After being outplayed and outworked in the first two games of the series against Rapid City and coming away with a split, the roof fell in on the Allen Americans last night. The result, a 5-1 loss, which was indicative of just how poorly the team played. Here are the facts:
- Allen gave up the first and only goal of the opening period while being outshot 14-6.
- Allen lost the second period 3-0 while being outshot 18-6.
- Allen lost the third period 1-0 while being outshot 16-10.
- In the last half of the first period and first half of the second period Allen was outshot 19-3.
- Game totals, Allen was out shot 48-22 and outscored 5-1.
- Allen was 0-2 on the power play.
- Rapid City was 2-6 on the power play.
– There have been a couple of glimmers of hope over the last six games. The final game of the season against Iowa, which earned Allen a playoff spot, was a good example of how the Americans could play. The overtime game in Rapid City on Saturday was second example of the Americans playing to their capability. The poor play has far outweighed the good and has been hidden by the outstanding play of goalie Luke Peressini.
– Rapid City’s shooting percentage in the first two games was unusually low (5.7%). Last night it was 10.4% which is good but not particularly high. After three games, Allen still has a better cumulative shooting percentage (8.0%) than the Rush (7.2%).
– Allen is now 1-2 in the series against Rapid City but could have easily been 0-3. The Americans have been outshot by a hard to believe total of 153-87. Allen hasn’t scored a power play goal (0-7) but has allowed three (3-17).
– Allen is quickly running out of time to start playing better and get this series turned around. The game on Friday is not mathematically a must win game, but practically, if the Americans lose on Friday, they will be in a hole that will be almost impossible to dig out of. If Allen falls behind 3-1 they will have less than a 10% chance of winning the series. A win on Friday to tie the series 2-2 and it becomes a best of three series and anything can happen.
– Spencer Asuchak scored Allen’s only goal last night. Spencer has scored at least one point in all three games against Rapid City and leads the team in points (1G, 3A). Here are the video highlights: https://youtu.be/gNs4Y4GdMi8
– Here is the game recap from the Rapid City Journal. Very thorough story with plenty of quotes from coach Scott Burt and players. A good read: https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/rush-give-inspired-performance-in-game-3-win-in-allen/article_42f01f9c-692a-54a3-8f1c-e0e12378d946.html
– Here is the game recap issued by the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-drop-game-3-to-rapid-city/
COACH’S CORNER WITH STEVE MARTINSON
– One the privileges of writing the blog each morning is talking to coach Martinson. He is such a good face of the team. It is unfortunate the Americans no longer have regular post game press conferences with the season ticket holders. I am always amazed at Martinson’s work ethic, frankness, positive attitude that the team can win and a singular focus on what he can do to make the team better. There is no doubt he will be working 24×7 until the last whistle of the season whether that is against Rapid City or winning the Kelly Cup. Here is what Martinson had to say this morning about the game last night and the game coming up on Friday:
“The even strength overall puck possession time last night was close but they had double the offensive zone puck possession time.
“We have to stay out of the penalty box. They had two 5-on-3 power plays last night. One of the reasons for the big shot differential in the game was the power play time.”
“Some players have a habit of taking a shot and then skating behind the net rather than to the front of the net. It is a bad habit that is hard to break if you have been doing it for years.”
“We played well in the overtime on Saturday but our best game of this series was the 3-2 loss in game one. We have to get back to playing more like we did in that game.”
“Because we have two days between games it will give me more time to put together a game plan for Friday. I will spend a lot of time today pulling video of our puck battles, especially in the corners, to help emphasize what we need to do to improve that phase of the game.”
“I expect there will be lineup changes for the game on Friday, depending on which day to day guys can play and how some of the players recover from the game last night.”
– Allen’s average shots allowed in the playoffs is ranked dead last at 51.00 per game. The other 15 playoff teams range from 25.50 to 39.00 shots allowed. We need to kill their plays faster and create more of our own.”
– Goalie Frank Marotte had another relief appearance last night and stopped all 14 shots he faced in the final 16:43 of the game. Frank’s last three appearances have come in relief and he was perfect in all three. The total for the three appearances is just over 65 minutes and 37 straight saves for a save percentage of 100%.
– Road teams were 2-1 last night. In addition to Rapid City beating Allen, Utah beat Tulsa 2-1. Trois-Riviéres was the only home team winner beating Newfoundland 3-2. The higher seeds (Newfoundland, Rapid City, Tulsa) lead the series 2-1.
– There are five games on the ECHL schedule tonight. The two playoff teams that have not lost are playing at home with the chance to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. Jacksonville will host Atlanta and Wheeling will host Fort Wayne. Here is the ECHL Today with previews of all five games: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2022/4/echl-today-april-27
– Rapid City rookie coach, Scott Burt, is no stranger to winning in the ECHL. As a player he won three Kelly Cups, in 2004 and 2007 with Idaho and in 2011 with Alaska. Burt is #2 all time in ECHL playoff games played with 104. FYI. #1 on the list is Matt Register with 131 playoff games played.
DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about how difficult it is to comeback in the playoffs when leading after the second period. A reminder, during the regular season Allen’s record when leading after the second period was 20-0-1-1.
Don’t plan on having your favorite ECHL team coming from behind in the third period in the Kelly Cup playoffs because that is fools gold. Thus far in the playoffs, teams with a lead after the second period have a record of 13-1-1-0 which is a points percentage of .900.Jacksonville is the lone team to win in regulation when trailing after the second period. The Icemen trailed Atlanta 2-1 and scored two third period goals to win game one 3-2. Jacksonville leads the series 2-0 with game three in Jacksonville tonight.