Allen, Texas – The Allen Americans, ECHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators (NHL), blew a 3-0 first period lead losing to the Rapid City Rush on Friday night 6-5 at CUTX Event Center in front of a crowd of 2,697.
The Americans jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead on goals from Jack Combs (9), Ryan Gagnon (1), and Colton Hargrove (4) in the first 7:50 of the game. Allen took a 3-1 lead to the room after twenty minutes of play despite being outshot by Rapid City 16-13.
The Rush scored back-to-back goals in the second to even the score at three. However, the Americans scored two quick goals a minute and forty second a part to regain their two-goal lead 5-3. They would take that lead to the third period despite being outshot 15-to-8 in the second period.
The Third period belonged to the Rush scoring all three goals. The final two coming in the last two and a half minutes. The Rush scored back-to-back power play goals to stun the Americans winning game one of a three-game series 6-5 in Allen.
“Obviously, it was a very tough loss, blowing a big lead home, but this is something as a team we need to learn from and not make those mistakes moving forward,” said defenseman Kris Myllari. “Being able to close games is something that championship teams excel at, and we will learn from this and become a team that closes out games in the future.”
The loss was the fourth straight for the Americans who were swept last weekend in Idaho.
“That was a tough one to swallow,” said Head Coach Chad Costello. “We didn’t play well in the last 4 minutes of the game. We will get better. We will improve. Our effort remains high. We must be a little smarter. On a positive note, we are happy for Ryan Gagnon who scored his first professional goal tonight. He works hard every game. Glad to see him get rewarded.
The Americans and Rush resume the three-game series tomorrow night on Star Wars Night in Allen. Game time is 7:05 pm.
Three Stars:1. RC – I. Nikolaev2. RC – M. Marcinew3. ALN – C. Hargrove