Two evenly matched teams needed overtime last night to settle the first game of the season between Allen and Kansas City. Hank Crone scored the overtime game winner at the 4:18 mark to give the Americans a much-needed victory and a good start to a four-game week. Allen will have a rare two days off on the road before it plays Kansas City again on Friday. It will be the start of three games in three days in three different cities, also a rarity. Allen will play in Kansas City on Friday, Tulsa on Saturday and in Allen (against Kansas City) on Sunday with an early start (2:05 pm). Another example of the schedule not being player friendly.
– It wasn’t a good start for the Americans last night as the Mavericks scored the first goal of the game at the 5:30 mark of the first period. However, the momentum Kansas City got from the early goal was quickly reversed as Allen scored 51 seconds later (Aiden Brown) and took a 2-1 lead 94 seconds after its first goal when Colton Hargrove scored the first of his two goals. Kansas City scored the only goal of the second period and the teams went into the second intermission tied 2-2.
– Allen took a 3-2 lead early in the third period (5:21) but once again Kansas City tied the score to send the game into overtime. Both teams had opportunities in overtime before a Kansas City turnover created a 2-on-1 for Allen with two of the most dangerous players on the team. Chad Butcher jumped on the turnover and set up the rush by giving the puck to Hank Crone outside the blue line and forced the defenseman to make a play. The defenseman took Butcher’s side and Crone buried the puck from the faceoff dot. The Mavericks have been in four overtime games at home this season and lost all of them. Their one overtime win was on the road. Allen improved its overtime record to 2-1.
– How close was this game?
- Neither team had a lead of more than one goal
- Both teams were 1-2 on the power play
- Both goalies were outstanding
- Shots on goal were 29-27
- Overtime shots were 3-2
– Coach Costello has consistently said this team can compete with anyone when they play the right way. There have been glimpses of that but not on a consistent basis. Last night was another step forward against a very good hockey team, especially at home. Kansas City’s home record is now 10-1-4-0.
– Goal scorers for Allen were Aiden Brown (11), Colton Hargrove (6, 7) and Hank Crone (15). Jack Combs and Crone each had two assists.
– Here is the game recap issued by the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/game-recap-americans-beat-kc-in-ot/
– The Americans now have two days off before they play the Mavericks again on Friday. While they do have ice time there will be a lot of downtime on the road. I mentioned yesterday coach Costello said there would be a lot of moving parts this week: Here is what is known as of this morning:
- Goalie Kevin Mandolese has been reassigned to Belleville by Ottawa and will take his 4-1 record, GAA of 2.45 and .927 save percentage with him. Luke Peressini and Logan Flodell are both in Kansas City.
- Defenseman Xavier Bernard has been loaned to Allen by Belleville and will meet the team in Kansas City.
- Coach Costello has signed a college player (forward) that is also meeting the team in Kansas City.
- Zach Pochiro will return from a one game suspension.
- Liam Finlay is with the team and eligible to come off injured reserve for the game on Friday. It is not certain he will play but there is a chance.
– I had a chance to touch base with Chad Costello this morning and he was obviously pleased with how the team played last night. He reiterated what he said in the press release that a lot of players contributed, and he is looking for that type of game more consistently going forward. The plan is to have an optional skate today and a mandatory practice tomorrow.
– Allen’s win over Kansas City allowed the Americans to gain ground on all of the teams in the division since it was the only game scheduled last night. FYI the Americans have played .500 hockey over the last 10 games. Here are the point percentages:
- .879 – Idaho
- .633 – Wichita
- .536 – Kansas City
- .484 – Rapid City
- .444 – Tulsa
- .393 – Utah
- .375 – Allen
– I know it is a tall task when you consider Allen hasn’t won more than two games in row all season but for conversation’s sake, if the Americans could win all three games this weekend their points percentage would increase to .450 and they could be out of last place and right back in the thick of things. It is a big ask but if the Americans play like they did last night they will earn some points this weekend.
– Two series this week that will be interesting to track are Utah at Rapid City and Idaho at Wichita. Utah has an overall record of 11-17-0-0 but that includes 2-10-0-0 against Idaho. Idaho will go on the road to play the second-best team in the division (Wichita) with an 11-game win streak on the line.
– In what seems like cruel and unusual punishment Utah still has to play Idaho six more times this season for a total of 18 games against the best team in the league. Having 25% of your games against just one team is over the top in my opinion.
– Long time Allen fans will probably remember the Central Hockey League days when there was always good-natured ribbing going on between Allen and Kansas City (Missouri at the time). Allen was always the stepchild that was successful on the ice. Missouri was the favorite child always winning best franchise. The joke was always Allen hanging championship banners in the rafters and Missouri hanging best franchise banners in the rafters. I happened to notice this morning when looking at the ECHL daily report that Allen has a better average attendance than Kansas City. I knew the Mavericks have had some tough seasons since joining the ECHL so I decided to take a look at average attendance for each season since the teams joined to ECHL. Allen’s average attendance is first, Kansas City second:
- 2014-15: 4096 vs 5317
- 2015-16: 4571 vs 5154
- 2016-17: 4340 vs 5068
- 2017-18: 4082 vs 4890
- 2018-19: 4073 vs 4859
- 2019-20: 4001 vs 4783
- 2020-21: 1859 vs 1971 (COVID restricted)
- 2021-22: 3220 vs 2966
- 2022-23: 3623 vs 3150
Kansas City was averaging 700-800 more per game than Allen until the last couple of years. This season Allen’s average attendance is 475 more than Kansas City. It has been a role reversal as Kansas City has been the more successful team on the ice so far this season.
DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL stats post today is about point streaks. Allen’s longest point streak this season is held by Jack Combs and Hank Crone at six games.
Players with three of the five longest point streaks in the ECHL this season have streaks that are presently active.14 games – Pavel Gogolev, NFL (11/25 to present)14 games – Owen Headrick, IDH (11/11 to 12/14)13 games – Josh Winquist, FW (11/25 to 12/30)12 games – Quinn Preston, WIC (11/27 to present)11 games – Chad Yetman, IND (11/25 to present)FYI, the longest point streak last season was 22 games, set by Liam Pecararo of Greenville. Pecararo scored in every game he played from November 19, 2021 to February 15, 2022.
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