ALLEN, Texas – The Allen Americans schedule for the 2018-19 season was issued by the ECHL today, and I thought it would be a good time to do the annual “deep dive” on the 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 (Atlanta, Florida, Fort Wayne, Jacksonville, Indy) Allen played last season they only played on the road. Next 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 upcoming season. Teams with an asterisk are Mountain Division foes.
|13 games – Tulsa (7 home, 6 away)*||14 games – Wichita (5 home, 9 away)*|
|12 games – Wichita (6 home, 6 away)*||13 games – Tulsa (5 home, 8 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 home, 0 away)|
|2 games – Florida (0 home, 2 away)||1 game – Wheeling (0 home, 1 away)|
|1 game – Indy (0 home, 1 away)||1 games – 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 (83%) games against Mountain Division foes.
– Here is a breakdown of the schedule by day of the week. This is a very similar breakdown as last season.
|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)|
|Sunday||10 (5 home, 5 away)||8 – (4 home, 4 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. The following lists the games by month.
|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 and four of them will come in consecutive weeks. Notice that in only three of the three games in three days travel is 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)
January 11, 12, 13 – Wichita (H), Wichita (A), Wichita (A)
December 14, 15, 16 – Reading (A), Reading (A), Reading (A)
February 5, 6, 7 – Wichita (A), Kansas City (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 three times but notice two of them take place in consecutive weeks. Allen will play eight games in 13 days between December 4th and 16th. Here is the list of four games in five days.
November 9, 10, 11, 13 – Kansas City (H), Kansas City (H), Wichita (A), Kansas City (A)
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 next 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. Allen will spend 56 days at home, play 18 games with 17 at home and the one away game is a same-day trip to Tulsa.
– The schedule 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.
– Here is the complete 2018-19 Allen Americans schedule if you don’t already have it: http://allenamericans.com/schedule/
DID YOU KNOW: Allen will open the 2018-19 season against their longtime rival Wichita. When you consider how good the Allen Americans have been since their inception the home opener record is a mediocre 4-5 but the good news is they have won two in a row. No matter when you started following the Americans these home opener games from the last nine years will bring back some memories good and bad.
2009-10 – Allen started on the road the first season because the Allen Event Center was not completed. The Americans played their first seven games in franchise history on the road. They returned to Allen after those first seven games 5-1-0-1. The home opener was memorable even though the Americans laid an egg, losing to Corpus Christi by a score of 4-1. Two of the goal scorers for Corpus were Chad Costello and future NHLer Ryan Garbutt. That game is mostly remembered for a melee that broke out after the game was over that ended up with 72 penalty minutes being called. A crowd of 5808 witnessed the first home game in team history.
2010-11 – Allen opened at home against Texas, scored three goals (Alexandre Quesnel, Dustin Donaghy, Judd Blackwater) in the first four minutes of the game and coasted to a 5-2 win. Similar to the year before there were 66 minutes worth of penalties called at the 18:29 mark of the third period including four fighting majors and four game misconducts. Allen got the last laugh as Erik Adams scored an unassisted, shorthanded, empty-net goal with under a minute remaining to seal the victory for the Americans.
2011-12 – Allen’s home opener was against Tulsa and the Americans got beat 4-1. Jim McKenzie scored the Americans only goal with just over a minute left in the game. Most notable in that game was a Gordie Howe hat trick by Tulsa’s Gary Steffes who had a goal, an assist and a fight with Allen’s Scott Langdon.
2012-13 – Allen’s home opener was against Arizona and they shut out Sundogs 4-0. Scott Howes had two goals in the game. The other goal scorers were Adam Pineault and Darryl Bootland. Steve Silverthorn was in goal and the backup was a rookie by the name of Aaron Dell. Dell would play sparingly the first few weeks of the season but eventually, take over the starting role and lead the Americans to their first championship.
2013-14 – The home opener was an exciting game but the Americans lost to Wichita 4-3 in a shootout. Ironically the two teams had played the season opener the night before in Wichita and Allen had won by an identical score of 4-3 in a shootout. The home opener was a Sunday afternoon game and Allen took a 2-0 lead into the third period only to allow the Thunder to score three unanswered goals to take a 3-2 lead. Tyler Ludwig got the equalizer with less that three minutes remaining n the game. The game would go to a shootout and Allen could manage just one goal (Kale Kerbashian) in seven rounds before Wichita got the game winner.
2014-15 – The worst home opener ever for Allen as they got beat by Tulsa 9-6. Greger Hanson was the lone bright spot for Allen with a whopping 11 shots on goal, four points and a hat-trick. Aaron Dell was in goal for the Americans and gave up seven of the nine goals. It was Dell’s only regulation loss in the 12 games he played for Allen that season. By the end of January, he was in the AHL on his way to the NHL.
2015-16 – Another home opener loss as the Quad City Mallards came to the Allen Event Center and beat the Americans 2-1. Allen’s lone goal was scored by Garrett Clarke with assists going to Justin Courtnall and goalie Joel Rumpel. You didn’t see those three in the box score very often let alone on the same play.
2016-17 – It was a home opener win as Allen beat Missouri 6-3. Kale Kerbashian had two goals and Riley Gill was peppered with 47 shots.
2017-18 – After two big wins on the road in Rapid City the Americans opened at home against Orlando and beat the Solar Bears 6-2. Zach Pochiro had two goals, David Makowski and Casey Pierro-Zabotel each had three points (1G 2A). This game will always be remembered as the game with less than seven minutes remaining goalie Riley Gill was injured and would be out for the season.