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Allen Wins, Looks for Series Sweep, Game Recap, Gens Comments, Tonight’s Lineup, Rookies Setting Team Records and More

Saturday, February 4th
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Welcome to a playoff spot ladies and gentlemen. The Allen Americans beat Utah 6-2 last night and all other ECHL teams not named Idaho that played, lost. The Americans are now in a three-way tie for third place in the Mountain Division with 41 points. To maintain the playoff, spot the Americans will likely need another win tonight. A three-game sweep on the road is always difficult, even more so against a team that has been playing as well as the Grizzlies.

– Allen has been very impressive in the two road wins against Utah. The Grizzlies came into this series with a four-game win streak, having won five out of six games and hadn’t lost back-to-back games in a month. Allen has played two of its most complete games of the season, scored first in both games, had outstanding goalie play in both games and outscored Utah 10-3.

– The rookies led the team to victory last night scoring five of the six goals including the first two of the game. The Americans had a 2-0 lead after the first period. Liam Finlay (11:57) and Hank Crone (18:44) gave the Americans the lead.

– Allen improved its record when scoring the first goal of the game to 15-5-1-0 (.738). The Americans record when leading after the first period is now 12-4-0-0 (.750).

– The Americans increased their lead in the second period. Defenseman Zach Massicotte scored early in the period; Utah then cut the lead to 3-1 before Hank Crone scored his second goal of the game at 17:28 mark to restore Allen’s three goal lead (4-1) which the Americans took into the second intermission.

– Allen extended its lead in the third period to 6-1 on two unassisted goals by Grant Hebert and Jack Combs before Utah scored late in the period on the power play to make the final score 6-2.

– Goal scorers for Allen were Liam Finlay (20), Hank Crone (21,22) Zach Massicotte (6), Grant Hebert (4) and Jack Combs (23).

– Here are the game recaps:

Allen Americans:  https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-explode-for-six-goals-in-a-6-2-win-over-utah/

Utah Grizzlies: https://www.utahgrizzlies.com/en/grizzlies-news/americans-defeat-grizz-6-2

– AARON GENS COACH’S COMMENTS

“We have a strong team, and we are very pleased with the way they are approaching each game.”

“The guys are playing hard and smart all over the ice.”

“Peressini had a great game and made a couple of monster saves that kept the game in our hands.”

“We have to be patient with Bernard and Hebert, they both got stitches and are warriors for battling through the medical side. Bernard will not play tomorrow night and Hebert will be a game time decision. If he can’t go, we will run with 10 forwards.”

“We will reset and be ready for tomorrow. Coming out of here with six points is our focus now, and we will approach the game properly.”

– After talking to coach Gens here is the tentative lineup for the game tonight:

  • Crone-Hargrove-McAuley
  • Combs-Butcher-Finlay
  • Gould-Hebert-Robidoux
  • Bethune-Young
  • Myllari-Saucerman
  • Skelly-Massicotte
  • Gally-Gagnon
  • Perry
  • Peressini (backup)
  • Bernard (will not play)

– Won’t bore you with the same keys to the game other than to say the Americans have scored first in games one and two of the series and good start tonight is critical. Allen had the best of the special teams in the first two games. The Americans were 3-12 (25%) on the power play while holding Utah to 1-13 (7.7%). The Americans took too many penalties last night (11 for 27 minutes) which led to nine Utah power play opportunities. Giving up that many power plays will be costly if it continues.

– Allen’s offense has been on fire recently. The Americans have scored six goals twice all season and they both came in the last four games. Allen is averaging 4.6 goals per game over its last seven games. Here are a few of the amazing accomplishments of this team:

  • Colton Hargrove – 17 game point streak, 14 goals in last 16 games.
  • Liam Finlay – 9 game point streak, goal in 7 of last 8 games, GWG in four straight games.
  • Hank Crone – 12 game points streak, 19 points (8G, 11A), leading rookie scorer (52 points).
  • Jack Combs – points in 15 of last 17 games, 2nd in ECHL in goals (23) and points (54).
  • Grant Hebert – 10 points (4G, 6A) and +5 in first 11 pro games.

OTHER COMMENTS

– Since Allen joined the ECHL in 2014-15 there have been two rookie 20 goals scorers prior to this season. Tyler Sheehy scored 26 goals in 2020-21 and Braylon Shmyr scored 20 goals in 2018-19. This season two rookies already have 20 goals with an excellent chance of reaching 30 goals. Based on their average goals per game, Hank Crone (22 goals) and Liam Finlay (20 goals) are on pace to finish with close to 40 goals if they play in all of Allen’s 30 remaining games. There have been only two 40 goal scorers in Allen franchise history, both in the same season and both on the current Allen coaching staff. In 2014-15, Allen’s first in the ECHL, on the way to the Americans first Kelly Cup, Gary Steffes had 44 regular season goals and Chad Costello had 41. Steffes added 13 more goals in the playoffs, Costello added nine.

– Since the beginning of 2023, Allen has won 11 games. Rookies had the game winning goal in nine of the 11, Colton Hargrove the other two. Rookie Zach Massicotte had the game winner last night, breaking Liam Finlay’s streak of four straight game winning goals.

– The other teams battling for a playoff spot have an advantage over Allen and Utah because they will all play games on Sunday in addition to tonight Allen will likely have to win tonight to keep pace. Then again, if Utah wins, Rapid City loses in Wichita and Kansas City loses in Indy (all in regulation time) tonight there will be a four-way tie for third place in the Mountain Division with 41 points. Here are the teams with two more games this weekend.

  • Idaho is at Tulsa, Saturday, Sunday
  • Rapid City is at Wichita, Saturday and Sunday
  • Kansas City is at Indy, Saturday and Sunday

– It is a full schedule in the ECHL tonight with all 28 teams in action. Here is the ECHL Today with all of the previews: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/2/echl-today-feb-4

– Allen’s 8-2-0-0 record over the last ten games is tied for tops in the ECHL with the exception of Newfoundland who is 9-1-0-0 over the last 10 games. Maine, Jacksonville and Toledo are also 8-2-0-0.

DID YOU KNOW: Fun facts about the top two on the list below. In 2015-16 Allen defeated Missouri and Josh Robinson 4-2 in the second round of the playoffs on the Americans way to their second Kelly Cup. Robinson took the loss in three of the Allen wins. In 2014-15 Allen defeated South Carolina and Jeff Jakaitis 4-3 in the finals on the way to the Americans first Kelly Cup. Jakaitis took the loss in all four Allen wins. Robinson (2015-16) and Jakaitis (2014-15) were the ECHL Goalies of the Year but were no match for Allen goalie Riley Gill in the playoffs. Gill picked up his second and third Kelly Cup rings and still owns the ECHL record for most wins in the playoffs (53).

Idaho goalie Rémi Poirier won his 12th straight game last night. Here is the ECHL all-time list for consecutive wins:21 – Josh Robinson, Missouri (2015-16)16 – Jeff Jakaitis, South Carolina (2014-15)13 – Angus Redmond, Newfoundland (2019-20)13 – Daniel Berthiaume, Roanoke (1994-95)12 – Cory Cadden, Knoxville (1993-94)12 – Rémi Poirier, Idaho (2022-23)

The post Allen Wins, Looks for Series Sweep, Game Recap, Gens Comments, Tonight’s Lineup, Rookies Setting Team Records and More appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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