Last night Allen kicked off its three-game series in Utah with a 6-4 loss to the Grizzlies before a crowd of 3521 at the Maverik Center. It was the third loss in three games against Utah this season and there is a pattern in the losses. Allen has scored first in all three games. been outshot in all three games and scored enough goals to win in all three games.
– Allen took the lead just 36 seconds after puck drop on a Chad Costello goal and had a 2-1 lead late in the first period on a Jared Bethune goal. The game turned in the last minute of the period when Utah scored two goals, one with 55 seconds remaining and one with seven second remaining. Rather than a 2-1 lead at the first intermission, Utah took a 3-2 lead and never looked back. Allen was able to close the gap to 4-3 in the second period on Bethune’s second goal of the game, but Utah scored the next two goals to take a 6-3 lead. Chad Costello scored his second goal of the game on a 5-on-3 power play with 18 seconds remaining in the game to make the final score 6-4.
– If you want a goal by goal recap of the game here is the recap from the Utah Grizzlies: https://www.utahgrizzlies.com/en/grizzlies-news/penner-and-company-leads-grizz-to-6-4-win
– Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/game-recap-americans-fall-to-utah-6-3/
– Allen goal scorers were Chad Costello (16,17) and Jared Bethune (4,5). Here are the video highlights: https://youtu.be/hqgg6qwgsew
– Here are some of my observations and stats:
- Allen scored first but lost as they have done in all three games against Utah.
- Allen’s first goal was on a rare 3-on-0 breakaway.
- Allen has lost 8 of 14 games this season when scoring first.
- Allen was 1-7 on the power play with the one goal coming 5-on-3.
- It wasn’t officially a shorthanded goal but Utah scored two seconds after an Allen power play expired.
- Chad Costello has four goals in the last two games and is now tied for the ECHL lead in goals with 17. His 38 points is ranked #3 in the ECHL.
- Jared Bethune and Zach Hall at +1 were the only players with a positive plus/minus.
- Allen had a great 8-0 win in its last game (Tulsa) but has lost four of the last five games.
- With the six goals allowed last night, Allen is ranked #26 in average goals allowed at 3.77.
- Allen has scored 3, 4 and 4 goals in the three games against Utah but allowed 4, 5 and 6.
- Utah had a 3-2 lead after the first period and now has a 10-2-0-0 record with a first period lead.
- Utah led 5-3 after the second period and now has a record of 16-0-0 with a second period lead.
– If you watched the game highlights from the loss last night it is obvious what Allen needs to change tonight if it expects to win. Goal after goal last night by Utah was scored by players left all alone in front of the net including one on breakaway. It has been an issue all season with the Americans playing inconsistently on defense. The Americans will have to be much better defensively tonight.
– The Allen power play is clearly struggling. If you exclude the 8-0 game in Tulsa, the Americans have two power play goals in the last five games going 2-23 for a power play percentage of 8.7%. What is even more concerning is the only two power play goals were scored 5-on-3. I know coach Martinson has changed up the power play units and the scheme trying to make improvements. Hopefully Allen will have better success tonight.
– Here is the game two preview from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/game-preview-americans-at-utah-810-pm-cst/
STEVE MARTINSON’S COACH’S CORNER
“We shot ourselves in the foot too many times.”
“We have to play better defensively.”
“If everyone on the team would match the physicality of our 5’8′ guys; Gould, Poulsen, and Jarvis, we would be hard to play against.”
“I am not sure if there will be lineup changes until I have a chance to check in with a couple of players this morning.”
“Hayden Lavigne will be in goal tonight.”
“After going 1-7 last night we will make some tweaks to the power play but what we need is better execution.”
“Phil Beaulieu, who had to go home, will be returning to the team on Monday.”
– The Mountain Division standings are very tight. With the loss last night, Allen dropped from third to fifth in the standings. There were several changes last night as Utah, Tulsa and Rapid City won while Allen, Idaho, Wichita and Kansas City lost. Here are the current standings:
- .649 – Utah
- .561 – Tulsa
- .557 – Idaho
- .554 – Rapid City
- .532 – Allen
- .500 – Kansas City
- .403 – Wichita
– The ECHL finally stated formally that the standings will be determined by points percentage rather than points which is another way of saying not all teams will play 72 games this season. Here is the press release which also reiterates all playoff series will be best of seven. https://www.echl.com/en/news/2022/1/echl-announces-qualification-rules-format-for-2022-kelly-cup-playoffs– There is another full slate of games (12) in the ECHL tonight. Here is the ECHL Today with a preview: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2022/1/echl-today-jan-22
– Newfoundland showed no signs of being rusty last night after not playing since December 31. The Growlers spanked the Mavericks 9-4 in Kansas City. The Growlers outshot Kansas City 44-27 and went 5-8 on the power play. Newfoundland’s overall power play percentage improved to 27.4%. Newfoundland will be in Allen for three games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (28th, 29th, 30th). A great opportunity for Allen fans the best team in the ECHL (.739 points percentage).
DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today was about shutouts this season as there have been 43 so far ranging from 1-0 (six times) to 8-0. Allen has the distinction of being involved in the two most lopsided shutouts this season. The Americans won 8-0 last Sunday in Tulsa and lost 7-0 in the home opener against Wichita.
The most saves in a shutout this season is 46 by Lukas Parik (Rapid City) in a 3-0 win against Utah.
One of the most memorable Allen shutouts ever was in Wichita in February of 2016. Joel Rumpel had a 48 save shutout in a game the Americans won by a score of 1-0. Allen was outshot 48-29 in the game. The lone goal of the game was scored by Vincent Arseneau, assisted by Chad Costello.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s ECHL Stats post about an Allen player that had a 47-shot shutout and lost the game.