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Late Period Goals Cost Allen, Game Recap, Video Highlights, Costello Comments, Rematch Preview, Lancaster and Arseneau Updates and More

Saturday, March 11th
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It is not the time of the season for moral victories so Allen’s 6-4 loss in Idaho last night was painful even if it proved the Americans can hang with the best team in the ECHL in many years. The game wasn’t decided until Idaho scored an empty net goal with 16 second remaining in the game.

– There were many bright spots for Allen in the game:

  • Allen scored the first goal of the game (Jack Combs).
  • Allen scored a shorthanded goal (Liam Finlay).
  • Allen had leads in the game of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3.
  • Allen won the special teams battle going 1-3 on the power play plus the shorty.
  • Allen outshot Idaho in the second period (11-6) and third period (12-10).
  • Allen had two possible goals disallowed after referee review.

–  With the good there was plenty of not so good:

  • After scoring the first goal Allen gave Idaho three straight power plays in the first period.
  • Idaho outshot Allen 16-8 in the first period.
  • Allen gave up late period goals in all three periods. Idaho scored with 61 seconds left in the first period, 83 seconds left in the second period and the game winner at the 17:39 mark in the third period.
  • Allen gave up six goals in the game. In Allen’s last six losses the Americans have given up 6, 5, 8, 6, 8 and 7 goals. In addition, in two of Allen’s last four wins it has allowed five goals.

– The goal scorers for Allen were Jack Combs (31), Liam Finlay (28), Aidan Brown (13) and Colton Hargrove (33). Finlay also had two assists.  Here are the video highlights with all of the goals. Two former Allen Americans played key roles. Zane Franklin scored Idaho’s third goal and Matt Register set up the fourth goal. https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/3/allen-americans-vs-idaho-steelheads—mar-10-2023-LdIpRnXZ

–  Here is the game recap issued by the Idaho Steelheads with all of the details about the game: https://www.idahosteelheads.com/en/articles/steelheads-become-mountain-division-champions-with-6-4-victory-over-allen

– Here is the game recap issued by the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/game-recap-americans-lose-tight-battle/

– Hank Crone’s eight game goal scoring streak was snapped last night but all the other streaks were extended:

  • Jack Combs has an assist in nine straight games.
  • Jack Combs has a point in 20 straight games.
  • Jack Combs has an assist in nine straight road games.
  • Colton Hargrove has a goal in five straight road games.
  • Hank Crone has a point in 16 straight road games.
  • Colton Hargrove has a point in 15 straight road games.

CHAD COSTELLO COACH’S COMMENTS

“We played hard enough to win, but we need to play smarter.”

“Idaho is obviously a good team. We know we can play with them. The key now is to prove we can beat them.”

“We had three or four obvious missed calls that went against us. And it really cost us. We need to overcome bad calls, but it would have been nice to see the right call made.”

“It takes everyone playing well to beat a team as good as Idaho. I love this match up for us. It is an opportunity to learn and see exactly what it is going to take to be successful.”

“The lineup will be the same on Saturday other than Luke Peressini will get the start in goal.”

REMATCH PREVIEW

– The typical keys to the game like scoring first, a good start, shot totals and special teams are all important tonight, but the primary key to beat Idaho is better team defense. You can’t expect to beat a team as talented as Idaho giving up five or six goals. If the Americans can’t do a better job at the defensive end of the ice it will be a long night. Goals allowed per game is the big difference between these teams. Idaho is #1 (2.18) and Allen is #22 (3.75). Allen is not going to be able to outscore bad defense against Idaho. That approach works against many teams but is fool’s gold against the Steelheads.

– Consistency has been an issue for Allen all season and it was the case last night. Four of Idaho’s six goals last night were scored in a total of 4:45 at the end of the periods. Those goals at the end of periods are real momentum changers. If you eliminate the lapses in just five minutes (total) at the end of the three periods the Americans win the game 4-2.

– Allen proved last night it can play with Idaho. A few tweaks for tonight and with everyone pulling on the defensive rope the Americans can come out on top.

– Here is the lineup for tonight

  • Crone-Hargrove-McAuley   
  • Combs-Hebert-Finlay 
  • Fournier-Brown-Robidoux
  • Young
  • Myllari-Saucerman 
  • Skelly-Massicotte
  • Gally-Gagnon
  • Peressini
  • Perry (backup)

OTHER COMMENTS

– Colton Hargrove’s goal last night keeps alive his goal per game average. Since December 31, Hargrove has 29 goals in 29 games, and he is now #2 in the ECHL in goals scores with 33. He trails teammate Hank Crone who leads the league with 36 goals.

-So much for getting ready for low scoring and tight checking playoff hockey. The odd stat of the day is six games in the ECHL last night, including the Americans, had a final score of 6-4.

– Former Allen Americans defenseman and ECHL Defenseman of the Year in 2021 when he had 64 points (26G, 38A) just set the all-time single season record for points by a defenseman for his team. Lancaster plays for Ilves in the top league in Finland (Liiga). He is the second leading scorer on the team with 47 points (13G, 34A) in 59 games. Les is the leading scorer in the league among defensemen and he is fifth overall in points. Ilves is in second place in the 15-team league.

Les Lancaster

– Here is a story about another former Allen Americans player. Vincent Arseneau was a fan favorite player in Allen on both Kelly Cup championship teams, and he is still a fan favorite player after spending the last six seasons in the AHL. This story was written by Laura Kirk and Arseneau talks about his role on the Abbotsford Canuck’s and how that role has changed over time. A great read for Arseneau fans or anyone that wants to read about an Allen player that could hit like a truck, score critical goals and drop the gloves. He played 86 games in Allen and had 68 points (24G, 34A). and 194 penalty minutes: https://abbotsford.canucks.com/news/behind-the-bench-the-defender-of-arseneau-s-house

– Allen got some help last night to soften the consequences of the loss to Idaho. The two teams ahead of Allen in the standings (Wichita and Kansas City) both lost. The two teams right behind Allen in the standings (Utah and Rapid City) both won. With just three weeks remaining in the regular season the standings have tightened up even further. Idaho at the top and Tulsa at the bottom are determined, but the other five teams continue to fight for three playoff spots. Here are the current standings by points with points percentage and games remaining in parenthesis:

  • 91 points – Idaho (.813, 16 games)
  • 59 points – Kansas City (.527, 16 games))
  • 59 points – Wichita (.509, 14 games)
  • 57 points – Allen (.518, 17 games)
  • 55 points – Utah (.500, 17 games)
  • 51 points – Rapid City (.455, 16 games)
  • 46 points – Tulsa (.418, 17 games)

–  If you believe home games are an advantage especially in the last three weeks of the season here are the remaining home games for the five teams fighting for the playoffs.

  • 12 – Utah
  • 11 – Allen
  • 10 – Rapid City
  • 6 – Kansas City
  • 5 – Wichita

– There are 12 games on the ECHL schedule today and many of them have playoff implications. Here are the previews:  https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/3/echl-today-march-11

– Toledo clinched a playoff spot winning its 15th straight game last night. Toledo is now #4 all-time for consecutive wins. The three teams left for the Walleye to pass:

  • 23 games: South Carolina (2015)
  • 17 games: Colorado (2017)
  • 17 games: Cincinnati (2008)
  • 15 games: Toledo (2023)

DID YOU KNOW: Idaho beat Allen last night and clinched a playoff spot and the Mountain Division championship in the same game. The Steelheads have 91 points and a 32-point lead over second place. Idaho has 16 games remaining (9 home, 7 road) and is on pace to set many all-time records. Here is a list with Idaho’s current number and the all-time record in parenthesis:Most Points: 91 (116)Points percentage: .813 (.806)Most wins: 44 (56)Home wins: 24 (30)The home wins record seems the most attainable. Idaho has nine home games remaining and has only lost three home games all season (24-3-0-0). The Steelheads need to win six of the remaining nine home games to tie the record of 30 set in 2001-02 and again in 2003-04.

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