Saturday, May 21, 2016

Allen vs Fort Wayne Game Four Preview, Stories From The Other Side, Playoff Attendance & More

It is game day in Allen as the Americans take on the Fort Wayne Komets in game four of their best of seven series. It seems like every game is critical in this series but tonight really is important as Allen either takes a commanding 3-1 series lead or they squander the 2-0 lead they built by taking the first two games in Fort Wayne and are tied with the Komets 2-2.

- Coach Martinson said after the game on Thursday there would be roster changes for the game tonight. Riley Gill, Aaron Gens, Matt Register, Tristan King and Justin Courtnall sat out on Thursday. Will Riley Gill and Tristan King be back in the lineup after injures have kept them out? Will Aaron Gens get his first start since breaking his ankle in March? Will Justin Courtnall be back in the lineup to bring toughness and help with the penalty kill. Will Matt Register be back in the lineup to help with the power play? The best bets are Gill and King are back but there might be a surprise or two when Martinson makes up his line up card this afternoon. He doesn't make the final decisions until late in the day as he has learned over his many years of coaching that injury and illness can strike at any time.

- The statistical totals after three games show Allen outscoring Fort Wayne 9-7 but the Komets lead in shots 88-76. Allen has taken 20 penalties for 52 minutes while Fort Wayne has taken 25 penalties for 62 minutes. Allen is 3-14 (21.4%) on the power play and the Komets are 1-10 (10.0%). Fort Wayne has outscored the Americans 6-4 when the teams have been at even strength.

- After being called for nine penalties in game one and 14 penalties in game two the Komets had just two penalties in game three. Was this drastic reduction in penalties caused by the way Fort Wayne played or the way the referees called the game. It was probably a combination of both. I talked to several players and they were all in agreement the referees let a lot of stuff go in game three that would normally be called penalties.

- The following is how Allen and Fort Wayne rank among the four remaining playoff teams in some statistical categories considering just the playoff game results:

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 4th (13.56) - Fort Wayne 2nd (15.57)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 4th (2.75) - Fort Wayne 1st (3.50)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 2nd (2.38) - Fort Wayne 3rd (2.43)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 4th (29.50) - Fort Wayne 1st (34.93)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 3rd (29.06) - Fort Wayne 2nd (26.93)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 1st (23.2%) - Fort Wayne 2nd (19.7%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 4th (84.6%) - Fort Wayne 3rd (87.5%)
Plus/Minus: Allen 3rd (-5) - Fort Wayne 2nd (+52)

- The team that has scored first has won the first three games and the odds are that will happen again tonight. A fast start is important to both teams along with who performs the best on special teams.

- Leading scorers for Allen in the series are Gary Steffes (3 goals 2 assists) and Chad Costello (1 goal 3 assists). Fort Wayne has three players with two goals (Bourke, Cheek, Embach) and Southhorn leads with three assists.

- The referees scheduled for the game are Peter MacDougall (#26) and Nic Leduc (#14). The linesmen are Charlie O'Connor (#43) and Brent Hooks (#61).


- Here are some stories from Fort Wayne beat writers Justin Cohn and Blake Sebring:

"Komets' defense stepped up".....

"Corbett solid at both ends in return to ice".....

"Avoiding retaliation penalties vital to Komets".....

"Komets Notes: A second title would mean even more to Nagle".....

"Komets' Schaafsma feeling the love in Allen".....


- The South Carolina Stingrays beat the Wheeling Nailers last night to even the series 2-2 in the Eastern Conference final. This series should be called the "third period comeback series" as that has happened in the last three games. After having it done to them twice by Wheeling, last night it was the Stingrays turn. South Carolina scored three unanswered goals in the third period to come away with a 4-2 win. Here are the details courtesy of Andrew Miller:

- The Western Conference finalists (Allen & Fort Wayne) have had much better attendance during the playoffs than the Eastern Conference finalists (South Carolina & Wheeling). The combined average attendance for the Western Conference finalists is 10,302 and for the Eastern Conference it is only 5378. Fort Wayne has a higher average playoff attendance (5457) than South Carolina and Wheeling combined. 

DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans have had different goalies of record in the first three games of the Western Conference final. Riley Gill won the first game, Joel Rumpel won the second game and Jake Hildebrand took the loss in game three. Wonder the last time that has happened?

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