Allen’s high octane offense overwhelmed Fort Wayne last night in a 7-3 win before a Thursday night crowd of 2956 at the CUTX Event Center. With the win, the Americans fourth straight and 11th in the last 14 games, Allen improved its points percentage to .511. The only other time all season Allen was above .500 was for one day at the start of the season when the Americans record was 2-1-0-0. The team has come a long way from early December when Allen’s record was 5-12-1-0 and its point percentage was a mere .305. How has Allen done it? By sticking with the plan and not wavering in approach from what coach Costello put together at the beginning of the season.
– When I was saying at Thanksgiving, based on historical hockey stats, Allen had virtually no chance of making the playoffs, Costello never gave me an inch. He kept saying he loved his team; they were playing the right way and they will make the playoffs. His goal was to win two out of every three games and the team has exceeded that goal. Allen’s great play is not just a recent thing. Since Christmas the Americans record is 15-6-0-0 with a points percentage of .714. The crow dinner I am going to eat when Allen makes the playoffs is sounding better and better.
– It wasn’t a great start for the Americans in the first period last night. They got out played, gave up the first goal of the game and went into the first intermission trailing 2-1. At that point the stats said it might be a long night for Allen. The Americans record when giving up the first goal was 5-16-0-0 (.238) and when trailing after the first period was even worse at 3-11-0-0 (.214).
– Forget the stats as the Americans came out in the second period and created quality chance after quality chance and when the dust settled Allen had outscored Fort Wayne 4-0 in the period to take a commanding 5-2 lead into the second intermission. Special teams played a big part of the success in the second period. The Allen penalty kill unit had to kill a long (89 seconds) 5-on-3 Fort Wayne power play and the Americans power play was 2-2.
– Allen built its lead to 7-2 with two more goals in the third period before the Komets scored late in the game on a defensive breakdown to make the final score 7-3.
– One of the Americans third period goals last night was on the power play which made the final power play stat 3-6 (50%). Allen was perfect on the penalty kill in the game (0-4). Special teams have been off the charts dominate over Allen’s current four game win streak. The power play is 9-27 (33%) including three power play goals the last two games. The penalty kill is 1-22 (95.5%) including several 5-on-3 kills.
– Goal scorers for Allen were Kris Myllari (4), Colton Hargrove (22,23), Chad Butcher (4), Colby McAuley (2,3) and Hank Crone (23). Liam Finlay and Xavier Bernard had two assists. Here are the video highlights with the Allen goals. Notice all of the great passes and individual efforts. https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/2/fort-wayne-komets-vs-allen-americans—feb-9-2023-wkOHdgxF
– All of the streaks of Allen’s leading scorers were extended last night. These numbers get more amazing by the day:
- Colton Hargrove – 19 game point streak, 30 points (19G, 11A)
- Liam Finlay – 11 game point streak, 20 points (10G, 10A)
- Hank Crone – 14 game point streak, 24 points (9G, 15A)
- Jack Combs – points in 18 of last 21 games, 32 points (11G, 21A)
– Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-offense-too-much-for-fort-wayne/
CHAD COSTELLO COACH’S COMMENTS
“It was a good game tonight; I love our skill. I believed in these guys even when many others didn’t. I really had their backs for a long time, and we stuck with them even when it was very difficult. So, it is very special to see them now with smiles on their faces and to see them happy.”
“I wish you could all have a view of our locker room. These guys really enjoy each other. Whether it is at practice or after the tough first period tonight, they always stick together and that is great to see. We have big dreams and I think how they stick together will get us over the hump.”
“Fort Wayne is a very strong team. They are relentless and aggressively attack or defensive corp. I challenged our defense to be as close to perfection as we could, and they responded. Peressini played great which also helped.”
‘We are a fun team to watch right now. We have a team that competes very hard and that is a fun to watch from where I am standing.”
“If we are going to be successful in the playoffs and winning it all is our goal, we will need to win in all different ways down the stretch. It is great winning games like we have lately, but in the future, we are going to have to win 1-0 games, 3-1 games and those really tight games. How do we react in those really tight games when we are as confident as we are now is the question. To win it all you have to be really confident but also have be in control at all times.”
- Bethune Young
- Peressini (backup)
– If you attended the game last night or watched on FloHockey you noticed Colton Hargrove was wearing the “C” for the first time. Coach Costello didn’t want to go the remainder of the season without a captain and after having a discussion with the team leadership, there was no doubt that Hargrove should become captain. Allen is fortunate they have lots of leadership in the locker room.
– Allen now has the #1 goal scorer (tied) in the ECHL in Jack Combs (24 goals) the #3 goal scorers in Hank Crone and Colton Hargrove (23 goals) and the #7 goal scorer in Liam Findlay (21 goals). The moniker they will be going by is “Four Sure” or “The Four Sure Guys” which they have certainly been for the Americans.
– There is a full schedule of 14 games in the ECHL tonight. Here are the previews: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/2/echl-today-feb-10
– Hank Crone now has a 10-point lead in the ECHL rookie scoring race, (57 vs 47). Crone is already #2 in points by an Allen rookie since the team joined the ECHL in 2014-15. The only player ahead of him is Tyler Sheehy who had 70 points as a rookie in 2019-20.
– Allen’s four game win streak is the longest current win streak in the ECHL. A reminder, the Americans longest win streaks of the season (three games, four games, four games) have all happened in the last month.
– Allen has scored 21 goals in the last three games (7.0 goal average) and 47 goals in the last nine games (5.2 goal average).
DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about records with a second period lead. Allen’s record when leading after the second period is 15-3-1-0.
ECHL teams with a 2nd period lead rarely lose. The overall ECHL record when leading after the 2nd period is 422-28-33-3, a points percentage of .905. Here are the best teams with a 2nd period lead. Don’t plan on a third period comeback against these teams:17-0-0-0: Worcester29-1-0-0: Idaho22-1-0-0: Maine20-1-0-0: Newfoundland17-0-1-0: Fort Wayne17-0-1-0: Toledo