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Allen Regains Third Place, Game Recap, Video Highlights, Steve Martinson’s Comments, Rematch Preview and Playoff Picture

Sunday, April 10th
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An Allen Americans team decimated by injury and illness found a way to win last night, defeating the Wichita Thunder 4-1 before a crowd of 4461 at INTRUST Bank Arena. The Thunder had no answer for the line of Jack Combs, Chad Butcher and Brendan Troock who scored all four of Allen’s goals. The trio accounted for 100% of the Americans goals, 80% of the assists and 51% of the team’s shots. Troock led the way with 12 shots on goal and a hat trick.

– It was definitely a gut check game for the Americans when you consider Chad Costello, Eric Roy and Jake Kearley stayed home because of injuries along with Josh Winquist and JD Dudek who stayed home with the flu bug that has hit the team. Many of the players aren’t 100% as they recover from the virus that has hit most of the team. Colby McAuley is with the team but was sidelined last night, another casualty of the flu bug. Troock and Combs came off the sidelines after missing the game on Friday to give the team a lift.

– Wichita has been reeling for a while since it traded away many of its top players, but things went from bad to worse for the Thunder who lost their top goal scorer and top goalie Friday night in Tulsa. It has been a difficult end of the season for Wichita who has now lost 11 of its last 12 games (1-10-1-0).

– Allen got off to a good start, scoring the first goal of the game on the power play at the 3:43 mark of the first period, followed by a second goal at the 9:04 mark. When the dust settled on the first period Allen had a 2-0 lead with both goals scored by Branden Troock. The Americans outshot Wichita 19-11 and scored the first goal of the game after giving up the first goal the last seven games.

– The Americans added to their lead in the second period on goals by Chad Butcher (3:40) and Troock’s third goal of the game (18:36). Allen took a 4-0 lead into the second intermission and the game was pretty much over. Allen’s record when leading after the second period is now an impressive 18-0-1-1.

– The goal scorers for Allen were Branden Troock (21,22,23) and Chad Butcher (9). Jack Combs and Chad Butcher had two assists. Here are the video highlights: https://youtu.be/uny08MmEYDc

– Here is the game recap from the Wichita Thunder: https://www.wichitathunder.com/en/news/americans-knock-off-thunder-4-1

COACH’S CORNER WITH STEVE MARTINSON

“It was nice to have a good start and build up the 4-0 lead.”

“I put the Combs-Butucher-Troock line together because they have some familiarity together. Troock has been playing with Winquist but played with Combs earlier in the season. Butcher has played with Combs. They are a good group because Troock has speed going north and south and Butcher has speed east to west. Wichita struggled to deal with Troock’s speed and power.”

“I wanted to make sure we had a full lineup for today (Sunday) so we played short last night. I knew Young could only play one of the games so I decided to sit him out last night so he could play today even after Colby McAuley couldn’t play because he was sick. I don’t expect McAuley will be available today, so we will go with the same lineup as last night plus Young.

“Luke Peressini will get the start in goal.”

“With so many players in and out of the lineup the last 10 days, the lines have been disjointed.”

“Our defense was really good last night.

“Two things we can improve on today are the forward play in neutral ice and our power play.

REMATCH PREVIEW

– Allen hit all of then keys to the game last night. The Americans scored first, had a 2-0 lead after the first period and 4-0 lead after the second period. Allen outshot Wichita 39-33 including 30-19 in the first two periods. Allen stayed out of the penalty box with just one minor penalty. The Americans scored a power play goal. Luke Peressini was great in goal with a .970 save percentage.

– More of the same is the key to another win today. Wichita will obviously make some changes to try and slow down the Combs-Butcher-Troock line. Allen has three lines that can score and need contributions from them today. If the Americans stay out of the penalty box and commit to defense, they will be fine.

THE PLAYOFF PICTURE

– With the win last night Allen moved back into third place in the Mountain Division by the slimmest of margins. Idaho fell further behind with a loss to Utah. Here are the standings with games remaining. The top two make the playoffs:

  • .5515 – Allen (4)
  • .5507 – Tulsa (3)
  • .5357 – Idaho (2)

– Allen has a chance to distance itself a little bit more this afternoon when the Americans take on Wichita (4:05 CDT). Tulsa and Idaho are idle. If all three teams win their remaining games the final points would look like this:

  • 83 points – Allen
  • 82 points – Tulsa
  • 79 points – Idaho

– If Idaho wins its final two games, which is a tall task given its final two games are on the road in Utah, Allen will need five points in the final four games to make the playoffs. The Grizzlies are in a battle with Rapid City for the top spot in the division.– Tulsa finishes with three games on the road in Rapid City. The Rush will be tough to beat since they are in a battle with Utah for first place in the division.

– There is a chance who makes the playoffs between Allen, Tulsa and Idaho could come down to a tie breaker. Here is how the three teams currently stand on the top three tie breakers:

  • Regulation Wins – 1st Tiebreaker
  • 29 – Allen
  • 29 – Tulsa
  • 29 – Idaho
  • Regulation + OT Wins – 2nd Tiebreaker
  • 35 – Tulsa
  • 34 – Idaho
  • 31 – Allen
  • Goal Differential – 3rd Tiebreaker
  • +28: Idaho
  • +5: Tulsa
  • -2: Allen

You can see if you get by the first tiebreaker, Allen would be the team that would miss the playoffs. The good news is Allen has four games remaining and finishing outright in third is in its control.

OTHER COMMENTS

– Utah punched its ticket to the Kelly Cup playoffs last night with a 4-0 win in Idaho. There are now eight teams qualified for the playoffs. Here they are in points percentage rank:

  • .713 – Toledo
  • .694 – Reading
  • .675 – Newfoundland
  • .643 – Florida
  • .643 – Atlanta
  • .601 – Fort Wayne
  • .593 – Utah
  • .587 – Jacksonville

A reminder that 100% of the Kelly Cup Champions since 2005 have come from teams in the top seven in the regular season. You can say with almost 100% confidence the 2022 Kelly Cup champion is on the list above and it is highly likely it will be one of the top five teams on the list.

– The ECHL season is quickly winding down. Five teams (Florida, Atlanta, Utah, Idaho, South Carolina) have just two games remaining. Two teams (Adirondack, Greenville) have five games remaining.

– There are seven games on tap in the ECHL today and they all have playoff implications. Three Mountain division teams are in action. In addition to Allen at Wichita, Rapid City is at Greenville.The Rush will clinch a playoff spot if they can get one point against the Swamp Rabbits today. Here is the ECHL Today with the previews: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2022/4/echl-today-april-10

DID YOU KNOW: Lots of close races for the Kelly Cup playoffs. A reminder of all nine ECHL tiebreakers.1. Regulation wins2. Regulation + OT wins3. Goal differential4. Points, head-to-head (for two teams that have not played the same number of home games against the other tied team, the first game(s) played in the city that has the extra home game(s) shall not be included)5. Winning percentage, division (if tied teams are from same division; if not, skip to 6)6. Winning percentage, conference7. Goals for, regular season8. Goals against, regular season9. Coin toss

The post Allen Regains Third Place, Game Recap, Video Highlights, Steve Martinson’s Comments, Rematch Preview and Playoff Picture appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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