ALLEN, TX – The month of December will be key for the Allen Americans in their quest to move up the Mountain Division standings where they currently occupy the fourth and final playoff spot. The Americans have gotten off to a great start this month with two decisive wins over Rapid City.
– If you recall it was in December last season when Allen turned around a shaky start to the season (8-11) and began an amazing march from last place to first place in the division. Their December record was 10-2-1-1. The Americans play 13 games this month, and with a 2-0 start they certainly have a chance to have a similar record as last season, but it won’t be easy. Allen plays only three teams the rest of December. There are four games (2 home, 2 away) against Kansas City who has a winning percentage of .545 and three games (2 home, 1 away) against Tulsa who has a winning percentage of .476. The Americans close out the year with four games (2 home, 2 away) against league-leading Wichita who has a winning percentage of .842. Those four games with Wichita that take place between Christmas and New Years will go a long way in determining if Allen has a chance of catching the Thunder.
– There have been some recent injuries with the San Jose Sharks which necessitated players being recalled from the Barracuda which then makes them shorthanded. The trickle-down effect can then impact the Allen Americans. The Barracuda played a game on Sunday, and defenseman Mike Brodzinski was moved up to forward. The Barracuda play tomorrow (Wednesday) night and again on Friday. Wouldn’t be surprised to hear San Jose has recalled one of their players from Allen.
– Here is a story that talks about the injures in San Jose titled, “Injuries Show Limits of Shark’s Organizational Depth” https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports/csn/sharks/Injuries_showing_limits_of_Sharks__organizational_depth-461697333.html
– The ECHL announced yesterday that Rapid City defenseman Michael Sdao has been suspended for three games and fined an undisclosed amount for his hit on Connor Reilly in the game on Saturday. Sdao was given a match penalty for targeting the head. Reilly left the game early in the second period and didn’t return after what looked like a deliberate intent to injure. Sdao will miss the next three Rapid City games which all happen to be against Colorado, the team he played for last season. Colorado leads the ECHL in fights (30) and could make it difficult for Rapid City with Sdao out of the lineup.
– There was only one game in the ECHL last night, but it impacted the Allen Americans. Idaho beat Utah 3-2 in a shootout and moved into third place in the Mountain Division, one point ahead of the Americans. Wichita has been entrenched at the top of the division and the three teams at the bottom of the division (Tulsa, Utah, Rapid City) have fallen further behind. However, the battle for second place between Colorado, Idaho and Allen seems to change on a daily basis. It currently is Colorado in second with 29 points, Idaho in third with 28 points and Allen in fourth with 27 points.
– A quick look at the last ten games for each ECHL team shows a great team playing great is Florida with the most wins (8) in the last ten games.
A good team playing poorly is South Carolina with just three wins in the last ten games.
A team that was in last place playing great is Brampton with seven wins in the last ten games.
A poor team playing poorly with a league-low of one win in the last ten games is Utah.
– The Allen Americans Ice Angels held their calendar release party on Saturday and as always they have done an outstanding job again. They are an amazing group of talented young women who are the best in the business. You can pick up the calendar at the team store. Here are a couple of photos from the release party courtesy of Michael Lark Photography.
DID YOU KNOW: The Mountain Division of the ECHL is considered by most the toughest in the league and if you look at fights that is certainly the case. Four of the top five teams in the number of fights come from the Mountain Division and the fifth is a close cousin from the Central Division. Here is the top five list for number of fights in the ECHL this season courtesy of dropyourgloves.com
30 – Colorado
23 – Allen
23 – Idaho
22 – Kansas City
22 – Utah
If you are wondering who is at the bottom of the list here are the bottom three:
5 – Quad City
6 – Brampton
7 – Reading