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Allen Wins Game and Series, Takes 2nd Place, Game Recap, Costello Comments

Monday, March 20th
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You didn’t want to be late to Allen’s Sunday afternoon game against the Utah Grizzlies as the Americans scored early and often. Colton Saucerman got the party started just 41 seconds after puck drop and Allen had a 4-0 lead midway through the opening period. The final score was 6-3 before a crowd of 2675 at the CUTX Event Center.

– It was a crazy game in more than one way. Here is a list:

  • Seven of the nine goals in the game were scored in the first period.
  • Allen took a 5-2 lead into the first intermission.
  • Allen scored the five first period goals on just 10 shots.
  • After seven goals in the first period the second period was scoreless.
  • Utah had nine power play opportunities, Allen just three.
  • There were 23 penalties for 94 minutes and not a single fighting penalty.
  • Rookie Jakov Novak, playing in his first pro game, scored on his first pro shot.

–  After being held to one goal in the 2-1 shootout loss to Utah on Friday, Allen came out buzzing on Sunday. The Americans scored on their second shot (Colton Saucerman), fifth shot (Colton Hargrove), sixth shot (Liam Finlay) and seventh shot (Colton Hargrove) of the period. Utah pulled goalie Trent Minor after the first three goals. Lukas Parik replaced Minor but the bleeding didn’t stop. Allen scored its fourth goal on the first shot against Parik to make the score 4-0 at the 10:36 mark of the first period and the game was essentially over. Colby McAuley added a fifth goal late in the period and Utah scored twice to make the score 5-2 at the first intermission.

– Allen lost Colton Hargrove at the end of the first period (19:21) when he was given a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head. I have had a lot of questions and comments about the hit that resulted in the match penalty to Hargrove. Most important is the health of Utah forward Dakota Raabe. It was certainly concerning seeing him lay motionless for a while before he was helped off the ice. Here is my take on the hit after watching a couple of different angles numerous times.

  • Hargrove is not the type of player that would go head hunting under any circumstance.
  • Neither of the two referees raised their arm for a penalty after the hit.
  • After a consultation including the linesmen, a penalty was called for an illegal check to the head. The rule cited was 48.5 which states, “The referee at his discretion may assess a match penalty if, in his judgement, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head.”
  • There is no automatic suspension that goes along with this penalty.
  • In reviewing the video of the hit, it is with the shoulder, but Hargrove’s arm does come up at the end of the hit.
  • While I would disagree with the determination there was intent to injure, it is pretty clear his elbow did come into contact with the head.
  • It looks to me that the injury was not caused by the arm coming up after the initial impact but that is a matter of interpretation.
  • I think there is no doubt there will be a suspension. If the league sees it like I did it will be a one game suspension. If the league decided it was an intentional attempt to injure it will be longer.
  • Joe Ernst, ECHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations, who is responsible for disciplinary actions, happened to be at the game last night, so had a firsthand look at the hit and how it was handled by the officials.

– The second period was uneventful with no goals scored. Utah had two power plays to Allen’s one and the Grizzlies outshot the Americans 13-7, but the score remained 5-2 at the second intermission. The third period was penalty filled including four misconduct penalties. Allen spent a good part of the period on the penalty kill. The Americans extended their lead to 6-2 early in the period (1:34) when Jack Combs made a perfect pass to Jakov Novak for his first pro goal. Utah scored a power play goal a few minutes later to make the final score 6-3.

– Goal scorers for Allen were Colton Saucerman (5), Colton Hargrove (34,35), Liam Finlay (30), Colby McAuley (6) and Jakov Novak (1). Jack Combs had three assists, Hank Crone and Colton Hargrove had two. Here are the video highlights of the Allen goals: https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/3/utah-grizzlies-vs-allen-americans—mar-19-2023-ks5h4Mqj

– The team will take today off before preparing for what will be the three toughest games remaining on the schedule. The Idaho Steelheads will visit Allen for games on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Allen is 0-5-0-0 against Idaho this season. It will be another opportunity for the Americans to show they can play with and beat the top team in the ECHL.

CHAD COSTELLO COACH’S COMMENTS

“The penalties took away from our great start. It was nice to get the two points and I thought was deserved two points in all three games, but we will take five of the six.”

“We have a big test ahead with Idaho coming in. Hopefully we will get everybody healthy. We will take the day off tomorrow, have a good practice on Tuesday and be ready to go.”

“Chase Perry played incredible in all three games this week which it great to see.”

“We have to do more to manage our penalties but some of the calls seemed a little off.”

“Our penalty kill was great tonight given all of the chances they faced.”

“It was great to see Novak score in his first pro game. We had two guys score in their first game this week.”

“We will have to continue to fight as close as the standings are in the division.”

OTHER COMMENTS

– There is no doubt Allen is an exciting team to watch this season. They have the ability to score goals in bunches and yesterday was a good example. Here are stat milestones from the game:

  • Liam Finlay scored his 30th goal of the season, the fourth player on the team to reach 30 goals. The last ECHL team to have four 30 goal scorers was the Mobile Mysticks on 1999-2000.
  • Jakov Novak score his first goal in Allen on his first shot matching Eric Williams who scored his first goal in Allen on his first shot last Thursday.
  • Colton Hargove scored two goals yesterday, his eighth multiple goal game since January 3. He has 31 goals in his last 33 games.
  • Jack Combs had three assists and Hank Crone had two as the teammates have a friendly competition for the ECHL points leadership. Crone is #1 with 86 points, Combs in #2 with 82 points and Zach O’Brien (Newfoundland) is #3 with 76 points.

– Allen took five of six points from Utah in the series and are now tied for second place in the Mountain Division in points but have a game in hand. Second place and home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs would be huge for Allen. Here are the current standings by points percentage with points in parenthesis:

  • .825 – Idaho (99 points)
  • .525 – Allen (62 points)
  • .517 – Kansas City (62 points)
  • .508 – Utah (61 points)
  • .500 – Wichita (61 points)
  • .492 – Rapid City (59 points)
  • .390 – Tulsa (46 points)

–  The Mountain Division is so close the playoff spots will not be decided until the very end of the season. The other three divisions are pretty much decided:

  • North Division – Fourth place Worcester has a nine-point lead over fifth place Adirondack.
  • South Division – Fourth place Florida has a four-point lead and four games in hand over fifth place Atlanta.
  • Central Division – Fourth place Fort Wayne has an 11-point lead over fifth place Wheeling.
  • Mountain Division – The difference between second and fifth place is just one point.

DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL stats post today is about the best head-to-head records. Allen’s best is 4-1-0-0 against Kansas City and 8-2-1-1 against Utah.Some one-sided team vs team records this season. It’s called getting healthy against one particular team:11-4-0-0: Idaho over Utah10-3-1-0: Rapid City over Tulsa9-1-1-1: South Carolina over Atlanta9-2-1-0: Atlanta over Savannah8-1-0-0: Kansas City over Iowa8-2-0-0: Maine over Trois Rivières7-0-1-0: Maine over Adirondack7-1-0-0: Utah over Kansas City7-1-0-0: Florida over South Carolina7-2-0-0: Indy over Fort Wayne6-1-0-0: Atlanta over Orlando5-0-0-0: Idaho over Allen5-0-0-0: Toledo over Iowa

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Live
PUCKS N' PAWS/BISCUIT'S BIRTHDAY BASH
Sunday, March 3rd
PUCKS N' PAWS/BISCUIT'S BIRTHDAY BASH
Puck Drops:
2:10 PM CST
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
Wichita Thunder
WIC Wichita Thunder
0
20:00 1st
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Allen Americans
ALN Allen Americans
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
RED OUT NIGHT (Wear Red)
Friday, March 8th
RED OUT NIGHT (Wear Red)
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM CST
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
Kansas City Mavericks
KC Kansas City Mavericks
at
Allen Americans
ALN Allen Americans
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
TOP GUN NIGHT
Saturday, March 9th
TOP GUN NIGHT
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM CST
Credit Union of Texas Event Center
Kansas City Mavericks
KC Kansas City Mavericks
at
Allen Americans
ALN Allen Americans
Credit Union of Texas Event Center

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