ALLEN, Texas – The Allen Americans will have a second opportunity to get Steve Martinson his 1000th win when they take on the Kansas City Mavericks tonight at the Allen Event Center. It will be the 10th and final time these teams meet this season.
It won’t be an easy task for Allen after they suffered their worst shutout loss in team history (6-0) at the hands of the Mavericks on Wednesday. The Americans record against Kansas City this season is 1-8-0-0.
There have been a couple of roster changes since Wednesday:
– Stepan Falkovsky was recalled by Iowa after the game on Wednesday just hours before the reassignment/recall deadline which was at 11:59 pm. He was then reassigned to the Manchester Monarchs (ECHL). My reporting is this move was coordinated so Falkovsky could be assigned to a playoff team. Stepan played in Manchester earlier this season before he was traded to the Wild organization. What Allen got back for this transaction is a player by the name of Alex Rauter who had a trade deadline day to remember yesterday. He started the day in Manchester and was traded to Allen. Allen then sent him to Fort Wayne to complete the trade for Lukas Hafner. Fort Wayne then traded him to the Rapid City Rush. Not sure if that is a record but four teams in one day would keep your head spinning.
– Allen acquired forward Malcolm Gould from Newfoundland yesterday for future considerations. My understanding is he will not arrive in Allen until tonight so he will not be available against the Mavericks. Allen will also be missing C.J. Motte and Chase Lang tonight. Etienne Boutet and Dalton Thrower are day-to-day so one or both could be back in the lineup. It is expected Zach Pochiro will play tonight.
– Alex Breton and Riley Bourbonnais are still on loan to AHL teams and will not play this weekend. The last four games they were in the lineup for Allen the Americans won all four and averaged 5.25 goals per game. In the four games since they were loaned and not in the lineup, the Americans have averaged just 1.75 goals per game and lost three of the four games.
– The keys for the game tonight remain the same as Wednesday. Allen has to get off to a better start. The Americans have scored first is just one of the nine games against the Mavericks this season. Kansas City’s record when scoring first is 20-3-2-0.
– Allen needs to find a way to solve Mavericks goalie Mason McDonald who has stopped 91 of the last 92 shots he has faced from Allen. That is a save percentage of .989. The old adage of pucks to the net with guys in front has to be the mindset tonight.
– Special teams will a big key to this game and Kansas City’s special teams have dominated the Americans this season.
The Mavericks were 2-4 on the power play on Wednesday and held Allen to 0-6 on their power play opportunities.
Here are the power play goals in the previous nine games for the Mavericks: 2,1,2,2,3,1,2,0,2.
Allen’s power-play goals were 0,0,0,1,0,1,1,0,0.
Kansas City’s season-long power play percentage is 17.6%. But in their nine games against Allen, it is 31.3%. The Americans season-long power play percentage is 15.8%. But against Kansas City, it is only 7.5% (3-40). Special teams are a major reason the Mavericks record against the Americans now stands at 1-8.
– In all of the years, I have been writing I have never received more calls, text messages, email messages and social media messages than during and after the game on Wednesday. From Martinson’s comment to season ticket holders that there were 14 skaters not playing defense to a long-time season ticket holder who best captured the feedback of many after the 6-0 loss, “That has to be one of the worst games they have ever played. It looks to me like they don’t care anymore, no energy or hustle. It was embarrassing.” No matter what the outcome is tonight the team needs to show they can work hard for 60 minutes.
– The referee scheduled tonight is Andrew Bruggeman (#25). The linesmen will be Aaron Schacht (#31) and Michael Miggans (#47). This is the same crew that worked the game on Wednesday.
– Tonight could be the end of the line for anyone still holding out hope that Allen can still make the playoffs. All playoff talk will officially cease if Allen loses in regulation tonight as they will be mathematically eliminated.
– There are 10 games around the ECHL tonight and all Mountain Division teams with the exception of Tulsa are in action. In addition to Kansas City at Allen, Utah is at Rapid City and Wichita is at Idaho. A perfect match up of bottom teams (Wichita, Rapid City, Allen) against top teams (Idaho, Utah, Kansas City).
– There were a lot of trades yesterday on the ECHL trade deadline day. Because so many teams still have a chance to make the playoffs there was more activity than normal and several players were traded more than one time. Rapid City was the most active trading their captain (Riley Weselowski), leading scorer (Pierre-Luc Mercier), leading penalty minute player (Shaquille Merasty) and an alternate captain (Josh Elmes).
There were lots of upset fans as these were team leaders and popular players. However, they were all dealt to playoff teams and they will have a chance to win the Kelly Cup while Rapid City has acquired players for the future. Here is a very insightful reaction from Rapid City coach Daniel Tetrault about the trade deadline moves. It gives you a totally different perspective of how these deals take place: https://rapidcityrush.com/en/news/2018/9/coach-tetrault-reacts-to-trade-dealine-moves
– There will be a Police vs Fire, Guns and Hoses hockey game before Allen’s game on Saturday. These teams are made up of players from all around the DFW area. Americans assistant coach Jason Deitsch, whose other job is a firefighter for the McKinney Fire Department, will take part in this game which starts at 5:00 pm. Any tickets bought through the link below will go to benefit a McKinney police officer who was hospitalized after having a seizure while on duty. One ticket gets you into both games so come out early and support Jason and all of the policemen and firefighters before the Americans take on Tulsa at 7:05 pm. Here is the link to buy tickets that will have proceeds go to the Guns and Hoses Foundation: http://Allenamericans.com/ntxallstars
Did You Know?
If you are looking for positives here are a couple for the game tonight. Allen is 1-8 against Kansas City this season but since these teams joined the ECHL, the Americans record against the Mavericks at the Allen Event Center is 16-7-3-0.
This one is even better.
Since February 18th Kansas City has played eight games and has lost every other one. Since they won on Wednesday they are due to lose tonight to keep the every other one streak alive.