The Allen Americans got off to a good start in their three game series against Toledo with a 4-3 win last night to send a standing room only crowd of 7441 at the Huntington Center home disappointed. It was Allen’s third straight win and seventh in the last nine games. The teams will face off again tonight (6:15 pm CDT).
– The game was unique in that it was a very rare penalty free game (see Did You Know below) and Allen was outshot 44-20. However, the Americans hit many of the keys that put the odds of winning in their favor:
- Allen scored first – The Americans have won seven of the last eight games when they scored first.
- Allen led 2-1 after the first period and now has a record of 12-2-1-1 when leading after the first period.
- Allen led 4-2 at the second intermission and now has a record of 15-0-1-1 when leading after the second period.
– Allen scored first, just 101 seconds after the opening puck drop, on Branden Troock’s 18th goal of the season. The Americans never trailed in the game and every time Toledo tied the game, Allen answered back. It happened in the first period when Toledo tied the score 1-1 at the 15:52 mark. Allen answered back at the 18:41 mark on Spencer Asuchak’s 22nd goal of the season to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
– Toledo tied the score again (2-2) in the second period but Allen answered back 96 second later on Branden Troock’s second goal of the game to take a 3-2 lead. Josh Winquist scored an insurance goal (16:17), his seventh since joining the Americans to give Allen a 4-2 lead after the second period.
– Allen had to weather a storm in the third period as Toledo put 16 shots on goal. Between solid team defense and outstanding goaltending from Luke Peressini, the Americans held off the Walleye, though Toledo managed to get within one goal with 18 seconds remaining in the game.
– A recap of the goal scorers: Branden Troock (18,19), Spencer Asuchak (22) and Josh Winquist (10). Here are the video highlights: https://youtu.be/s2DGMnUXK_I
– Game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-open-the-roadtrip-in-style/
– Game recap from the Toledo Walleye: https://www.toledowalleye.com/en/news/44-shots-not-enough-as-toledo-falls-to-allen-4-3
– Luke Peressini had another great game for Allen. Here are his March stats:
- Record: 7-2
- Shots Faced: 288 (32 average per game)
- Saves: 271 (30 average per game)
- Save Percentage: .941
COACH’S CORNER WITH STEVE MARTINSON
“We had a lot of players that got food poisoning yesterday. They were leaving the bench during the game to get sick. We should be stronger tonight.”
“It was good to get the win last night but we have to support our goalie better, we have been relying on him too much. Peressini was our best player last night as he has been for most of March.”
“We had a first period lead but committed way too many turnovers. Turnovers result in no shot for us and a shooting opportunity for them.”
“We had several opportunities for odd man rushes but need to make better passes. Not putting passes on the tape cost us several times.”
“Our game analytics software shows puck possession favored them 55% – 45% and shots favored them 41-19. We will have to improve both of those stats tonight.”
“To be successful tonight we will have to reduce turnovers, pass better and backcheck harder.”
“Luke Peressini will be in goal again tonight.”
“I haven’t decided yet if there will be any lineup changes for the game tonight.”
OTHER COMMENTS– While talking to coach Martinson this morning he said something that stuck with me about skill and working hard. He said it is harder to teach players skill than to teach players to work hard. My opinion is Allen has always been known as a highly skilled team more than a hard working team. Teams more associated with the term hard working are teams like Rapid City and Tulsa.– Allen didn’t get any help last night in the race for a playoff spot. Tulsa beat Utah 6-5 on the road. It didn’t take Joe Garreffa very long to have an impact for the Oilers. Playing in his first game for Tulsa, Joe had two goals, two assists and was selected the #1 star of the game. Wichita took Idaho to overtime but ended up losing 3-2. Here are the standings for the final two playoff spots, with games remaining in parenthesis:
- .548 Idaho (9 games)
- .534 Allen (13 games)
- .532 Tulsa (9 games)
– In the battle for the top spot in the Mountain Division both Utah and Rapid City lost last night, but the Rush lost in a shootout so gained on Utah. Here are the points percentages with games remaining:
- .595 Utah (9 games)
- .582 Rapid City (11 games)
– Here is the ECHL Today with a preview of the 12 games on the schedule today: https://www.echl.com/news/2022/3/echl-today-march-26– Toledo and Reading can become the first ECHL teams to clinch a playoff spot tonight. If Toledo beats Allen and Kalamazoo loses to Fort Wayne in regulation, the Walleye clinch a playoff spot. Reading clinches if it wins and Maine loses or Trois-Riviéres loses in regulation.DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about penalty-free games which are becoming more common:Allen beat Toledo 4-3 last night in a penalty free game. It was the 14th time in ECHL history this has happened and the 2nd time this season. Is this an indication how the game has changed over the years?Penalty free games:First 27 years (1988-2015) – 5 penalty free gamesLast 7 years (2016-2022) – 9 penalty free gamesThe most recent penalty free games:Allen at Toledo – March 25, 2022Orlando at Florida – February 23, 2022Orlando at Jacksonville – May 18, 2021