ALLEN, TX – After the Allen Americans defeated the Rapid City Rush on Sunday, Steve Martinson said, “Now it is time to take advantage of home ice.”
As the Americans get ready to take on the Missouri Mavericks tomorrow night at the Allen Event Center, today is a good day to look at the remaining schedule for Allen.
The Americans have 14 games remaining against five different teams. 11 of the 14 games are at home.
Here is the breakdown:
6 games – Missouri (4 home 2 away)
3 games – Evansville (3 home 0 away)
2 games – Tulsa (1 home 1 away)
2 games – Wichita (2 home 0 away)
1 game – Alaska (1 home 0 away)
Just two of the five remaining opponents have winning percentages above .500 but they represent eight of the remaining 14 games.
.833 – Missouri
.535 – Tulsa
.464 – Evansville
.405 – Alaska
.339 – Wichita
Winning percentage is one way to look at Allen’s five remaining opponents, but how they have performed recently may be more telling. Here is how they have done in their last 10 games.
Here is the best indication of the advantage Allen has by playing 11 of 14 games at home. The following is the road record for the five teams.
Finally, below is how Allen has done head to head against each of the five teams. The number in parentheses is the home record.
Missouri: 1-4-0-0 (1-1)
Tulsa: 5-6-1-1 (3-2)
Wichita: 11-0-0-0 (5-0)
– The Americans have a great opportunity to put some wins together down the stretch as four of their five remaining opponents have a losing record in their last 10 games.
– Allen has 11 of their 14 remaining games at home and four of their five remaining opponents (Tulsa, Wichita, Evansville, Alaska) have a combined road record of 34-68-8-5.
– Evansville, Alaska and Wichita will not make the playoffs and Tulsa is currently the eighth seed and falling rapidly.
– With all of the stats that show Allen should do well against Tulsa, Wichita, Evansville and Alaska, the elephant in the room is Missouri. The Mavericks have owned the Americans this year.
Allen is 1-4 against the Mavericks and the lone win came way back on October 21. Since that one win, Missouri has allowed Allen five goals in four games and defeated the Americans by scores of 4-1, 3-1, 4-1, and 4-2.
The Americans have six of their last 14 games (including four in a row) against Missouri and they need to prove to the Mavericks, the fans and most importantly themselves that they can compete with the best team in the league.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Thanks to John for today’s question.
Q: What are former Allen players doing or thinking about doing once they hang up the skates.
A: Here is a sampling of some of the former players and what they are doing now. I will try and get some answers from the guys on the team this year and post later. As you might imagine, the most popular field for former players is hockey. Bruce Graham (2009-14) and Josh Hepditch (2011-12) are coaching together in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. Josh is the head coach and Bruce is the assistant coach for the County Aces.
Here is what a few other players are up to:
John Snowden (2013-14) – Assistant Coach for the Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL)
Liam Huculak (2009-11) – Director, Business Development for the Bakersfield Condors (AHL)
Jason Deitsch (2011-13) – Head Coach, Allen High School
Tyler Ludwig (2011-15) – Contract Administrator, Precocity LLC, Information Technology/Services
Mike Berube (2011-14) – Mike’s plan when he retired was to work in the family business which is cabinet making. I didn’t have a chance to check with him but assume that is what he is doing.
Jamie Schaafsma (2012-15) – Jamie plans to play for a few more years but has obtained the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) certificates by attending training course during the summer and passing the appropriate tests. The NFPA certificates will allow him to apply for firefighter jobs anywhere in North America.
DID YOU KNOW: Allen has just two relatively short road trips remaining this season. A same day trip to Tulsa (460 miles round trip) on March 19 and back to back games in Missouri (946 miles round trip) on April 1 & 2. For the 2015-16 season the Americans will have traveled over 30,000 miles.