ALLEN, Texas – The Allen Americans released their 2020-21 home schedule Thursday, which is a big step in planning for next season. Every season there are changes to the schedule after it is published, and given the current circumstances with COVID-19, it is even more likely that changes will happen before the season arrives.

Here are some of my general thoughts about the schedule and then more of a deep dive.

– The home schedule is much more balanced than in past years. Last season Allen’s schedule had the Americans playing six or more home games against four different teams. In 2020-21 only Idaho will play six games in Allen (two series of three games).

– Tulsa and Wichita play only four times in Allen, which is hard to believe, given their geographic proximity to North Texas. In a typical season, Tulsa and Wichita are in Allen for a total of 12-13 games. In 2020-21, the total is only eight.

– Allen fans will see nine different teams in 2020-21 compared to eight different teams in 2019-20.

– The team usually takes a lengthy road trip, and it looks like that will be in late November or early December. The Americans play Utah at home on November 21 and don’t play at home again until December 18. That is the longest time between home games in many years.

– Last season, the Americans spent most of January on the road. Next season, it will be the month of February. Just three home games in February; Wichita on the 4th, and Cincinnati on the 19th and 20th. Between January 19 and March 2 (42 days), the Americans have only three home games.

– Below is a complete list of Allen’s 36 home games by opponent. Teams with an asterisk are Mountain Division foes.

Opponent Number of Games Played
Idaho* 6 games
Utah* 5 games
Kansas City* 5 games
Tulsa* 4 games
Wichita* 4 games
Rapid City* 4 games
Orlando 3 games
Florida 3 games
Cincinnati 2 games

* => Mountain Division opponent

Note the emphasis on divisional play. Allen will play 78% of their home games (28 of 36) against Mountain Division foes.

– Here is a breakdown of the schedule by day of the week comparing next season with last season. The biggest change is on Wednesdays. Last season, Allen had no Wednesday home games, next season, they have seven. The other thing to note is the loss of one Friday and one Saturday game from last season. It doesn’t seem like much, but weekends are the biggest gates. Saturday is the best night for home games based on average attendance.

2020-21 season:

Days of the Week Number of Games Scheduled
Sunday 4
Monday 1
Tuesday 1
Wednesday 7
Thursday 2
Friday 9
Saturday 12

2019-20 season:

Days of the Week Number of Games Scheduled
Sunday 3
Monday 2
Tuesday 4
Wednesday 0
Thursday 4
Friday 10
Saturday 13

– The following lists the home games by month for 2020-21 and 2019-20.

2020-21 season:

Month of the Season Number of Games Scheduled
October 5
November 6
December 6
January 4
February 3
March 7
April 5

2019-20 season:

Month of the Season Number of Games Scheduled
October 5
November 7
December 4
January 9
February 5
March 5
April 1

Allen has typically tried to get more road games early in the season to avoid conflicts with football plus early-season road trips help bring the team together. After just one October home game in 2018-19, last season there were five October home games. No improvement for 2020-21 as there will be five home games again in October.

Next season, almost half of Allen’s home games (17) will take place before January 1. This compares to 16 last season and 14 in 2018-19.

Last season, the Americans had seven home games in October and November. This season, they have 12.

– Over the previous two seasons, the schedule had a combined total of one home game in April. In 2020-21 there will be five home games in April. It could be a benefit if the standings are close.

– Allen had one of the best winning percentages in the ECHL last season at .710.

Here is a complete list of the nine teams the Americans play at home this season in winning percentage order from last season. The number of games Allen will play each team this season is in parenthesis:

.742 – Florida (3)
.710 – ALLEN
.667 – Cincinnati (2)
.648 – Idaho (6)
.637 – Utah (5)
.533 – Rapid City (4)
.524 – Tulsa (4)
.484 – Orlando (3)
.452 – Wichita (4)
.434 – Kansas City (4)

Additional Comments

– I was asked for critical stats on some of the players from last season, and after I completed the assignment, I thought it was worthy of sharing here.

Gabriel Gagne – Gabe had 24 goals in 36 games before he was loaned to the AHL (Rockford) and never returned. Gagne was leading the ECHL in goals when he left (January 15). Despite playing only 36 games in Allen, he finished #3 on the team in goals (24). He led the team in goals per game (.667). Gabe played only 36 games with the Americans but led the team in game-winning goals with six. Three of those six goals came in overtime.

Les Lancaster – The rookie defenseman got off to a great start with 13 points in his first ten games with the Americans. At the time of his initial loan to the AHL back in November, he was leading all ECHL defensemen in scoring. Several AHL stints limited his time in Allen. He played in 34 games and had 22 assists.

Turner Ottenbreit – A defenseman with a combination of skill and toughness. Turner only spent 17 games in Allen, and the rest of the season was with the Iowa Wild. In those 17 games, he had 11 points and 36 PIMS, which is an average of .65 points per game and 2.02 penalty minutes per game. His 2.12 PIMS per game trailed only Cole Fraser (2.33) in PIMS per game (minimum ten games).

Alex Guptill – Another player with skill and toughness. He led the team in penalty minutes (97) and all forwards in fighting majors (5). He was #4 in goals (23), assists (29) and points (52).

Dereck Baribeau – The young rookie goalie, who was only 20 when the season started, ended with the best winning percentage of all Allen goalies. In 11 decisions, he had a record of 9-2-0-0 with two shutouts.

Spencer Asuchak – Mr. Allen Americans spent his franchise-record seventh season with the team in 2019-20. Spencer is the all-time leader in franchise history in games played (349) and goals (102). His 83 playoff games with Allen is also a record to go along with his three championship rings.

Jack Sadek – The rookie defenseman had a great season playing in 61 of Allen’s 62 games. He led the team in plus/minus at +25. Jack came on strong at the end of the season with 13 points in the last 12 games of the shortened season.

Zoom Chats

– If you haven’t seen some of the most recent interviews from Tommy Daniels, here are the latest with Steve Martinson, Joel Chouinard, and Les Lancaster.

Allen Americans on DASH Auctions

The Allen Americans’ new auction site, DASH, is up and running, and the latest auction has another of the experiences to raise funds. Here are the details.

Gary Steffes Video Chat Experience:  100% of the proceeds will go to the Allen Public Safety Recovery Fund. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to talk to fan-favorite alumni Gary Steffes. Ask questions regarding the past two seasons when Gary was asked to come out of retirement.

Delve into the two seasons he served as an assistant captain, winning two Kelly Cup Championships in 2015 and 2016. Probe deeper regarding his faith and what led to writing the book “The Mental Side: Training Athletes to win in Heart and Mind for Jesus Christ.” Get your bids in now to win this unparalleled experience. This video chat experience will be moderated by the voice of the Allen Americans, Tommy Daniels. The date and time will be mutually agreed upon by all parties involved.

Jersey Auction: Check out the current auction where you can bid and win autographed player jerseys (Military, Red Game, Grey Eagle), signed collectibles, $20 off on military replicas, and 25% off on never seen before apparel.

Did You Know?

Here is an Allen Americans trivia question not many people will get. I stumbled across it when researching the players above. Who led the Allen Americans in average penalty minutes per game in 2019-20?

It is not Mitch Vandergunst (2.89); it is not Cole Fraser (2.33); it is not Turner Ottenbreit (2.12). The player that led the Americans with the most penalty minutes per game at 3.00 was none other than Gary Steffes. Gary played two games and had six penalty minutes. All the penalty minutes came in the second game he played when he took a slashing, roughing and boarding penalty. Mr. Tough Guy helped the Americans to a 5-2 win over Rapid City.

Follow Barry on Twitter and his blog for all the latest on the Allen Americans! Don’t forget to follow The Sin Bin on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest AHL, ECHL, and SPHL news and notes from across minor league hockey!

Please consider becoming a Patron as a way to say thanks and support us for what we do! https://www.patreon.com/thesinbinhockey