ALLEN, Texas – The Allen Americans head to Rapid City today to take on the Rush on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. It will be a pleasant trip for the Americans compared to many in the past. More often than not they boarded Big Red in the winter for the 1100 mile, 20 hour trip to South Dakota. Today the team will fly and they will take a nonstop flight from Dallas to Rapid City. The team left this morning and will practice in Rapid City this afternoon.
Everyone on the roster will make the trip to Rapid City with the exception of Braylon Shmyr, Phil Beaulieu, Dyson Stevenson, and Spencer Asuchak. Stevenson, Asuchak, and Beaulieu are expected to be available when Allen returns home to take on Wichita on January 15,16,17. C.J. Motte, who missed the series with Wichita, was at practice yesterday. Recently signed center, Conner Bleackley will see his first action for Allen in Rapid City.
I will have a complete series preview tomorrow but if you look at Allen’s record (6-2) compared to Rapid City’s record (1-6) and conclude getting six points against the Rush will be easy you need to think again. The Rush have struggled in part because of COVID outbreaks that have seen 16 players placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List since the start of the season. Just yesterday the last three players put on the exempt list have been activated. Allen can expect to see a much stronger lineup than the one they faced in Allen (December 18 & 19) when the Americans swept the Rush by scores of 5-2 and 3-2.
All AHL teams had to declare yesterday whether they were going to play this season. Only three teams opted out; Charlotte Checkers, Milwaukee Admirals, and Springfield Thunderbirds. In addition, four teams were granted provisional relocations for the 2020-21 season. Binghamton will play in Newark, NJ, Ontario will play in El Segundo, CA, Providence will play in Marlborough, MA, and San Diego will play in Irvine, CA.
It is still too early to know the exact impact the decisions by the AHL will have on the Americans. It remains to be seen how many of the eight contracted players on Allen’s roster will be recalled for AHL training camp. While some will be recalled it is safe to assume some will not. The other thing to think about is will AHL teams that didn’t sign many players waiting to see if they were going to play be interested in any of Allen’s free-agent players. Allen has so many AHL caliber players in addition to the eight NHL/AHL contracted players on the roster. It seems likely some will get a chance now that the AHL is about to start up.
Logan Roe, defenseman for the Florida Everblades, was announced yesterday as the Plus Performer of the month for December. Roe was a +12 for the month and never had a minus game in December and was +3 twice. Fans in the Western Conference don’t get to see much of players like Roe but he has been a standout for the Everblades. He leads the ECHL in plus/minus this season at +14, second place is +9.
Logan finished #2 in plus/minus last season at +36 but only played in 45 games because he was loaned to Syracuse (AHL) for the last six weeks of the season. In 2018-19 he was #4 at +39 and in 2017-18 he led the ECHL with +43. In the last four seasons, no other player in the league has come close to Roe’s +132.
Here are the five ECHL players who lead their team in goals and have scored more than 20% of their team’s goals:
- 30.8% – Danny Moynihan, Tulsa
- 27.8% – Felix Robert, Wheeling
- 23.5% – Matteo Gennaro, Wichita
- 22.6% – Jesse Mychan, Allen
- 21.4% – Giorgio Estephan, Kansas City
Tulsa has a team total of 13 goals in six games but three players have scored 77% (10) of them. All three players have scored more than 20% of the team’s goals:
- 30.8% – Danny Moynihan
- 23.1% – Ian McNulty
- 23.1% – Gregg Burmaster
DID YOU KNOW: Here are the Allen Americans plus/minus leaders since joining the ECHL. The ECHL rank in parenthesis:
- 2020-21 – Matt Register, +9 (#2)
- 2019-20 – Jack Sadek, +25 (#13)
- 2018-19 – Nick Boka, +6 (#153)*
- 2017-18 – David Makowski, +28 (#13)
- 2016-17 – Joel Chouinard, +47 (#1)
- 2015-16 – Eric Roy, +11 (#85)
- 2014-15 – Chad Costello, +43 (#3)
*Nick Boka led the team in plus/minus at +6 but only played four games with the Americans. Only three of the 45 players that played for Allen that season had a positive plus/minus and combined they were +9.