Every once in a while Allen fans are reminded of times past, every once in a while fans are reminded of how the 2018-19 Americans are capable of playing. That is what happened last night as a big crowd of 5435 watched the Allen Americans beat a good Utah Grizzlies team by a score of 6-3.
– Allen scored first just 3:28 into the game, they took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission, had a 5-1 lead after the second period and held Utah scoreless even strength. Utah scored two power play goals in just over a minute midway through the third period to make the score 5-3. Allen scored an empty net goal to make the final score 6-3.
– It was an entertaining game as Allen showed how they can play team defense. When defensive mistakes were made goalie C.J. Motte was there to make a big save.
– All three Utah goals were on the power play as Allen continues to struggle killing penalties. Both teams had seven power play opportunities with Allen going 1-7, Utah 3-7. The Americans have allowed one or more power play goals in eight of the last nine games against the Grizzlies. The Americans penalty kill percentage over those nine games is a paltry 72.3%.
– Here is a full game recap from the Utah Grizzlies: http://www.utahgrizzlies.com/team/utahgrizzliescomteamnews/index.html?article_id=3657
– The goal scorers for Allen were Alex Ranger (7), Braylon Shmyr (17 & 18), Adam Miller (16), Spencer Asuchak (18) and Dante Salituro (18). Here are the Sporfie video highlights of all but the empty net goal.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS
“There was a lot to like in the game tonight. Obviously, getting the early goal with a screen in front was big.”
“Our Achilles heel right now are all of the penalties we are taking. We don’t have a lot of penalty killers so it is difficult when we take a lot of penalties.”
“It is nice to have a big crowd on a Saturday night and play an entertaining game. It brings back memories of better days. It is just too bad we don’t do that more often.”
“Ben Owen was a plus three tonight. I was really happy with his play. I plan on signing him for next season. He is a good character guy and moves his feet.”
“Next season the goal is to have more contracted players from the Wild and to have more speed on the roster.”
– Allen will not play again until Utah returns next Friday. The team will have the day off today (Sunday) and coach Martinson is planning on staying off the ice on Monday but the team will get together for a training session at the gym.
– The Mountain Division winners last night were Allen, Tulsa and Idaho. The losers were Kansas City, Wichita, Utah and Rapid City. The Rapid City and Wichita losses pretty much sealed their fate in making the playoffs. Yes, they can still mathematically catch Kansas City but realistically it is not going to happen.
– Heading into the final two weeks of the season it is key for playoff bound teams to play well. There are just four teams that have seven or more wins in their last 10 games. Florida (8-1-0-1), Cincinnati (8-2-0-0), Maine (7-1-2-0) and Tulsa (7-3-0-0).
– Allen has the fewest games remaining (5) while there are eight teams that still have eight games remaining. At this point only six teams have qualified for the playoffs (Newfoundland, Florida, Cincinnati, Idaho, Tulsa, Utah). Allen and Greenville are the only teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs. Both of these lists will grow in the next week.
– Special teams percentages that exceed 105% when added together are considered exceptional. Historically in the NHL only about 10% of teams exceed 105%. Only one team in the ECHL currently exceeds 105%. The Utah Grizzlies total is 107.3% with a power play percentage of 21.5% (ranked #3) and a penalty kill percentage of 85.8% (ranked #4). Allen’s total is 98.7% on a power play percentage of 16.6% (ranked #17) and a penalty kill percentage of 82.0% (ranked #17). Anything below 100% is considered poor performance.
DID YOU KNOW: Here are the combined special teams percentages for Allen since they joined the ECHL with the power play and penalty kill percentages in parentheses. You will notice a big decline the last two seasons.
2018-19: 98.7% (16.6% PP & 82.0% PK)
2017-18: 98.7% (17.1% PP & 81.6% PK)
2016-17: 108.8% (24.4% PP & 84.4% PK)
2015-16: 107.5% (21.1% PP & 86.4% PK)
2014-15: 108.2% (21.9% PP & 86.3% PK)