Unless you come from the camp that any road win is a good win the Allen Americans 5-4 overtime win over the Kansas City Mavericks last night was a big disappointment. The Americans built a 4-1 lead early in the third period and were coasting to their 40th win of the season only to have the wheels come off in the last five minutes of regulation time. The Mavericks scored three goals in less than three minutes to send the game to overtime. Allen is very comfortable in overtime considering they have gone to overtime in just over a third of their games this season. The Americans won their fifth straight overtime game and 12th of the season when Mitch McLain tipped in a goal mouth pass from Spencer Asuchak at the 3:30 mark of overtime.
– There were certainly bright spots for Allen as they scored the first goal of the game, had a 2-0 lead after the first period, 3-0 lead midway through the second period and a 3-1 lead at the second intermission. Allen’s record when leading after the second period is 28-1-1-0 so all looked good going into the third period.
– Allen was out shot 20-9 in the third period and gave up three goals in exactly 159 seconds to turn what was looking like a confidence building road win to a hang on overtime win. To their credit the Americans had the character to shake off the Mavericks late comeback and find a way to win the game. Even though it was an ugly win it counts two points in the standings and keeps Allen in the hunt for the best overall record in the ECHL.
– The goal scorers for Allen were Jordan Topping (25 & 26), Alex Breton (11), Cody Corbett (4) and Mitch McLain (4). You can find the video highlights at this ECHL link: https://www.echl.com/en/tag?id=5bb763bdd3bc0f20ed973ef0&name=ECHL%20Video
– Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/americans-win-another-overtime-thriller/
– Here is the game recap issued by the Mavericks: https://www.kcmavericks.com/en/news/mavs-furious-third-period-comeback-yields-standings-point-but-kc-falls-5-4-in-overtime
– When I touched base with coach Martinson after the game he made it clear he was very disappointed in how the team played in the third period.
“It was an ugly third period but they played harder and it caught up to us. We didn’t defend well and we didn’t get pucks out of our zone.”
“I thought their top players were buzzing and we had a lot of forwards turning over pucks.”
“We will get Archambault and VanWormer back for tomorrow (Saturday) night and that should help a lot.”
– Jordan Topping’s two goals last night ties him for the team lead in goals with Tyler Sheehy at 26. Sheehy had two assists in the game and is tied for the ECHL lead in scoring with 69 points. Sheehy has a 16 point lead in the rookie scoring race.
– Ben Carroll had a good start to his pro career with two assists in the game and was +3 at one point in the game. He finished at +1.
ALLEN VS TULSA PREVIEW
– Allen spent all night traveling back from Kansas City and will have to be ready to go again tonight as they take on the Tulsa Oilers. Tulsa has not played since they lost to Allen 1-0 in overtime at home on Tuesday.
– Allen has matched up well against Tulsa this season with a record of 7-2-0-0. Allen has outscored the Oilers 30-22 in their head to head matchups. The last two meetings have been low scoring overtime games. The Americans came out on top 1-0 and 2-1.
– Allen’s power play had another goal last night which makes three straight games with a power play goal. It is no coincidence Tyler Sheehy returned to the lineup three games ago. With Archambault and VanWormer back in the lineup tonight the power play should be even better.
– Allen’s penalty kill has been perfect the last two games. Combine that with the fact Tulsa has scored a power play goal in just one of the nine games against Allen this season and the Americans could have a good night on special teams.
– Allen was out shot by Kansas City last night 44-22 and they will be going up against an Oilers team tonight that is #1 in the league in average shots per game. Allen needs to keep the shots close if they expect to win.
– Tulsa will be playing desperate as they are fighting for their playoff life. They are tied with Rapid City for the fourth and final playoff spot with 64 points but Rapid City has three games in hand.
– With the win last night Allen gained ground on #1 South Carolina (lost 4-1 to Idaho) and maintained their lead in the Mountain Division. Here are the standings for the overall point lead and Mountain Division point lead with games remaining in parenthesis:
Overall Point Leaders
90 points – South Carolina (12 games)
90 points – Florida (11 games)
88 points – Allen (11 games)
82 points – Cincinnati (11 games)
81 points – Newfoundland (14 games)
Mountain Division Standings
88 points – Allen (11 games)
79 points – Idaho (12 games)
77 points – Utah (11 games)
64 points – Tulsa (10 games)
64 points – Rapid City (13 games)
53 points – Kansas City (13 games)
52 points – Wichita (13 games)
– All Mountain Division teams will be in action tonight and every team has something to play for whether it is home ice advantage or just making the playoffs. Here are the games:
Wichita at Kansas City
Tulsa at Allen
Utah at Rapid City
South Carolina at Idaho
– Allen won their 40th game last night. It is the first time the Americans have reached 40 wins since the 2016-17 season.
– If you like watching hockey you can come early tonight and watch the annual Police vs Fire charity game. One ticket gets you in for both games. Puck drop is 5:05 pm.
– One of the greatest hockey tournaments each season is the Minnesota Boys High School Hockey Tournament which concludes today. In Class A (small schools) Mahtomedi takes on Hermantown and in Class AA Hill-Murray takes on Eden Prairie. The close to 19,000 fans that will pack the Xcel Energy Center for the games today will see a larger crowd for Minnesota High School Hockey than any game in the ECHL and AHL tonight. In fact, they will outdraw all but a few NHL games tonight. Here is what they call the “Hype Video” for this year’s tournament with some past highlights:
DID YOU KNOW: Seven ECHL teams are averaging 3.50 or more goals per game. All will make the playoffs. Here is the list with each team’s rank in their division standings in parenthesis:
4.02 – Allen Americans (#1)
3.97 – Newfoundland Growlers (#1)
3.84 – Toledo Walleye (#2)
3.69 – Brampton Beast (#3)
3.66 – Florida Everblades (#2)
3.63 – Reading Royals (#2)
3.50 – South Carolina Stingrays (#1)