The Allen Americans defeated the Wichita Thunder last night 7-3 before a sparse Friday night crowd of 3125 at the Allen Event Center. It is that time of year when high school football playoffs conflict with hockey and the Allen Eagles were playing Rockwall at AT&T Stadium. Allen was upset 60-59 on a touchdown and two point conversion with 1:23 remaining in the game.
– The evening didn’t start out very well for the Americans as they gave up two goals in the first 8:10 of the game. To make matters worse Wichita’s first goal was scored by Jason Salvaggio who Allen recently traded to the Thunder. Despite trailing 2-0 the Americans had numerous quality scoring chances and were able to close the gap to 2-1 at the end of the first period.
– The second and third periods were owned by Allen as they put up a total of 45 shots to 22 for Wichita and out scored the Thunder 6-1. The final score was 7-3 and in the process the Americans had the highest shot total (58) since joining the ECHL in 2014.
– Goal scorers for Allen were Jordan Topping (5), Stepan Falkovsky (3), Gabe Gagne (8), Josh Brittain (1), Olivier Archambault (6), Brett Pollock (6), Alex Guptill (5).
– Here is the game recap issued by the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/americans-explode-in-the-third-and-bury-thunder/
– Here is the game recap issued by the Wichita Thunder: https://www.wichitathunder.com/news/press-release/third-period-pushes-allen-past-thunder.html
– Here are the video highlights of all of the goals and numerous great saves by both goalies:
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS
“Brad Bombardir, Director of Player Development for the Minnesota Wild was here tonight so it was a good night for guys to play well.”
“It was a little bit of a scary start and I wasn’t expecting that when we got down 2-0. We got the next goal to make it 2-1 and had a nice start in the second period.”
“We could have easily had 10 goals. We had numerous quality scoring chances. Then we had our two best 2 -on-1 guys going in from the red line with a lot of time and we take a too many men on the ice penalty.”
“The 58 shots tonight comes from the depth we have. All 10 forwards have a history of scoring and we have a lot of guys willing to go to the net.”
“I re-signed Ben Owen today because we are going to lose another defenseman to Iowa tonight. Ben will be in the lineup tomorrow. Zach Sawchenko will be in goal and Josh Lammon will be back in the lineup. I will probably rest Josh Brittain. He looked good tonight but he just started practicing so I don’t want to play him three games in a row.
– The Americans finally scored a power play goal going 1-4. They raised their power play percentage to 10.0% (6-60) and moved ahead of Florida for the worst power play percentage in the ECHL.
– Allen won the game despite giving up the first two goals. Allen is 8-1 when scoring first but their record is pretty good when they give up the first goal of the game. The Americans are now 4-2-1-0 when they give up the first goal.
– Jake Paterson got the win last night and improved his record to 7-1-1. Jake’s save percentage is now at .906. He has played much better than his save percentage indicates. If you exclude the one game when Jake relieved Dereck Baribeau after he was injured early in the game his save percentage is .930.
– It is a big departure from the past but the Allen Americans are the least penalized team in the Mountain Division. With 162 penalty minutes they are the only team in the division with less than 200 penalty minutes. Taking fewer penalties has been a winning formula thus far as the Americans lead the ECHL in points (25) and are #2 in winning percentage (.781).
– As of this morning Allen has four free agent defensemen in Iowa (Atkinson, Register, Lancaster, Ottenbreit) plus one of the Wild’s contracted defensemen, Nick Boka, who has been in Allen is heading back to Iowa today.
– One of Allen’s keys to success has been balanced scoring. Last night seven different players scored goals. The Americans have just one player in the top 42 in goals scored (Gabe Gagne with 8 goals). However, Allen has six other players with five or six goals. Depth is the key to winning in the ECHL and the Americans have great depth this season.
ALLEN VS WICHITA GAME TWO PREVIEW
– The hope for the rematch tonight is more of the same from the Americans. After a season high seven goals last night, Allen is ranked #8 in average goals scored (3.50). The defense and goaltending has been solid all season with the exception of one game when they allowed 10 goals. In their other 15 games the Americans have allowed an average of 2.27 goals per game.
– A better start will be a key tonight. While Allen had plenty of early opportunities to score last night they didn’t capitalize and fell behind 2-0. They need to turn that around tonight.
– The power play scored a goal last night and stopped a 0-24 drought. They still need to get more pucks on the net on the power play.
– A big crowd is expected tonight for the annual “Teddy Bear Toss” game. It should be a great game.
DID YOU KNOW: The 58 shots last night was the most shots on goal since Allen joined the ECHL. The only game I could find that was close was November 27, 2014 in Tulsa against the Oilers. Allen out shot Tulsa 56-30 and won the game 5-4 in a shootout. That shootout was a who’s who of Allen players from the past. Jack Combs went first and missed. The next three shooters for Allen all scored to secure the victory. The next three shooters in order were Gary Steffes, Chad Costello and Greger Hanson.