Dealing with adversity seems to be a daily occurrence for Steve Martinson and the Allen Americans. It was a trifecta of issues for the game with Kansas City last night. Ryan Lohin didn’t make the road trip (day to day), several players sat out sick and Darian Skeoch received a game misconduct penalty in the second period. The Americans played much of the game two skaters short. It became next man up as the Americans beat Kansas City 3-1 before a crowd of 3341 at the Cable Dahmer Arena.
– It was another slow start for the Americans. Kansas City scored on its second shot of the game at the 3:17 mark of the first period. Shots on goal were 5-1 in the first six minutes of the game. Allen had a great chance to score just over a minute after the opening puck drop. The Americans had a 3-on-1 break and didn’t even get off a shot.
– After surrendering that first goal, Allen shutdown Kansas City the rest of the game. Good team defense and great goaltending by Frank Marotte, when the defense broke down, led to the big road win.
– Despite giving up the first goal of the game the Americans responded as they have so many times recently. Spencer Asuchak and Chad Costello combined to tie the score. A great pass by Asuchak and tip by Costello made the score 1-1 where it stood at the first intermission.
– Allen scored the only goal of the second period. Phil Beaulieu put in a rebound just three seconds after a power play expired. One of those goals that is technically not a power play goal, but in reality is. The Americans took a 2-1 into the second intermission which is always reassuring, because Allen’s record when leading after the second period is now 16-0-1-1.
– Just past the halfway mark of the third period, Tyler Poulsen scored an insurance goal for the Americans on a great shot. Kansas City pulled the goalie with over three minutes left in the game. Allen had several chances for an empty net goal but could not convert. The Mavericks outshot Allen 5-0 with the goalie pulled, but just could not score.
– Costello’s goal was his 26th of the season (68th point). Beaulieu’s goal was his seventh and Poulsen’s was also his seventh. Here are the video highlights: https://youtu.be/rjk9qWkr9hc
– Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/game-recap-ameriicans-sweep-two-game-set-with-kc/
COACH’S CORNER WITH STEVE MARTINSON
“We played much better defensively last night against Kansas City than we did on Wednesday.”
“We came back in the first period to tie the score by going to the net. It was a great play between Asuchak and Costello. Good things happen when you go to the net. It was a role reversal, as usually it is Costello making the pass and Asuchak at the net. It was a big goal for us.
“We needed Frank Marotte to step up in this game and he did a good job.”
“Darian Skeoch has been suspended for three games for the game misconduct penalty he received for cross checking early in the game. You can’t take penalties like that, even if there was no call on an obvious penalty that precipitated the retaliation.”
“I am bringing in a college player on an ATO today and he will be in the lineup tonight. I am not sure yet who will play tonight because we have some players that have been sick. I am hoping we have a full lineup.”
“Luke Peressini will get the start in goal.”
“The key to the game tonight is counteracting Tulsa’s style of play. They like to send pucks and players to the net. Passes to the point and pucks to the net with a hard forecheck is how they operate. We will have to be better at getting in passing and shooting lanes to keep pucks off the net. We will need to get on their points quickly.”
“On the flip side we need to avoid turnovers and increase our offensive zone possession time.”
“We overnighted in Kansas City last night and will travel to Tulsa today. Playing four games in five days, it was better to get a good night’s sleep in the hotel, have breakfast and then get on the bus for the short trip to Tulsa.”
ALLEN VS TULSA PREVIEW
– The games tonight and tomorrow afternoon against Tulsa will be a test for Allen to see how good they play in what will be a playoff environment. The Americans have clearly been playing better hockey over the last month. Since the beginning of March, Allen has lost only three games in regulation, but two of the three have been to Tulsa. Since Allen beat the Oilers on the road 8-0 on January 16 it has lost four of five games against Tulsa.
– One thing is sure, Tulsa will put a lot of shots on goal as it leads the league in that category. Tulsa is ranked #1 averaging over 36 shots per game while Allen is ranked #26 averaging 28.5 shots per game. And this is without Joe Garreffa, who was just assigned to Tulsa. Garreffa has played three games for the Oilers and taken 19 shots by himself, including eight last night against Wichita.
– Allen has played Tulsa 10 times this season, all since January 7. Allen’s record in those 10 games is 3-5-2-0. The Americans record in Tulsa is 2-2-2-0. The easy conclusion to draw from the games against Tulsa it is feast or famine for the Americans offense. The three Allen wins were 6-3, 8-0 and 5-1. The seven losses were 4-2, 4-1, 2-1, 2-1, 5-4, 7-3 and 5-2. In the Americans three wins they scored 19 total goals, in the seven losses Allen scored a combined total of just 14 goals.
– The keys to the game are the same whenever Allen plays Tulsa. Score first (the team scoring first has won eight of the 10 games), win the special teams battle (Allen did in the three wins) and play good team defense from the forwards to the defensemen to the goalie. Odds are Tulsa will have a shot advantage but the Americans need to keep the shot total close. Getting in shooting and passing lanes is a must.
– After the win in Kansas City last night the Americans record since the beginning of March is now 9-3-1-0 which is a points percentage of .731. Allen gained no ground in the playoff race last night as Idaho beat Florida 3-0 and Tulsa beat Wichita 5-3. Here are the points percentages for the three teams competing for the final two playoff spots with games remaining:
- .553 – Idaho (6 games)
- .540 – Allen (9 games)
- .531 – Tulsa (7 games)
– Here is a perfect example of parity in the Mountain Division. Over the last 10 games the top five teams in the division all have six wins. It is hard for any team to move up or down the standings.
– Four ECHL teams have now qualified for the Kelly Cup playoffs (Atlanta, Newfoundland, Reading, Toledo). Historically the odds heavily favor that one of these four teams will win the Kelly Cup.
DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL stats post today is about the top 10 goals scorers this season. No Allen players are in the top ten, but Chad Costello (26 goals) and Spencer Asuchak (24 goals) are close.
The top 10 goal scorers in the ECHL this season have 27 or more goals. Florida just acquired Darik Angeli from Kansas City and now has four of the top 10. Reading is the only other team with more than one player in the top 10. Here are the top 10 ECHL goal scorers:34 – Kris Bennett, Iowa30 – Trevor Gooch, Reading29 – Patrick Watling, Wheeling29 – Thomas Ebbing, Reading29 – Spencer Watson, Indy28 – Darik Angeli, Florida28 – Blake Winiecki, Florida28 – John McCarron, Florida28 – Jordan Smotherman, Worcester27 – Alex Aleardi, Florida
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