It was a long and fruitful weekend for the Allen Americans winning twice in Rapid City but the ride home ended up being a 24 hour marathon which is a long time to spend on any bus yet alone “Big Red.” Despite not getting home until late last night, the plan is to begin preparing for what will be a busy week for the Americans.
They will play four games in six days including a trip to Tulsa. The week starts off with a home game on Tuesday against the Wichita Thunder and then Allen has one of those dreaded three games in three nights with travel. They are in Tulsa Friday and they play back to back home games against Colorado on Saturday and Sunday.
– One of many reasons it is important for the Americans to continue to play well this week is to keep pace with the Missouri Mavericks. Missouri is the best team in the ECHL right now both on the ice and in the standings. They stand alone atop the ECHL with 17 points after beating Wichita twice this weekend, 1-0 in Missouri on Saturday and 2-1 in Wichita on Sunday. The Mavericks are 4-0 against the Thunder this year and have allowed only two goals in the four victories. Missouri is ranked #1 in the ECHL in goals allowed, averaging just 1.55 goals per game. Allen will play the Mavericks again a week from tomorrow (November 17) in Missouri.
– Here are the current Central Division Standings:
17 points: Missouri (11 games)
14 points: Allen (10 games)
8 points: Tulsa (9 games)
8 points: Wichita (10 games)
– Wichita arrives in Allen for the game tomorrow night riding a three game losing streak and struggling to score goals having scored a total of three goals in the three games. Will have a complete game preview tomorrow but these two teams typically play a rugged, tough game against each other and you would expect nothing less from Wichita given their three game losing streak and the fact they occupy last place in the Central Division standings.
Another part of the Allen Americans family that will have a big week are the Ice Angels. In addition to performing at three home games, they will have their much anticipated calendar release party this week. The release party will be on Saturday (November 14) after the game at Kelly’s which is across the street from the Allen Event Center. Calendars will be available for purchase and you can get the pictures autographed at the event. The cost of the calendars is $20. I have a friend who buys a calendar each year as a Christmas present for his teenage grandson back in Virginia and the Angels are kind enough to personalize their autographs. The calendar is a big hit with the grandson and all of his buddies.
Whether you are an Allen fan or ECHL fan you have to admire these talented young women who are the best professional dance team in the ECHL or any minor league sport. Many have NHL, NBA or NFL experience and many others have gone on from the Ice Angels to dance for major league sports teams. If you have ever watched them train (dance classes, cardio and weight training) you know in addition to being beautiful young ladies who are outstanding dancers, they are in phenomenal shape.
– Overall attendance in the ECHL so far this season continues to lag compared to last year when the league wide average was 4598. After 132 games the ECHL is averaging 553 fewer fans per game than last year. The average is 4045 with Toledo at the top at 8317 and Kalamazoo at the bottom with an average of just 1754. Allen is averaging 4305 which ranks them #12.
– On a more pleasant note, former Allen Americans captain, Mike Berube, and his wife, Chantal, along with big sis, Ellyauna, posted this picture on social media to announce they were expecting their second child. Congrats to the Berube family from their Allen Americans family!
DID YOU KNOW: The number of penalty minutes a team takes is not a good predictor of success. The team at the top in the ECHL standings is Missouri (17 points) and they have the fewest penalty minutes in the league with just 94 minutes. The team in second place is Florida (16 points) and they have the most penalty minutes in the ECHL with 222 minutes. The same thing happened last season when Toledo finished number one in points (107) and had the fewest penalty minutes in the league with 785. Allen was number two in points (106) and had the most penalty minutes in the league with 1644.