Lone Star Cup Hopes Ride On Texas Stars - Allen Americans

 

With two teams still battling in the post season, the Lone Star State is positioned to be home to two cup champions. The Texas Stars have advanced to the second round of the AHL playoffs in pursuit of the Calder Cup. They completed a first round sweep of the Oklahoma City Barons and will now face the defending Calder Cup Champion Grand Rapids Griffins in round two. A little closer to home the Allen Americans, defending CHL Champions, have once again reached the Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Finals. After dispatching Brampton and Quad Cities in rounds one and two they and are deadlocked at one game apiece against the Denver Cutthroats.

 

AHL

 

In their opening round series against the Barons the Stars had to scramble a bit to take control early. Texas won the first two games on the road with identical 3 – 2 scores with both wins coming in overtime. Once the series moved back to Cedar Park, the Stars picked up a boost from the home crowd and pulled out a 4 – 2 win for the sweep.

 

Grand Rapids drew the Abbotsford Heat in the first round The Griffins grabbed a 2 – 1 overtime win on Heat ice to open the series before going up two games with a commanding 7 – 2 win. Abbotsford did not roll over however, taking game three 2 – 1. The Griffins closed out the series on home ice with a 5 – 3 win.

 

Regular Season

W

L

OTL

Pts

Stars

48

18

10

106

Griffins

46

23

7

99

 

Special Teams

 

Texas had some of the strongest special teams play in the league during the regular season. Their power play was ranked number one overall at 25.3%. On home ice the numbers jumped to an even 28.0% also good for tops in the league while on the road they were 22.4% which was second best in the league. When on the penalty kill, the Stars had an 86.4% efficiency good for third in the league. They slipped to ninth in the home penalty kill at 85.5%, but held the number three spot on the road at 87.3%.

 

Grand Rapids also put up some decent numbers on special teams though not quite to the Star’s level. The Griffins held the number seven overall power play at 20.2%. Their home and road numbers were fairly consistent at 20.4% and 20.0%. Those numbers were good for the number 11 home unit and the number seven road unit. With an 85.6% overall efficiency, the Griffins were the number five penalty kill in the league. Again their home and road numbers were very close with 86.8% at home to rank fourth and 84.6% on the road for seventh in the league.

 

Playoff Goaltending Comparison

 

 

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

GAA

SV

SV%

Stars

3

0

0

0

6

1.80

85

.934

Griffins

3

1

0

0

8

1.72

117

.936

 

Who is Hot

 

Stars

G

A

Pts

Justin Dowling

1

4

5

Travis Morin

2

2

4

Mike Hedden

2

1

3

Brendan Ranford

2

1

3

Two tied at

1

1

2

 
Griffins

 G

A

Pts

Teemu Pulkkinen

2

3

5

Jeff Hoggan

3

1

4

Andrej Nestrasil

2

2

4

Ryan Sproul

2

2

4

Mattias Backman

1

3

4

 

Schedule

 

May 8 – Cedar Park, TX

May 10 – Cedar Park, TX

May 13 – Grand Rapids, MI

May 14 – Grand Rapids, MI

*May 16 – Grand Rapids, MI

*May 18 – Cedar Park, TX

*May 19 – Cedar Park, TX

* If Necessary

 

Inside the Game

 

Texas compiled a +77 goal differential through the regular season while Grand Rapids was a +51.

 

Texas averaged 3.61 Goals For and 2.59 Goals Against in the regular season compared to the Griffins 3.13 Goals For and 2.46 Goals Against.

 

For the Stars, Christopher Nilstorp and Jack Campbell have both seen action in the first round between the pipes. Nilstorp in games one and three with Campbell getting the call in game two. Petr Mrazek has played every minute for the Griffins in the post season.

 

The Griffins had three skaters eclipse the 100 PIM mark in the regular season. They were led by Brennan Evans 111, Jordin Tootoo 104 and Triston Grant 103. Evans continues to lead the team in the post season and is tied with Trevor Parkes at 12 minutes in four games. The Stars PIM leader during the regular season was Curtis McKinzie with 92 minutes. He was the only Stars player with more than 58 PIM on the roster. In the playoffs the Stars have stayed out of the box for the most part. Scott Glennie is leading the team with 7 PIM.

 

Grand Rapids took three of four regular season head to head meetings.

 

CHL

 

The Allen Americans are looking to hoist the Ray Miron Cup for the second season in a row and are setting at a 1 – 1 tie with the Denver Cutthroats in the CHL finals. Allen earned their way into the finals with 4 – 1 series win over Abbotsford in the opening round followed by a hard fought 4 – 3 win over Quad Cities. The Americans faced potential elimination in games six and seven against the Mallards, but was up to the task in both games. They dominated play in game six with a 6 – 1 win before taking the decisive game seven by a score of 3 – 2.

 

The Cutthroats on the other hand advanced to the finals with a 4 – 2 series win against Tulsa and a 4 – 1 defeat of the Arizona Sundogs. They closed out their second round series with a 7 – 0 drubbing of Arizona.

 

Regular Season

W

L

OTL

Pts

Americans

39

22

5

83

Cutthroats

38

17

11

87

 

Special Teams

 

Allen and Denver tied for the second best overall power play percentage in the league at 20.6%. The Americans had the fourth best home power play at 18.8%, but the best road unit at 23.1%. Their penalty kill unit ranked seventh in the league overall 82.1%. They were also seventh at home and one the road with 81.1% and 83.0% respectively. In the playoffs, the Americans have stepped it up a notch on special teams with the power play clicking at 26.9% and the penalty kill coming in at 85.2%.

 

Denver held the leagues best home power play at 23.0%, but slipped to 18.4% on the road to rank fourth. Overall they came in at 20.6%. On the penalty kill they finished third in the league at 83.9% with an 84.4% home unit and a 83.3% road unit, good for second and sixth in the league. The Cutthroats have seen their power play unit slip to 18.3% in post season play, but have been very stingy on penalty kill at 93.5%.

 

Playoff Goaltending Comparison

 

 

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

GAA

SV

SV%

Americans

9

5

0

1

33

2,25

425

.928

Cutthroats

9

4

0

2

37

2.85

476

.928

 

Who is Hot

 

Americans

G

A

Pts

Jamie Schaafsma

8

9

17

Anthony Maiani

5

12

17

Greger Hanson

6

8

14

Bruce Graham

6

8

14

Tyler Ludwig

3

9

13

 
Cutthroats

 G

A

Pts

AJ Gale

11

11

22

Troy Schwab

8

14

22

Garett Bembridge

6

10

16

Cam Reid

4

7

11

Steve Kaunisto

2

9

11

 

 

Schedule

 

May 2 – Denver, CO – Denver 5 – Allen 4

May 3 – Denver, CO – Allen 5 – Denver 4

May 7 – Allen, TX

May 9 – Allen, TX

*May 10 – Allen, TX

*May 14 – Denver, CO

*May 17 – Denver, CO

* If Necessary

 

Inside the Game

 

The Americans and Cutthroats combined have the top seven scorers in post season play. Gale and Schwab of Denver are tied for the lead with 22 points. Allen’s Schaafsma and Maiani are tied for third with 17 points followed by Bembridge with 16 points then Hanson and Graham with 14 points each.

 

Bryan Pitton is second in the post season with his 2.25 GAA and is third with a .928 SV%. Kent Patterson is fourth with a 2.55 GAA and second with a .932 SV%.

 

Allen’s Tyler Ludwig with 3G – 9A leads all defensemen in scoring, goals, power play goals and assists. His +8 rating is second only to teammate Daniel Tetrault’s +14.

 

Denver is setting the pace for post season PIMs with 223 in 13 games played. Schwab and Daniel Barczuk are tied for third overall with 26 PIMs each. Barczuk is tied for the lead in Majors with 2.

 

In seven regular season games Denver held a slight upper hand winning four. Four of the six games were one goal margins with two decided in a shootout and one in overtime.

Tags: AHL Allen Americans CHL Texas Stars

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