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Allen Loses 5-3, Game Recap, Video Highlights, Costello Comments, ECHL Goal Differentials by Period and More

Thursday, March 23rd
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The shorthanded Allen Americans lost to the Idaho Steelheads last night 5-3 before a sparse Wednesday night crowd of 1803 at the CUTX Event Center. Playing without Colton Hargrove and Jack Combs who combined represent 154 points (66G, 88A) and 45 minutes of ice time each game, the Americans were in the game until the very end.

– Allen had the better of the play for most of the first period. Hank Crone scored the first goal of the game at the 15:37 mark on the power play. At that point the Americans had a shot advantage of 10-4 and had several grade A chances in addition to Crone’s 40th goal of the season. Things fell apart for Allen after the Crone goal. The Americans didn’t get another shot the rest of the period. In the final 4:23 Idaho recorded nine shots and two goals to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Idaho scored its two goals in a 47 second spam.

– Once Idaho secured the lead it never relinquished it. The second period had three goals, and all were power play goals. Idaho took a 3-1 lead, then Liam Finlay scored his sixth power play goal of the season (9:12) to cut the score to 3-2 but Idaho responded 92 seconds later (10:44) to restore its two-goal lead. Utah took a 4-2 lead into the second intermission and that was close to the kiss of death. Idaho has the best record in the ECHL when leading after the second period at a staggering 41-1-0-0 (.976).

– To Allen’s credit the players kept fighting. A power play early in the third period was unsuccessful but Aidan Brown scored an even strength goal at the 12:01 mark to cut the score to 4-3. Allen pulled goalie Chase Perry at the end of the game and Idaho promptly scored an empty net goal just eight seconds later to make the final score 5-3.

– It was a disappointing loss for the Americans because of some sloppy play at the end of the first period that turned a great start into a game that Allen was constantly playing from behind. Allen has been close in several of the games against Idaho this season but close doesn’t count. The facts are Allen is now 0-6 against the Steelheads. The Americans have given up five or more goals in every game for an average of 5.5 goals per game, while scoring an average of 2.33 goals per game. The challenge will continue on Friday night when Allen plays Idaho again without Hargrove and Combs in the lineup. Hargrove will definitely be back for the game on Saturday and coach Costello said he also expects Comb to be back on Saturday.

– Goal scorers for Allen were Hank Crone (40), Liam Finlay (31) and Aidan Brown (14). Here are the video highlights that include just the Allen goals: https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/3/idaho-steelheads-vs-allen-americans—mar-22-2023-mGW4bQlG

– Here are the game recaps from both teams:

Allen Americans:  https://allenamericans.com/media/game-recap-americans-lose-close-battle-with-idaho/

Idaho Steelheads: https://www.idahosteelheads.com/en/articles/steelheads-notch-their-echl-era-record-49th-win-of-season-in-5-3-victory-at-allen

CHAD COSTELLO COACH’S COMMENTS

“We started the game well; the shots were something like 9-2 at one point in the first period. There goalie made some big saves early in the game.”

“It would have been nice to capitalize on some of those early chances and play with more than a one goal lead.”

“We had some defensive breakdowns toward the end of the first period that cost us. Their power play goal was not good penalty killing on our part. We got caught swinging and they threw the puck through the seam and that is a tough save to make.”

“It was a decent effort from all of the guys. We were playing short but at this time of year we need to generate points and we know that. We have to move forward to Friday and Saturday and find a way to get some points against these guys or we will lose ground in the standings.

OTHER COMMENTS

– Hank Crone became the third player in Allen franchise history to hit the 40-goal mark with his goal last night. His next goal will tie Hank with his coach for second all-time and he is four goals away from Gary Steffes, who holds the all-time record at 44 goals. Costello and Steffes reached 40 goals in the same season, 2014-15. Allen could end up with multiple 40 goal scorers this season. Crone also leads the league in points (87) and needs one more point to tie Colton Yellow Horn for fourth place all-time. The next milestone after passing Yellow Horn will be a 100-point season that has been done three times, all by Chad Costello (125, 122, 103).

– Idaho has now won seven straight games and is 13-1-0-0 over the last five weeks. Allen is 8-4-0-1 over the last five weeks with three of the four losses coming against Idaho.

– In other Mountain Division action last night Wichita beat Iowa and Utah lost to Cincinnati. Wichita moved to second place (63 points) followed by Allen and Kansas City (62 points), Utah (61 points) and Rapid City (59 points). All five teams could end the week anywhere from second to fifth place.

– I had an inquiry from a long time Allen fan to ask coach Costello what he thought about his players passing him is some of his stats as a player. Of course, most of Costello’s records in Allen will never be passed but some will. Here is what Costello had to say about the subject:

“I love it if the players pass any of stats I had as a player. I never really cared too much about my records. I want them to care about winning a championship ring as much as I did. I didn’t really count those scoring records. I just wanted championships and I hope they do to. I challenged a few players before the season started that the last 100-point scorer was me and I would love to coach the next one. A few guys are going after the 100 points and that is exciting. Anytime you can have personal success that fits into the team concept I am all for it. It is exciting for me and also exciting for the fans.”

DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is about goal differential by period. Allen’s differential is -1 in the first period, -5 in the second period and -4 in the third period.

Top and bottom three teams in goal differential for each period. It is no surprise all of top teams are playoff bound and all of the bottom teams are out of the playoffs.1st PeriodTop+41 Idaho+32 Toledo+25 CincinnatiBottom-33 Norfolk-29 Iowa-23 Tulsa2nd PeriodTop+37 Idaho+35 South Carolina+20 CincinnatiBottom-30 Norfolk-27 Orlando-25 Kalamazoo3rd PeriodTop+41 Idaho+29 Toledo+23 FloridaBottom-39 Trois Rivières-34 Norfolk-22 Savannah

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