Chase for Kelly Cup 2018: R. 1 – Idaho Steelheads vs. Allen Americans

Chase for Kelly Cup 2018: R. 1 – Idaho Steelheads vs. Allen Americans The Chase for the Kelly Cup begins with a Round 1 matchup between the Idaho Steelheads and the Allen Americans. Idaho finished second in the Mountain Division with 96 points, while the Allen Americans finished third with 78. Idaho won the season series 5-3-1-1.

Game 1 – Friday, April 13 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho
Game 2 – Saturday, April 14 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 18 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen
Game 4 – Friday, April 20 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen
Game 5 – Sunday, April 22 at 6:05 p.m. CT at Allen (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 24 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 25 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)

Statistics Comparison (Numbers in Parenthesis are ranking in the ECHL)

Idaho Steelheads:

Overall Record: 44-20-5-3 (6)
Home Record: 23-9-3-1 (6)
Away Record: 21-11-2-2 (4)
Last 10 Games: 9-0-1-0
Goals Scored: 244 (7)
Goals Allowed: 188 (4)
Power Play: 17.5% (13)
Penalty Killing: 84.2% (10)

Allen Americans:

Overall Record: 35-29-6-2 (13)
Home Record: 19-11-5-1 (12)
Away Record: 16-18-1-1 (18)
Last 10 Games: 4-4-2-0
Goals Scored: 235 (10)
Goals Allowed: 232 (15)
Power Play: 17.1% (15)
Penalty Killing: 81.6% (20)

Steelheads Players to Watch:

Jefferson Dahl: 61 games, 20 goals, 41 assists, 61 points; Justin Parizek: 64 games, 27 goals, 33 assists, 60 points; Steven McParland: 68 games: 31 goals, 26 assists, 57 points

Philippe Desrosiers: 36 games, 23-9-2-1, 2 ShO, 2.51 GAA, .913 save percentage; Tomas Sholl: 11 games, 9-0-1-1, 4 ShO, 1.24 GAA, .953 save percentage

Americans Players to Watch:

Casey Pierro-Zabotel: 72 games, 19, 50 assists, 69 points; Alex Guptill: 48 games, 20 goals, 23 assists, 43 points; David Makowski: 58 games, 11 goals, 43 assists, 54 points

Jake Paterson: 14 games, 9-4-1-0, 2.92 GAA, .917 save percentage; Jeremy Brodeur: 39 games, 15-13-3-1, 3.15 GAA, .917 save percentage

Analysis:

Idaho is one of the more balanced teams in the playoffs. They are a top 10 team in virtually every category and have a lot of depth. There are 12 different players on this team that scored at least 10 goals, which means it will be hard to shut them down offensively. The Steelheads special teams have not been stellar, but neither have Allen’s, so they just need to play their game and not worry about trying to make the perfect matchup.

Allen is an experienced club who has made the playoffs a regular ending to their season. What is surprising for them is that their goaltending has not been what Americans fans have become accustomed to. They have the scoring punch, but will need to play better in front of their net if they are going to advance.

Chase for Kelly Cup 2018: R. 1 – Idaho Steelheads vs. Allen AmericansWho Will Win:

There is no place in the ECHL like Allen in terms of home ice advantage. That should be worth two games for the Americans, but no more. The Steelheads are a top team and have a real shot of advancing all the way because they can win at home and away and can play wide open hockey or a tight checking affair. Take Idaho to win in six.

By Robert Pannier

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