Thursday, February 25, 2016

Americans Head To Wichita, Who Stays Home, Who's #62, Division Races, New Equipment & More

It's getaway day for the Allen Americans as they board "Big Red" this afternoon for the 360 mile trip to Wichita where they will play the Thunder tomorrow night. The Americans are locked in a tight race to be the best team in the Western Division outside the division winners and get the fourth seed in the playoffs. It is critical Allen starts off the weekend with a road win after losing seven of their last eight road games.

- I attended practice yesterday and confirmed with coach Martinson that Riley Gill and Dyson Stevenson will not make the trip to Wichita because of injuries. With the recent additions of Spencer Asuchak, Reggie Traccitto, and Eric Roy the roster is now full with 20 skaters (12 forwards & eight defensemen).  With six defensemen and 10 forwards making the trip that would mean in addition to Stevenson, two defensemen and one forward that are healthy will stay home. Everything will get sorted out after practice today.

Newly acquired defensemen #11 Reggie Traccitto - photo by Dianne Webster

- Spencer Asuchak, who wore #24 in the three games he played in Alaska, will be wearing #62 from now on. With Dyson Stevenson wearing Asuchak's favorite #26 he just went with the reverse. Reggie Traccitto is wearing #11.

#62 Spencer Asuchak - photo by Dianne Webster

- Skating coach Luke Chilcott continues to work with the Americans. It is always interesting to see which players stay after practice to get extra instruction from Luke. There is no question Luke is an expert skater as all you have to do is observe him to see why he was a world class figure skater. What makes Luke unique is how he translates skating techniques to what hockey players do.

- Long awaited new goalie equipment for Joel Rumpel arrived yesterday. Equipment manager Nolan Bowker brought out the new glove and blocker and gave it to Joel to try out just as practice was ending. Joel told me after practice it takes a few days to break in new equipment before using it in a game.

- Will have a complete game preview tomorrow but one thing to look for in the three game series this weekend with Wichita is offense. Allen has had plenty of success in scoring goals against the Thunder. In the last five games (all Allen victories) the Americans have scored 21 goals (5,5,3,4,4).



-  Two ECHL divisions that are interesting to watch are the South and Midwest. The leaders have been struggling and the teams in second place have been surging. In the South Division second place South Carolina clobbered first place Florida 6-1 last night in Florida. In their last 10 games South Carolina is 8-1-1-0 while Florida is 4-5-0-1. What was once a comfortable lead for Florida is now down to two points.

- In the Midwest Division first place Fort Wayne lost to Missouri at home last night 4-3 while second place Cincinnati beat Atlanta at home 5-2. In their last 10 games Cincinnati is 8-2-0-0 while Fort Wayne is 4-3-2-1. What was once a comfortable lead for Fort Wayne is now down to just two points.

- Photographer Dianne Webster shared the following video and story about a photographer dropping their lens cover on the ice during play at an Ontario Reign game. Maybe this is why there are no photographer cutouts in the plexiglass at the AEC.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Here is the first of what I hope will be many questions posed by you, the readers of the blog. Please help me out and keep them coming. Thanks to Harry for submitting this question and to Joel Rumpel for taking the time to answer the question. "What percentage of goalie stops are primarily due to positioning, stops made when you don't see the shot clearly?

DID YOU KNOW: Last season the Americans had six players average more than a point per game (minimum 20 games ) including Jack Combs (1.75), Chad Costello (1.74), Rylan Schwartz (1.18), Gary Steffes (1.16), Greger Hanson (1.11) and Spencer Asuchak (1.07). This season only Chad Costello (1.34) and Greger Hanson (1.15) are averaging a point a game.

1 comment:

  1. I like the question of the day addition to the blog. Great job both you and Rumpel.