ALLEN, TX – The road to the Allen Americans hockey season takes another step forward tonight as the Americans take on Kansas City at 8:00 pm at the Allen Event Center in the first of two preseason games against the Mavericks. The teams will play again tomorrow night (5:30 pm).

– It has been a long time since Allen fans have seen the Americans play at home. Not to bring up any bad memories but it was five months ago, May 9th to be exact. It was an elimination game against the Colorado Eagles. Allen had a 3-2 lead after the second period and surrendered two third period goals including the game-winner with 69 seconds remaining in the game. To make matters worse the game-winner was scored by former Allen defenseman, Matt Register, who terrorized the Americans all season. The other memorable thing about that game was how the angels, I mean Eagles, who averaged almost 20 penalty minutes per game during the regular season were not called for a single penalty in that game. Sorry for all of the detail, I guess I was having a writing flashback. It is all water under the bridge at this point. To tell you how things change in five months, when Allen takes the ice tonight (depending on lineup) there will only be three or four players that participated in that game on May 9.

– In preseason games you can have up to 20 players so you can expect to see all of the forwards who are healthy in the lineup. You may see one or two defensemen not playing in the game. Most likely the most experienced of the defenseman will sit. You may start to see some line combinations and defensive pairings that give you an idea of coach Steve Martinson‘s thinking after a week of practice but there will still be plenty of experimentation going on.

– A few players to keep an eye on tonight would be forwards #18 Zach Pochiro who has shown great skill in practice, #44 Olivier Archambault who is a speedy winger and #11 Tyler Coulter who you can count on for a few big hits in the game. On defense keep an eye on #2 Josh Thrower, who coach Martinson called the toughest player in the toughest junior league in Canada (WHL). Josh’s older brother Dalton wears #47.

– After spending the last week at practice not being able to hit anybody there will be plenty of Allen players looking for someone to hit tonight.

OTHER COMMENTS

Bryan Moore, who is under contract with the San Jose Barracuda was assigned to Allen yesterday and as coach Martinson mentioned at Fan Fest he expects Spencer Asuchak to be in Allen sometime early next week. Talk about making a strong team even stronger, these are two key pieces that coach Martinson was not counting on when Spencer signed in Europe and Bryan signed in San Jose. Moore had 27 goals in just 50 games with Allen last season, played both ends of the ice and was second on the team in penalty minutes (140 minutes). Asuchak was third on the team in points (66), is a great defensive player, plays in all situations and is outstanding at faceoffs. Both of these players will see time in the AHL this season but having them in Allen at the start should help the Americans get off to a good start.

– If you are attending the game tonight and are picking up your tickets at the AEC my understanding is they will be at will call until the ticket office closes at 6:00 pm. After 6:00 you will pick up your tickets by the south entrance to the AEC (not the community rink entrance).

– Fans that have full, half or partial season ticket plans can pick up their tickets on Saturday from 1 to 5 PM. The tickets will be inside the south entrance to the AEC. (next to the community rink).

– The ECHL announced a big change to the All-Star game that will take place in Indy on January 15, 2018. Adopting a format similar to the AHL and NHL the All-Star game will feature four teams, one from each division, that will compete in a three-on-three tournament. Here are all of the details: https://thesinbin.net/format-revealed-for-2018-ccmechl-all-star-classic/

DID YOU KNOW: One way to look at the experience of a team is how many games the complete roster has played for their team in the past, how many AHL games does the roster have and how many NHL games does the roster have. Not a perfect measure by any means as games played for the team is a measure of how many returning players there are and none of this measures experience in Europe. I thought it would be interesting to compare the Mountain Division teams using games played (GP) for the team, AHL, and NHL with data from eliteprospects.com. These games played are cumulative for the team’s roster as it exists today. Some interesting results:

ALLEN
780 GP: Allen Americans
676 GP: AHL
0 GP: NHL

COLORADO
804 GP: Colorado Eagles
565 GP: AHL
180 GP: NHL

IDAHO
757 GP: Idaho Steelheads
745 GP: AHL
3 GP: NHL

RAPID CITY
676 GP: Rapid City Rush
320 GP: AHL
0 GP: NHL

TULSA
675 GP: Tulsa Oilers
106 GP: AHL
0 GP: NHL

UTAH
545 GP: Utah Grizzlies
296 GP: AHL
0 GP: NHL

WICHITA
283 GP: Wichita Thunder
1432 GP: AHL
136 GP: NHL

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