It was just what the doctor ordered to get over the losing flu. A good start, great defense, super goaltending and a power play goal led to a 3-1 win for Allen last night over the Idaho Steelheads. The Americans snapped a five game losing streak before a crowd of 3502 at the CUTX Event Center. It was Allen’s fifth straight win over Idaho dating back to last November. The Americans record against Idaho, the second ranked team in the Mountain Division, now stands at 5-1-1-0 with the final game in the season series tonight (7:05 pm).
– Allen was able to generate enough offense to get the job done despite being outshot in all three periods and 32-23 for the game. The Americans scored first at the 9:09 mark of the opening period on Branden Troock’s 15th goal of the season. Idaho responded just over a minute later to tie the score. Allen shutout the Steelheads from that point, the final 49+ minutes of the game.
– Allen took a 2-1 lead late in the second period on Spencer Asuchak’s sixth power play goal and 18th goal of the season. The Americans took the 2-1 lead into the second intermission which was reassuring since they haven’t lost a game (in regulation) all season when leading after the second period. Their record is now 10-0-1-1.
– Allen put the game away scoring an even strength goal with just 88 seconds remaining. J.C. Campagna scored his sixth goal since joining Allen eight games ago.
– The #1 star of the game was goalie Luke Peressini who stopped 31 of 32 Idaho shots for a save percentage of .969. Luke came up big several times late in the game to preserve the victory.
– Here are the video highlights: https://youtu.be/DEuwIG2dvCo
– Game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-claim-victory-against-idaho/
– Game recap from the Idaho Steelheads: https://www.idahosteelheads.com/en/articles/steelheads-open-road-trip-with-3-1-loss-to-allen
COACH’S CORNER WITH STEVE MARTINSON
“We took a step in the right direction last night and need to keep it going again tonight.”
“I thought everyone bought into team defense and that was the difference in the game. Our back checking and back pressure were good.”
“We still have some work to do. We had too many turnovers in our offensive zone by making bad passes. Those eliminate our chances to get a shot.”
“We also need to cut down on the turnovers on our breakout.”
“Luke Peresinni was great in goal. He will be back in goal tonight.”
“I will add Ryan Lohin to the roster today. He is coming off an injury but was cleared yesterday. If he feels okay after our pregame skate this morning, he will be in the lineup tonight.”
“Andrew Jarvis tried to play last night after returning from his injury but isn’t ready yet. He will be out of the lineup again.”
– More of the same would be the key to another win tonight. Idaho has struggled scoring goals lately. The Steelheads have lost five of their last seven games and have scored two or fewer goals in six of the seven. If the Americans can keep that streak alive by holding down the goals allowed to Idaho, they will get another win tonight.
– It sure helped that Allen scored first last night and did not allow the Steelheads to score a power play goal while the Americans got one of their own. If you score the first goal of the game and win the special teams battle, there is a good chance you win the game.
– If there is an area for improvement tonight it would be to generate more shots on goal. Allen doesn’t generate a lot of shots as evidenced by the fact it ranks #26 in the ECHL, averaging 28.6 shots per game. Even though the Americans won last night they managed only 23 shots on goal. As coach Martinson said, offensive zone turnovers eliminate opportunities for shots. If the Americans reduce offensive zone turnovers they will increase the shot total.
– The referee scheduled for the game is Riley Yerkovich (#7), the same as last night. There were only six penalties (four power plays) last night, equally divided.
– Allen got out of the cellar with the win last night (replaced by Wichita) but didn’t gain any ground on Tulsa or Kansas City who also won. The Mountain Division standings:
- .620 – Utah
- .565 – Idaho
- .564 – Rapid City
- .528 – Tulsa
- .518 – Kansas City
- .500 – Allen
- .491 – Wichita
– If Ryan Lohin is in the lineup tonight (he is listed as day to day), coach Martinson will have a lot of flexibility in how he sets up the lines. Having last change is a real advantage against teams that have a strong first line. I could see Martinson setting up the lines so all three can score but one is put together to go against Idaho’s top line.
– As a reminder of the impact Ryan Lohin had when he played six games with Allen in late October and early November, here are some of his stats from those six games:
- 6 goals
- 2 assists
- 1.33 points per game average
- 1.00 goal per game average
- 33.3% shooting percentage (6 goals on 18 shots)
- 9 PIMS
– Three ECHL teams on the move with seven or eight wins in the last 10 games are Newfoundland, Atlanta, and Iowa. Three ECHL teams have points streaks of six or more game, Atlanta is 7-0-0-0, Reading is 6-0-1-0 and Iowa is 6-0-0-0.
DID YOU KNOW: Eric Roy leads Allen defensemen in goals with seven followed by Kris Myllari with six. The ECHL stats post today is about defensemen who have scored 20+ goals in a season. A rare feat, but a couple of familiar names on the list if you are an Allen fan.
Defensemen reaching 20 goals in a season is quite a milestone that happens infrequently. Utah defenseman Charle-Edouard D’Astous already has 19 goals and will join the club soon. Here are the four defensemen since 2009-10 that reached the 20 goal plateau:26: Les Lancaster, Allen, 2020-2121: Stepan Falkovsky, Adirondack, 2016-1720: Aaron Schneekloth, Colorado, 2011-1221: J.C. Sawyer, Toledo, 2009-10