ALLEN, TX — Tonight, the Allen Americans kick off the first of a four-game swing through the South Division against the Atlanta Gladiators. The game pits the third-place team from the Mountain Division against the third-place team from the South Division. Allen’s record is 24-18-4-1 compared to Atlanta’s 24-23-1-2.
- Atlanta has the misfortune of having played the best team in the league (Florida Everblades) nine times this season and has yet to beat the Everblades. If you take away from the Gladiators 0-8-0-1 record against Florida, their record is 24-15-1-1.
- Atlanta has the biggest discrepancy in the ECHL between home and road record. The Gladiators play much better on the road (15-10-0-0) than at home (9-13-1-2).
- Allen will be trying to extend their four-game winning streak and their streak of scoring five goals in four straight games. The Gladiators will be trying to erase an embarrassing 6-0 shutout they suffered at the hands of the visiting Orlando Solar Bears on Saturday.
- The game tonight will be the first time Allen has visited Atlanta and the third time these teams have ever met. The Americans and Gladiators split a two-game series last season at the Allen Event Center. On October 19, 2016, the Gladiators beat Allen 3-2. The next night Allen defeated Atlanta 3-1 led by a two-goal performance from Spencer Asuchak and a 39-save performance from Riley Gill.
Allen and Atlanta – Inside the Numbers
ALLEN ATLANTA Team Record 24-18-4-1 (52 points) 24-23-1-2 (66 points) Division Ranking 4th – Mountain 3rd – South Conference Ranking 6th – Western 7th – Eastern League Ranking 12th 13th Last Game 5-3 Win (Tulsa) 6-0 Loss (Orlando) Goals For-Against 162-150 145-159 Power Play 19.2% (33/203) 14.4% (28/195) Penalty Kill 80.2% (42/212) 81.5% (37/200) Most PIM Bryan Moore (135) Luke Sandler (143) Leading Scorers Casey Pierro-Zabotel (13-39-52) Lindsay Sparks (10-33-43)
- Allen leads the league in penalty minutes (1034) while Atlanta is ranked #11 (812 minutes). However, when it comes to minor penalties, the teams are much closer. Allen has taken 272 minor penalties and Atlanta 266. When it comes to power play opportunities, Allen has had more than Atlanta (203 vs. 195).
- Both teams have plenty of players willing to drop the gloves. According to the website hockeyfights.com, Allen has 39 fighting majors led by Josh Thrower with seven. Tanner Pond leads Atlanta with seven of their 31 fighting majors.
- Allen has the advantage over Atlanta offensively both long term and short term. On average the Americans score over a half a goal more per game than Atlanta (3.45 vs. 2.90). Allen’s shooting percentage is 10.6% compared to 9.4% for Atlanta. Allen’s goal differential (goals for minus goals against) is +12 while Atlanta’s is -14. Allen’s plus/minus is +68, Atlanta’s is -27.
- In their last four games, Allen has scored 20 goals and allowed eight. In their previous four games, Atlanta has scored nine goals and allowed 12.
- On special teams, you see a dynamic that Allen has seen before. Atlanta has one of the worst home power play percentages in the league ranked #24 at 13.0%. Allen, however, is 27th on the road penalty kill at 74.3%. Whichever team can outperform their poor stat will most likely win the game.
- If the game tonight goes past regulation the advantage goes to Atlanta. Both teams have gone past regulation seven times. Allen has one overtime win, one shootout win, four overtime losses and one shootout loss. Atlanta has four overtime wins, one overtime loss, and two shootout losses.
- Here is an interview with former Allen goalie Jake Hildebrand, part of the 2016 Kelly Cup championship team. The title of the story is “Undersized Goalie with Oversized Game,” and Hildebrand talks about the trials and tribulations of being shorter than the average goalie, the advantages and disadvantages and his advice for younger goalies that aren’t as big as their peers.
- The ECHL announced their fantasy team and golden goalie participants on Monday. The league does this every year where one skater and a goalie wear a specialty jersey that gets sent to the Meigray Group for auction. Fans had the opportunity to vote to help select the team. Congrats to Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Jeremy Brodeur who were chosen to wear the specialty jersey for Allen at a home game in the future. Congrats also to former Allen players Darryl Bootland (Orlando), Jake Hildebrand (Tulsa) and Dyson Stevenson (Wichita) who were selected to wear the jersey for their respective teams.
About the Atlanta Gladiators
The Atlanta Gladiators play in Duluth, Georgia, a northeast suburb of Atlanta. The franchise was initially in Mobile, Alabama as the Mobile Mysticks. The Mysticks started as an expansion ECHL franchise in 1995 until operations suspended in 2002. The franchise moved to Georgia for the 2003-04 season and was known as the Gwinnett Gladiators until they changed the name in 2015 to the Atlanta Gladiators.
The Gladiators play at the 11,355-seat Infinite Energy Arena and affiliate with the Boston Bruins (NHL) and Providence Bruins (AHL). The team, currently coached by Chuck Weber, has never won the Kelly Cup but made it to the finals in 2006 before losing to the Alaska Aces.