ALLEN, TX – It was a leisurely trip to Wichita yesterday for the Allen American. They practiced in the morning, left Allen around 2:00 pm and arrived in Wichita around 8:00 pm just in time for dinner. They take on Wichita tonight (7:05 pm) after beating the Thunder 3-2 in overtime on Sunday.

If you can call a road trip on “Big Red” leisurely,  it will continue after the game tonight. The Americans will leave right after the game for the short (200 mile) trip to Independence, Missouri where they play the Mavericks on Friday night. The team will have all day Thursday in Missouri with nothing to do on New Years Eve. While Allen is resting (hopefully) on Thursday the Mavericks have a New Years Eve game as they host the Wichita Thunder. Would assume there will be an Allen Americans contingent attend the Missouri vs Wichita game.

By almost any statistical comparison Allen should be the favorite to win the game tonight. The Americans are 3-0 against Wichita this season, have out scored them 11-4 and dominated on special teams. In the three games, Allen is 5-18 (27.8%) on the power play while Wichita is 0-11.

–  Here is a comparison between Allen and Wichita:

ALLEN                               WICHITA

Team Record               17-12-1-0 (35 pts)            7-18-1-3 (18 points)
Division Ranking        2nd – Central                    4th – Central
Conference Ranking   2nd – Western                 14th – Western
League Ranking         9th                                       28th
Last Game                  3-2 W (Tulsa)                     3-2 L (Allen)
Goals For                    88                                         54
Goals Against             88                                        94
Power Play                 19.4% (24/124)                 7.5% (8/106)
Penalty Kill                  84.2% (19/120)               83.8% (21/130)

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

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 3rd (18.80) – Wichita 14th (14.66)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 13th (2.93) – Wichita 28th (1.86)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 16th (2.93) – Wichita 22nd (3.24)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 8th (19.4%) – Wichita 28th (7.5%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 9th (84.2%) – Wichita 11th (83.8%)

– Leading scorers for Allen are Chad Costello with 39 points (11 goals 28 assists), Eric Roy with 21 points (8 goals 13 assists) and Jonathan Parker with 20 points (9 goals 11 assists).

– Leading scorers for Wichita are Andrew Huff with 14 points (7 goals 7 assists) and Peter Sakaris with 13 points (4 goals 9 assists).

– If you are looking for who might be the hero tonight for Allen based on head to head scoring bet on Costello and Roy. In the three games against Wichita, Chad has six points (3 goals 3 assists) and Eric has four points (3 goals 1 assist).

– Since joining the ECHL, Allen has played in Wichita 11 times and has a record of 8-1-0-2.

– Officials scheduled for the game are referee Chris Pontes (#2) and linesmen Chuck Schamel (#97) and Erik Contino (#92).

OTHER COMMENTS:

– Heard there was a new guy that boarded the bus yesterday when the team left for Wichita. Would assume there will be an announcement from the team before game time as to who the mystery player is and if he will be in the line up tonight. Stay tuned.

– I have had several questions about Rylan Schwartz and why he isn’t playing in Allen. Rylan just signed with the Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL) after recovering from a leg injury he suffered during the playoffs last season. If you recall, Rylan was on an AHL contract with Worcester last year so the Americans never did hold his rights. He became a free agent after the season and could have signed anywhere. He opted to sign with Orlando rather than return to Allen.

– The standings change everyday but if the playoffs started today Allen’s first round opponent would be captain Jamie Schaafsma and the Fort Wayne Komets.

– The ECHL Central Division is certainly unique when it comes to the standings. They have the team with the best winning percentage in the league (Missouri .870) and the worst winning percentage (Wichita .310). Missouri already has a 29 point lead on Wichita. The widest gap from first to last place in any other division is 19 points (South Division). The good news for Central Division fans is the three teams other than Wichita (Missouri, Allen, Tulsa) should make the playoffs and have an excellent chance of producing another Kelly Cup champion.

DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans have their youngest team in the last five years with an average age of 24.71, however, there are ten ECHL teams younger than Allen.

Here are the oldest and youngest teams in the league:

Oldest
27.29 – Colorado
25.87 – Brampton
25.67 – Rapid City

Youngest
23.84 – Wheeling
24.08 – Quad City
24.18 – Idaho

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