ALLEN, Texas – It is getaway day for the Allen Americans as they head to Rapid City for the only three road games between March 22 and May 11. The Americans had a lite workout this morning and have a flight to Rapid City this evening. Gone are the 1100 mile, 20+ hour bus trips to South Dakota on Big Red.
Forward Frank DiChiara was traded to Greenville yesterday for future considerations. Steve Martinson is still talking to teams about additional trades and agents about college players just turning pro. Martinson will not have anything done before the game in Rapid City tomorrow night. The good news is Les Lancaster will make the trip to Rapid City but when he might be able to play is undecided. Dyson Stevenson will not make the trip with the team but could be available for the Utah series starting April 23.
Martinson has been talking to several AHL teams about getting players assigned to Allen in time to qualify for the playoffs. The rule requires them to play five regular-season ECHL games and the five games must be completed before the AHL season ends on May 16. I wouldn’t be surprised if Allen gets a player or two assigned this week.
This has been a strange season at all levels of hockey with the pandemic. There has been fewer college players turning pro because most college conferences gave players an extra year of eligibility and some have opted to stay in college one more season.
Rushin’ to South Dakota
I will have a complete game preview tomorrow, but the upcoming series between Allen and Rapid City is vitally important to both teams. Rapid City is fighting to get in the playoffs. While the Rush have been in last place most of the season they have been playing better hockey for over a month. In the last 15 games, Rapid City has a record of 10-3-1-1 and have moved into fifth place in the conference within striking distance of fourth-place Utah. Allen is in a battle with Wichita and Fort Wayne for first place in the conference. If the Americans win or lose in overtime tomorrow night they will take over sole possession of first place in the Western Conference.
Don’t forget Rapid City spoiled the first series of the Americans’ long homestand when they came to Allen and won two of three games. The two wins were by a score of 5-2 and 6-4. Allen will have its work cut out in the three games in Rapid City.
Did You Know?
Allen has always been a good road team. Here is Allen’s five-year road record against their conference rivals. Keep in mind these records include the 2018-19 season when Allen had the worst record in the ECHL which included a road record of 10-21-3-2. Allen has lost 51 road games in the last five seasons, 26 of the losses came in the 2018-19 season.
11-4-0-0: Rapid City
10-12-1-0: Kansas City