The Allen Americans lost a tough one last night losing 3-2 in overtime to Utah before a Wednesday night crowd of 2419 at the CUTX Event Center. The game winning goal was scored with just 13 seconds remaining in the overtime period.
– Allen got off to a good start, scoring the first goal of the game on a breakaway at the 5:16 mark of the first period. Andrew Durham scored his first professional goal assisted by Marcel Godbout. Less than two minutes later Utah responded to tie the score 1-1 which ended the scoring in the first period. Allen took the lead again, 2-1, at the 16:10 mark, scoring the only goal of the second period. Zach Pochiro scored his third goal of the season, tipping in a shot from Nick Albano. When you consider Allen’s record over the last three seasons with a second period lead is 78-3-4-1, it looked good for the Americans with a 2-1 lead after the second period.
– The penalties finally caught up with Allen in the third period, after they had killed off five earlier in the game. Utah got the equalizer midway through the period and the 2-2 score held up to send the game into overtime. Both teams had chances to win the game in overtime before Utah finally scored with 13 second remaining.
– Here are the game recaps with more details:
- Utah Grizzlies game recap: https://www.utahgrizzlies.com/en/grizzlies-news/the-captain-wins-it-in-overtime
- Allen Americans game recap: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-lose-heartbreaker-in-ot-2/
CHAD COSTELLO POST GAME COMMENTS
- “Some things got in the way, and I don’t think the better team won tonight. Unfortunately, that has happened a few times too many.”
- “It was great to see Andrew Durham score his first pro goal tonight.”
- “Marty was pretty grumpy, I am starting to figure out why. They are turning a nice guy into a mean guy.”
- “We have to look inward rather than blame stuff we can’t control. Our focus has to be on how we can improve.”
- ” We need to turn these great efforts into two points. Once we get over that hurdle and get rewarded for playing good hockey, I think it is going to come in bunches.”
- “We have out chanced every team we have played thus far. The negative is we have to get the puck to go in the net, the positive is we can hang with anybody.”
– The loss last night continues a familiar pattern for the Americans. In the last four games, Allen has had the edge in shots and scoring opportunities but has had trouble putting the puck in the net. Despite the opportunities, Allen has lost three straight and the lone victory was 2-1 in overtime. While Allen allowed just nine goals over the last four games (2.25 goals per game), the Americans have managed only seven goals (1.75 average) over the last four games.
– Penalties made a difference last night as the Utah goal that tied the score 2-2 in the third period was scored on the power play. In the last four games Allen has given up 23 power play opportunities while having just 14 or their own. Of the seven goals Allen allowed over the last four games, four of them (57%) were power play goals.
– What does Allen have to do to get things turned around and break its three-game losing streak? Offensively you get the feeling if the Americans stay the course the puck will start going in the net. If they keep getting more grade A opportunities than the opponent, the goals will come. What Allen has to change is special teams. Allen takes more minor penalties than any team in the league at eight per game. The Americans have allowed 16 goals all season, seven of them have been power play goals and the penalty kill percentage (80%) is in the top half of the league. The Allen power play also has to chip in, especially with the Americans struggling to score even strength. In the last four games, just one power play goal and a power play percentage of 7.1%.
– If you like watching fast paced hockey with lots of skill and great goaltending, the two games against Utah on Friday and Saturday are must see events.
– With the overtime loss last night, Allen’s record is now 2-3-1-0 for a points percentage of .417. In other Mountain Division action last night last place Rapid City beat first place Idaho 4-2. Here are the current standings in points percentage order:
- .750 – Idaho
- .643 – Wichita
- .625 – Utah
- .583 – Kansas City
- .500 – Tulsa
- .417 – Allen
- .375 – Rapid City
– Heard a question about the great goalie play and defenses in the Mountain Division compared to other divisions. One stat that might shed light on that question is average goals allowed per game. Here are the averages for the teams in the Mountain Division and the rank among the 28 teams in the ECHL:
- 1.88 – Idaho (2nd)
- 2.67 – Allen (7th)
- 2.86 – Wichita (11th)
- 2.88 – Utah (12th)
- 3.38 – Rapid City (18th)
- 3.60 – Tulsa (20th)
- 3.67 – Kansas City (21st)
– With the loss last night, the Allen Americans have now lost nine straight games against Utah dating back to the 2020-21 season. Three of the nine losses were in overtime. Look for that streak to be broken this weekend.– Jack Combs kept his point streak alive with an assist last night. He has a point in all six Allen games and is tied for second in longest point scoring streak in the ECHL this season.– I am heading for a 10-day late season pheasant hunting trip to North Dakota tomorrow. It is hard to beat hunting in the cold, snow and wind of northeast North Dakota. The forecast calls for lows below zero and highs in the teens. Add in a few inches of snow and you have a prefect recipe for success. Wish me luck. I won’t be posting a blog while I am gone.DID YOU KNOW: The last five Kelly Cup champions finished in the top five during the regular season in average goals scored. Here are the top five in average goals per game thus far in 2022-23. Is a 2023 Kelly Cup in their future?5.29 – South Carolina4.78 – Worcester4.50 – Indy4.33 – Savannah4.25 – Newfoundland