hanson  (24-28-52)
Walters (21-25-46)
Sparks (12-14-26)

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

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 1st (20.69) – Rapid City 19th (12.33)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 5th (3.78) – Rapid City 19th (3.00)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 7th (2.96) – Rapid City 21st (3.60)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 12th (32.24) – Rapid City 25th (29.27)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 24th (34.94) – Rapid City 17th (32.62)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 9th (19.6%) – Rapid City 17th (16.3%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 11th (83.5%) – Rapid City 7th (84.5%)

– The most telling of the stats above are the goals for and against. Allen scores at a higher rate than Rapid City (3.78 – 3.00) and also gives up fewer goals than the Rush (2.96 – 3.60).

– Neither of these teams have been playing great hockey recently. Allen is 5-3-1-1 in their last 10 games but were beaten 8-5 by Tulsa in their last outing. Rapid City is 3-7 in their last 10 games, have lost their last two games and were shutout 5-0 by Colorado in their last home game.

– Good starts are always critical but check out these stats. At home Rapid City is 5-0-3-0 when leading after one period, 2-5-0-0 when tied after one period and 0-5-0-0 when trailing after one period. Allen on the road is 6-1-1-0 when leading after one period, 6-0-0-0 when tied after one period and 2-9-0-1 when trailing after one period.

– Officials scheduled for the game are referee Oliver Gouin (#9) and linesmen Cade Bloomenrader (#91) and Shayne Bender (#87). Gouin is also an AHL referee.

DID YOU KNOW:  Jon Martin will become the 38th player to play for the Allen Americans this season.

How does that compare to Allen’s first two years in the ECHL?

In 2014-15 the Americans used 41 different players. Last season, 2015-16, there were 47 players that played at least one game for Allen.

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