ALLEN, Texas – I was thinking this morning how this has been the longest season ever, even though it has taken the least amount of time.
The Allen Americans have three weekends remaining in a season that could end up yielding about half of the wins they earned in their first ECHL season. Allen will play Utah at home this Friday and Saturday, the next Friday and Saturday they play Utah and Wichita at home and they close out the season the following Friday and Saturday in Wichita. The season will finally come to close on April 6th, 177 days after it began with a 5-1 loss in Kansas City. Allen has been in last place from beginning to end.
– Allen’s two longest seasons seemed like the shortest. The 2015 Kelly Cup championship season lasted 233 days and the 2016 Kelly Cup championship season lasted 237 days.
– The Mountain Division race has been all over the place recently with some of the top teams struggling more than the bottom teams. Here are the points earned and record in the last 10 games for all seven division teams. The teams are listed from first place to last place.
1. Tulsa 14 points (7-3-0-0)
2. Idaho 9 points (4-5-1-0)
3. Utah 7 points (2-5-0-3)
4. Kansas City 11 points (5-4-0-1)
5. Rapid City 12 points (6-4-0-0)
6. Wichita 11 points (5-4-1-0)
7. Allen 10 points (5-5-0-0)
– Playing well going into the playoffs is always a key to success. Utah and Idaho have been struggling. Utah has the worst record over the last 10 games of any team in the ECHL. Of the 16 teams currently in playoff spots in the ECHL only two (Utah & Newfoundland) have a worse 10 game record than Idaho.
– Hats off to the Rapid City Rush, who made big moves at the trade deadline and with a win last night in Utah, finished their sixth straight game against the Grizzlies with a record of 5-1. It doesn’t get any better for Rapid City as they now will play Idaho five straight games. Unfortunately, Rapid City will not be able to catch Kansas City for the last playoff spot. The Mavericks have a seven-point lead and four games in hand over the Rush.
– Allen has three games left with Wichita and three games left with Utah which are two teams they have done well against this season considering the Americans overall record. The Americans have played .500 or better against everyone in the division except Kansas City and Tulsa. Against the Mavericks and Oilers, the record is really bad.
Here is Allen’s record against all of the teams in the division listed from bad to good.
1-9-0-0 – Kansas City
3-9-1-0 – Tulsa
2-1-3-0 – Idaho
4-4-0-0 – Utah
4-2-0-0 – Rapid City
7-2-0-2 – Wichita
– It doesn’t come as a surprise that the two teams with the best record over the last 10 games are the two best teams in the ECHL and the only two teams in the league with winning percentages above .700. Cincinnati is ranked first and is 8-1-1-0 in their last 10 games. Florida is ranked second and is 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 games. Newfoundland is the top team in the North Division but has lost five straight and is 3-5-0-2 over the last 10 games.
– Jesse Schultz of the Cincinnati Cyclones leads the ECHL in scoring with 73 points. He has 10 games remaining so should end up with around 80 points for the season. Last season, the scoring champion was Shawn Szydlowski (Fort Wayne) who had 79 points.
These numbers reinforce the amazing three seasons Chad Costello had in Allen when he won three straight scoring titles with 125 points in 2014-15, 103 points in 2015-16 and 122 points in 2016-17. Chad had more assists in those three years (89,79, 84) than the scoring champions have had total points since.
– How dominant was Costello in the ECHL in the three years he played for Allen? Check out these numbers:
Goals – Chad had 98 goals, second place (Dane Fox) had 90 goals
Assists- Chad had 252 assists, second place (Shane Berschbach) had 159 assists
Points – Chad had 350 points, second place (Shane Berschbach) had 216 points
Won the scoring championship by 45 points in 2014-15, largest margin in ECHL history
Won the scoring championship by 23 points in 2015-16, 6th largest margin in ECHL history
Won the scoring championship by 34 points in 2016-17, 4th largest margin in ECHL history
– There are only two games in the ECHL tonight. Idaho finishes their three-game series in Orlando. The teams split the first two games.
Kansas City is at South Carolina in the other game. The Mavericks have 11 games remaining, with 10 of them on the road. Their next eight games are on the road against opponents outside the Mountain Division. While Kansas City’s fourth-place spot in the standings seems secure they do have the fewest road wins in the ECHL with a road record of 9-14-2-1.
– Cincinnati has just one home regulation loss all season. Their home record is 26-1-2-2. Allen has the most regulation losses at home with 18.
– The ECHL’s leading goalie in save percentage is Tomas Sholl of Idaho at .929.
– Overtime games can be critical in the playoffs. Florida is the second best team in the ECHL but is just 1-5 in overtime games. Cincinnati is the top team in the league but just 4-4 in overtimes. The two best teams in overtime are Kalamazoo (7-2) and Idaho (8-3).
Did You Know?
Zach Pochiro just passed the 200 shot mark for the season. In the last five seasons, there has been seven times a player has had 200 or more shots in a season. Here is the list:
203 – Zach Pochiro
212 – David Makowski
243 – Greger Hanson
229 – Chad Costello
234 – Chad Costello
232 – Gary Steffes
223 – Greger Hanson