ALLEN, Texas – Given the number of times the Allen Americans have played four games in five days or three games in three days in this crazy season they have a light week coming up with three games in four days in Rapid City. The Americans will play tonight, Friday and Saturday with all games starting at 8:05 pm CDT.
More Players En Route…
There was a lot of roster movement yesterday, starting with the loan of defenseman Will Lochead to the Cleveland Monsters (AHL). Allen was already short a defenseman, which was made worse when Les Lancaster was injured on Sunday. Steve Martinson has always supported players being loaned to the AHL even though in this case it meant Allen was down to four healthy defensemen. Martinson has been trying to add defensemen but the need became critical with Lochead loaned to Cleveland. Martinson traded Connor Bleackley, the rights to Kayle Doetzel and future considerations for rookie defenseman Darian Skeoch.
In a separate transaction, rookie forward Brett Neumann was assigned to Allen by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL).
When I talked to coach Martinson this morning he was unsure if Lancaster would play tonight. It will be a game-time decision. Skeoch will not arrive in Rapid City until late tonight, so he will not play. Neumann is with the team and will be in the lineup. What this all means is you could see a forward playing defense tonight. Jake Paterson will get the start in goal.
Martinson has also come to terms with another defenseman who should arrive in Allen around the 25th. He is described as a punishing physical defender with some offensive skill who was the captain of his team in the past. Martinson is also expecting another player being added to the roster this week. Stay tuned.
The Roster as of Now…
There has been a lot of roster changes so here is an update. Rookies are marked with an asterisk. The current Allen roster includes three goalies, eight defensemen and 14 forwards. If you look at players on the trip to Rapid City there are two goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards. Dyson Stevenson and Kameron Kielly are the forwards not with the team.
#31 – Frank Marotte*
#34 – Jake Paterson
#39 – Justin Kapelmaster* (injured)
#5 – Phil Beaulieu*
#14 – Les Lancaster
#20 – Ben Carroll*
#21 – Dominic Cormier*
#25 – Nolan Kneen* (injured reserve)
#43 – Matt Register
#47 – Will Lochead (loaned to AHL)
#?? – Darian Skeoch*
#8 – Steve Owre*
#11 – Kameron Kielly*
#15 – Corey Mackin
#17 – Colby McAuley
#19 – Chad Butcher
#26 – Spencer Asuchak
#27 – Sam Laberge
#28 – Tim Doherty*
#29 – Josh Maser*
#40 – Josh Lammon
#44 – Zane Franklin*
#71 – Dyson Stevenson (injured reserve)
#77 – Scott Conway
#?? – Brett Neumann*
Rapid City Game & Series Preview
The game tonight will be the ninth of 16 times Allen plays Rapid City this season. In the eight games these teams have played, Allen’s record is 5-3. The record in Allen is 3-2 and in Rapid City, the Americans are 2-1. Over the last five seasons, Allen’s record in Rapid City is 11-4-0-0.
Allen has an edge in almost every statistical category, but the most important thing to remember is Rapid City beat the Americans twice in Allen by scores of 6-4 and 5-2, just two weeks ago.
Allen has the edge over Rapid City in average goals scored per game (3.4 vs 2.9), average goals allowed (2.8 vs 3.2), average shots for (32.4 vs 30.9) and average shots allowed (32.5 vs 33.9). Allen’s goal differential (goals for minus goals against) is +26 and Rapid City’s goal differential is -14.
Head-to-head totals in the eight games these teams have played show Allen leading in goals 29-24 and shots 276-232. Head-to-head, the power play advantage also goes to Allen. The Americans are 4-31 (12.9%) against Rapid City which isn’t great but Rapid City has just one power-play goal against Allen all season. The Rush scored a power-play goal in game one on December 18 and haven’t scored again. They haven’t scored a power-play goal against Allen in the last seven games and are 1-29 (3.4%) in the eight games these teams have played.
Even though these teams just played three games against each other at the end of March, the Americans are a much different team. Allen has added more speed, skill and puck carrying ability with the addition of Chad Butcher, Steve Owre and Neumann. Paterson is also back after a stint on the IR. Allen enters this series on a four-game winning streak and a six-game point streak.
Allen has scored first in 61% of its games which is the best percentage in the ECHL. Rapid City has scored first in 43% of its games the second-worst percentage in the league. Allen’s record when scoring first is 21-5-1-0 which converts to a point percentage of .796. Rapid City’s record when scoring first is 14-4-2-0 which converts to a point percentage of .750. A good start tonight is key for both teams.
Shorthanded goals aren’t a factor very often, but it should be noted Rapid City has given up more shorthanded goals (10) than any other team in the league. Allen is ranked third, allowing just three shorthanded goals. The Americans have scored six shorthanded goals this season with four of them coming against Rapid City.
Did You Know?
Looked at shutouts for ECHL Stats this morning. A couple of Allen Americans on the all-time list:
Team defense and goalie play improves as the season progresses based on the number of shutouts by month this season:
1 – December
8 – January
9 – February
17 – March
– There have been six shutouts in the first 11 days of April including four this past weekend.
– Ryan Bednard (Greenville) leads the ECHL with three shutouts.
– Here are the all-time leaders in shutouts in a single season:
8 – Laurent Brossoit (Alaska/Bakersfield, 2013-14)
8- Ryan Zapolski (South Carolina, 2012-13)
8- Jean-Philippe Lamoureux (Alaska, 2008-09)
7 – Parker Milner (South Carolina, 2019-20)
7- Jake Paterson (Toledo, 2016-17)
7- Riley Gill (Allen, 2016-17)
7- Jeff Jakaitis (South Carolina, 2014-15)
7- Frederic Cloutier (Louisiana, 2001-02)
7- David Brumby (Jackson, 1999-2000)
7- Maxime Gingras (Richmond, 1998-99)