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Allen vs Utah Series Preview & Free Tickets

February 22, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Allen Americans News Release

If the Allen Americans have any hopes of escaping last place in the Mountain Division they will have to up their game over the last 17 games of the worst season in team history. It won't be easy this weekend as the Americans take on the Utah Grizzlies, who are the top team in the division, with a winning percentage of .642. Three games in three days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) against the best team in the division.

- The game tonight will be the sixth of 12 meetings between Allen and Utah this season. The first five games were in Utah with the final six in Allen. The Americans did not fare well in the five games in Utah with a record of 1-4 that included three shutouts.

- Head to head Utah has outscored Allen 19-7 and out shot the Americans 163 -154. Allen is 3-24 (12.5%) on the power play, Utah is 4-25 (16.0%).

- Special teams will be key in this three game series against Utah. After a hot streak at the end of January the Allen power play has not scored in the last five games going 0-16. The good news is the penalty kill is 1-20 (95.0%) in the last five games.

- If you look at season long stats the advantage goes to Utah starting with a record of 31-15-4-1 compared to Allen's 17-32-4-2. The Grizzlies have one of the best road records (13-6-3-1) in the league while Allen has the worst home record in the ECHL (7-14-1-0). Utah has the better power play (21.8% vs 16.7%) and the better penalty kill (85.0% vs 83.6%).

- Utah averages 3.43 goals per game, Allen just 2.80. Utah allows 2.80 goals per game, Allen 3.67. Utah's record when scoring first is 23-2-3-1. Allen's record when scoring first is 10-5-4-1.

- It is clear by any statistical measure it could be a long weekend for the Americans. If you are looking for the positives Allen won their last game while Utah has lost their last two games. The Americans are 1-4 against the Grizzlies this season but the lone win game the last time they played (December 30) when Allen won 4-2.

- You have to expect there will be fights anytime teams play three games in three days. Utah ranks #3 in the ECHL with 58 fights while Allen is ranked #9 with 32 fights. Allen's number is misleading as they were almost at the bottom of the list at one point. With the acquisition of Jake Doty, Curt Gogol and Emerson Clark, 21 of Allen's 32 fights have come in the last 22 games.

- C. J. Motte is back from his recall to Iowa which should give a lift to the team. When Motte has been in goal Allen's record is 13-13-4-2. When he hasn't been in goal the Americans record is 4-20-0-0.

- Yesterday it was announced Allen traded future considerations to Fort Wayne for goalie Lucas Hafner. My reporting is he has not yet reported to Allen.

- In other roster news Joel Chouinard will not be available this weekend. Alex Ranger is day to day but was practicing with the yellow no contact jersey this week. Jake Doty was back at practice after a few days off dealing with the birth of his new son. Chase Lang will not play tonight as he suffered a bad cut in practice on Wednesday. The cut was very close to his eye and it required a trip to the hospital. According to coach Martinson, "Lang is sore but should be okay however he is not playing. I have attended most practices over the last few years and the Lang injury was as scary as they come. It is great to hear he should be okay.

- I think it is fair to say the only goal left for Allen is to get out of last place in the Mountain Division and if that doesn't happen avoid being the worst team in the ECHL. The players should be motivated whether they are playing for pride or playing for jobs for next season in Allen, some other ECHL team or in Europe.

- One player to keep an eye on this weekend from Utah is #40 Caleb Herbert. He has 53 points (26G, 27A) in just 39 games for a points per game average of 1.36. Herbert has split time between Utah and their AHL affiliate (Colorado). He is tied with Zach Pochiro for second in the ECHL in goals with 26. These are two players to pay special attention to this weekend. Herbert has a goal in his last three ECHL games. Zach is in the midst of a five game goal scoring drought.

- The referee scheduled tonight is Matt Menniti (#10). The linesmen will be Sean D'Loughy (#45) and Michael Miggans (#47).

OTHER NEWS

- After every season many players look into playing in Europe as it is a way to travel while getting paid to play hockey. Teams is Europe typically play fewer games than in the ECHL and players have more free time to make short strips to all the major cities. Some players love the experience and others don't like it at all. The last two ECHL MVP winners leveraged their great seasons to get contracts in Europe. For Chad Costello (2017 ECHL MVP) the experience has been rewarding financially, on the ice and for his family. For Shawn Szydlowski (2018 ECHL MVP) the experience did not work out. Here is a well thought out story about Shawn's experience in his own words. Some things to think about for any player considering the move to Europe. https://www.echl.com/en/news/2019/2/in-my-words-my-last-chance

- It was a wild back and forth affair in Orlando last night as the Solar Bears took on the Norfolk Admirals. Plenty of former Allen Americans on both teams. Michael Brodzinski, Matt Foget and Alex Schoenborn play for Orlando. Eric Roy, Chris Crane, Ben Duffy and Jeremy Brodeur play for Norfolk. Eric Roy was the star of the game, scoring the game winner for Norfolk at the 1:19 mark of overtime. The final score was 7-6.

- Saw a couple of quotes from Iowa Wild coach Tim Army with high praise for goalie C. J. Motte. "I have complete trust in him (Motte). He played good teams in very challenging situations for us and obviously he did extremely well for us when we needed him to be there." Army also said, "He (Motte) can play at this level. He just needs to stay focused and at some point he will be a full-time starting goalie in the league (AHL). That is for sure."

- I have four FREE premium level club tickets (second level) for the Allen game on Sunday (February 24 at 4:05 pm) against Utah. I will have a drawing for the tickets tomorrow (Saturday ) afternoon, notify the winner and leave the tickets at will call. If you are interested let me know by email (janssenfamily@msn.com). All I need is your name and whether you are interested in two or four tickets. The tickets are on the upper level in the end of the rink where the Zamboni enters the ice. Good luck!

- There are eight games in the ECHL tonight. Here is the ECHL Today with a short preview of each game. https://www.echl.com/en/news/2019/2/echl-today-feb-22

DID YOU KNOW: This morning I was working on a post for my ECHL Stats Twitter account (@ECHLStats). I posted the ECHL players with the most playoff games since the 2013-14 season. What surprised me is eight of the top 14 in playoff games since the 2013-14 season have ties to the Allen Americans. Here are those eight players with how they rank in playoff games. The number in parentheses is playoff games played since 2013-14.

1. Matt Register (90 playoff games)

2. Gary Steffes (74)

4. Jamie Schaafsma (69)

6. Spencer Asuchak (66)

7. Casey Pierro-Zabotel (63)

9. Dyson Stevenson (61)

12. Chad Costello (60)

14. Greger Hanson (59)


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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