ALLEN, Texas – With everyone’s focus turning back to hockey and Allen’s home opener coming up on Saturday, I thought today would be a good day to revisit the 2018-19 Allen Americans schedule. It is probably more information than you would ever want to know about the schedule but it will give you many different views of what Steve Martinson and the team will be dealing with. The schedule looks improved from a travel standpoint with only one trip to Rapid City, one trip to Idaho and two trips to Utah. The only road trip outside the Mountain Division is a trip to Reading for three games and then on to Wheeling for one game.

– One of the goals of the ECHL when preparing the schedule is to balance cost along with having a schedule that avoids teams playing each other too many times. Allen will be playing 11 different teams this season compared to 13 last season.  Five of the 13 teams Allen played last season they only played on the road (Atlanta, Florida, Fort Wayne, Jacksonville, Indy). This season only one team (Wheeling) will be on the road only.

– Below is a complete list of Allen’s 72 games by opponent comparing last season and the 2018-19 season. Teams with an asterisk are Mountain Division foes.

2017-18                                                    2018-19
13 games – Tulsa (7 home 6 away)*                  14 games – Wichita (5 home, eight away)*
12 games – Wichita (6 home 6 away)*               13 games – Tulsa (5 home, eight away)*
10 games – Idaho (4 home 6 away)*                  11 games – Utah (6 home 5 away)*
8 games – Kansas City (4 home 4 away)           10 games – KC (5 home, 5 away)*
8 games   – Rapid City (5 home 3 away)*           6 games – Rapid City (3 home, 3 away)*
6 games – Colorado (4 home 2 away)*               6 games – Idaho (3 home, 3 away)*
6 games – Utah (4 home 2 away)*                      5 games – Reading (2 home, 3 away)
2 games – Fort Wayne (0 home 2 away)             3 games – Cincinnati (3 home, 0 away)
2 games – Orlando (2 home 0 away)                   2 games – South Carolina (2 hm, 0 away)
2 games – Florida (0 home 2 away)                    1 game – Wheeling (0 home, 1 away)
1 game   – Indy (0 home 1 away)                        1 game – Worcester (1 home, 0 away)
1 game – Atlanta (0 home 1 away)
1 game – Jacksonville (0 home 1 away)

Note there is much more emphasis on divisional play this season as Allen will play 60 of their 72 games (83%) against Mountain Division foes.

– Here is a breakdown of the schedule by day of the week. Notice, 24 prime home dates (Friday & Saturday) this season compared to 21 last season.

2017-18                                                    2018-19
Sunday – 10 (5 home, 5 away)                      8 – (4 home, 4 away)
Monday – 2 (1 home, 1 away)                       1 – (1 home)
Tuesday –  3 (1 home, 2 away)                      6 – (4 home, 2 away)
Wednesday – 10 (7 home, 3 away)                9 – (5 home, 4 away)
Thursday – 1 (1 home 0 away)                      1 – (1 away)
Friday – 21 (10 home, 11 away)                    24 – (13 home, 11 away)
Saturday – 25 (11 home, 14 away)                23 – (11 home, 12 away)

Allen has always 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. Seven of the Americans first eight games are on the road. But, in March, 11 of 12 games are at home. The following lists the games by month.

2017-18                                             2018-19
October – 7 games (3 home 4 away)                 8 games (1 home 7 away)
November – 12 games (6 home 6 away)           13 games (6 home, 7 away)
December – 13 games (8 home 5 away)           15 games (7 home, 8 away
January – 12 games (5 home 7 away)               11 games (3 home, 8 away)
February – 11 games (4 home 7 away)              11 games (8 home, 3 away)
March – 14 games (8 home 6 away)                  12 games (11 home, 1 away)
April- 3 games (2 home 1 away)                        2 games (0 home, 2 away)

– One of the many things the team looks at when the schedule comes out is how many times they have to play three games back to back to back. Three games in three days is stressful especially if there is travel involved. Players are more prone to injuries in these situations. In 2017-18 that happened six times. In 2018-19 Allen will play three games in three days eight times. Here is the list of three games in three days with home (H) or away (A) in parentheses.  Notice only twice is travel involved.

October 26, 27, 28 – Rapid City (A), Rapid City (A), Rapid City (A)
November 9, 10, 11 – Kansas City (H), Kansas City (H), Wichita (A)
December 14, 15, 16 – Reading (A), Reading (A), Reading (A)
January 11, 12, 13 – Wichita (H), Wichita (A), Wichita (A)
January 25, 26, 27 – Tulsa (A), Tulsa (A), Tulsa (A)
February 15, 16, 17 – Worcester (H), Reading (H), Reading (H)
February 22, 23, 24 – Utah (H), Utah (H), Utah (H)
March 1, 2, 3 –  Tulsa (H), Tulsa (A), Rapid City (H)

–  Four games in five days is really brutal and that happened three times last season. This season, the Americans will play four games in five days twice but they both take place in consecutive weeks. Allen will play eight games in 13 days between December 4th and 16th. This will be the toughest stretch of games all season when you factor in the travel.

Here is the list of four games in five days:

December 4, 5, 7, 8 – Rapid City (H), Rapid City (H), Kansas City (A), Kansas City (A)
December 12, 14, 15, 16 –  Wheeling (A) Reading (A), Reading (A), Reading (A)

– Five of the 11 teams on Allen’s schedule this season didn’t make the playoffs last season. Of Allen’s 72 regular season games 41 (57%) will be against the five teams that did not make the playoffs.

– Allen will play six teams with a winning percentage higher than the Americans winning percentage last season (.542) including three teams (South Carolina, Idaho, Reading) with a winning percentage above .600. However, 54 of Allen’s 72 games (75%) are against teams with a lower winning percentage than the Americans. Note that only two teams on the schedule this season (Utah & Rapid City) had a winning percentage below .500 last season.

Here is a complete list in winning percentage order with the number of games Allen will play each team this season in parentheses:

.722 – South Carolina (2)
.667 – Idaho (6)
.604 – Reading (5)
.569 – Worcester (1)
.563 – Cincinnati (3)
.549 – Wheeling (1)
.542 – ALLEN
.528 – Wichita (14)
.514 – Kansas City (10)
.514 – Tulsa (13)
.493 – Utah (11)
.389 – Rapid City (6)

– The easiest part of the schedule for Allen will be a period between February 8 and April 4 when Allen will spend 56 days at home. During this stretch, the Americans will play 18 games, 17 at home and one in Tulsa which is up and back the same day.

– The schedule as it relates to playing Tulsa and Wichita is much more balanced this season than in the past when the Americans seemed to play Tulsa a lot early in the season and Wichita later. The Americans play Tulsa and Wichita at least once every month of the season. Allen’s last two games of the season will be on the road against Wichita.

– The Americans promotional schedule is bigger and better than ever. Here is the schedule,  with all of the details including autograph nights, post-game skate nights, giveaway games including the Steve Martinson Bobblehead and much more. https://allenamericans.com/promotional-schedule/

*October 20 – Pink in the Rink
November 2 – Ladies Night Hockey in Heels
*November 3 – Marvel’s Superhero Night
November 9 – Canada Day Eh?
November 10 – Veterans Night
November 16 – Faith and Family Night
November 30 – Jurassic Arena Night
*December 1 – Nickelodeon Night
December 4 – Education Day Game
December 21 – DC Comics Night
*December 22 – Christmas/Seinfeld Night
January 11 – It’s a Small World Night
January 30 – Biscuit’s Birthday
February 1 – Circus Night
*February 2 – Star Wars Night
February 15 – Single Awareness Night
*February 16 – Harry Potter Night
February 17 – Dr. Seuss Night
*February 23 – Military Appreciation Night
February 24 – Princess and Pirate Day
March 3 – Pucks and Paws
March 6 – Back to the Future Night
March 8 – Fight Night
*March 9 – Live From Allen, IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT
*March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day and Autism Night
March 22 – Children’s Book Night
*March 23 – Police vs Fire Night
*March 29 – Fan Appreciation Weekend
March 30 – Fan Appreciation Weekend

– Here is a link to the complete 2018-19 Allen Americans schedule: https://allenamericans.com/schedule/

DID YOU KNOW: The first game on the first Allen schedule was October 16, 2009. The Americans played on the road in Arizona and won the game by a score of 1-0. Christian Gaudet scored the lone goal at the 18:40 mark of the first period assisted by Bruce Graham and Nino Musitelli. Charlie Effinger was in goal and earned the 33 save shutout. The backup goalie that night was Chris Whitley who would go on to be the #2 all-time in games played in goal for Allen (79 games). The #1 goalie all-time in games played for Allen is Riley Gill (124 games played).

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