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Novak Hat Trick Leads Allen to OT Win, Game Recap, Video Highlights, Costello Comments and More

Saturday, April 1st
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Rookie Jakov Novak, playing in his sixth pro game, scored his first pro hat trick last night including the overtime game winner to lead Allen to a 4-3 win over Rapid City. With the win the Americans moved into a tie for third place in the division with 66 points, just two points behind second place Kansas City

– It was another great start for Allen, scoring the first and only goal of the opening period when Stefan Fournier stuffed in a loose puck at the goal mouth at the 2:19 mark. Allen’s record when scoring first is now 21-8-1-0 (.717). Allen’s road record when leading after the first period is now 9-2-0-0 (.818).

– After the first period the teams traded goals over and over again. Rapid City would tie the score and then Allen would retake a one goal lead and the Rush would tie the score again. This pattern continued all the way to the overtime win. Jakov Novak gave Allen a 2-1 lead with his first goal in the second period, a 3-2 lead with his second goal in the third period and a 4-3 final score with his third goal in overtime.

– Luke Peressini got the start in goal and face 42 shots in the game. He made 39 saves for a .929 save percentage to secure his team leading 16th win of the season. Goalies have been a big part of Allen earning four points in the first two games of the three-game series against Rapid City. Combined Perry and Peressini have faced 83 shots the last two nights and saved 79 for a save percentage of .952. Can’t ask for much more from the goalies.

– You never want to play shorthanded when the team has to play three games in three days but that happened again last night. Allen started the game two players short. Zachary Missicotte was recalled to Belleville and played for the Senators. Chad Butcher is with the team but was not in the lineup, most likely from an injury from the game on Friday. Allen started the game with 15 skaters rather than 17 (5 defensemen, 10 forwards). It got worse when Liam Finlay left the game after the first period, so Allen played the last 40 minutes plus overtime with just 14 skaters. It will be a tired group for the game tonight. Hopefully Allen will get a player back, so they don’t have to play with 14 skaters.

– Mikael Robidoux had what by my count was his eighth fight of the season last night. That means he has one more fight remaining before he starts getting suspended for one game each time he fights.

– Here are the game recaps from both team:

Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-beat-rapid-city-in-ot/

Rapid City Rush: https://www.rapidcityrush.com/en/news/2023/3/rush-settle-for-a-point-in-ot-loss-to-allen-4-3

– Here are the video highlights with the goals, the fight and some excellent saves: https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/4/allen-americans-vs-rapid-city-rush—mar-31-2023-MCuwMqTJ

– Stats from the game

  • Total Shots: 42-27 favoring Rapid City
  • 1st Period Shots: 9-8 favoring Allen
  • 2nd Period Shots: 17-7 favoring Rapid City
  • 3rd Period Shots: 14-10 favoring Rapid City
  • Overtime Shots: 3-1 favoring Rapid City
  • Allen Power Play: 0-2
  • Rapid City Power Play: 0-4
  • Allen scored one goal in every period and in overtime.
  • Allen’s top four was held without a point.
  • Rookies has three of the four goals and three of the six assists.
  • Allen has won four straight against Rapid City.

– I had a chance to touch base with coach Costello this morning. Here are a few of his comments:

“Last night was a huge character win for us given we were playing so shorthanded. I am very proud of all of them.”

“With us being so short bodies, we will need to play a very smart hockey game tonight to get a win.”

“I won’t know if any of the injures players will be in the lineup until later in the day.”

“Chase Perry will be in goal tonight.”

– Allen has scored first the last two nights and never trailed, leading to two victories. A good start again tonight will be a key to getting a sweep in this series. Both teams are scoreless on the power play though Allen had only three chances in two games. Would be nice to see a power play goal tonight from the Americans.

OTHER COMMENTS

– The odd stat of the day has two parts. Allen has had seven hat tricks this season and five have been by rookies. The hat tricks have been scored in pairs so there may be another Novak hat trick on the way. Here are Allen’s seven hat tricks in date order. Will the pattern continue?

  • Liam Finlay – November 19
  • Liam Finlay – January 28
  • Colton Hargrove – February 4
  • Colton Hargrove – February 15
  • Hank Crone – March 4
  • Hank Crone – March 16
  • Jakov Novak – March 31
  • Jakov Novak -????????

– Mountain Division teams have between six games (Wichita) and nine games (Tulsa) remaining. Here are the standings by points percentage with points in parenthesis:

  • .823 – Idaho (107)
  • .523 – Kansas City (68)
  • .516 – Allen (66)
  • .500 – Wichita (66)
  • .500 – Utah (65)
  • .477 – Rapid City (62)
  • .389 – Tulsa (49)

– Just like last night, it is a big and important night in the ECHL tonight with all 28 teams in action. Mountain Division games are the same as last night. The winners last night were Allen, Utah, Kansas City and Maine.

  • Allen at Rapid City
  • Wichita at Utah
  • Kansas City at Idaho
  • Tulsa at Maine

Here is the ECHL Today with previews of all 14 games. Reading punched its ticket to the playoffs last night, becoming the sixth team to qualify for the playoffs. Fort Wayne and Maine can clinch playoff spots tonight. https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/4/echl-today-april-1

– Playoff qualifiers by division:

  • Central Division – Cincinnati, Toledo, Indy
  • North Division – Newfoundland, Reading
  • Mountain Division – Idaho
  • South Division – None

– Haven’t posted this for a while. Here are the league leaders in points by rookies. Just four rookies have more than 60 points:

  • 91 points (42G, 49A) – Hank Crone, Allen
  • 76 points (25G, 51A) – Alex Ierullo, Greenville
  • 68 points (31G, 37A) – Liam Finlay, Allen
  • 65 point (30G, 55A) – Max Newton, Reading

DID YOU KNOW: Great performances in the ECHL last night with three hat tricks and three shutouts. One team had both:HAT TRICKSAnthony Repaci, Worcester – included game winning OT goalKevin O’Neil, South CarolinaJakov Novak, Allen – included game winning OT goalSHUTOUTSTyler Wall, South Carolina – 17 saves in 11-0 win over CINCale Morris, Norfolk – 19 saves in 4-0 win over NFLCharles Williams, Jacksonville – 27 saves in 1-0 win over ORLSouth Carolina, the #1 team in the South Division visited the #1 team in the Central Division, Cincinnati. South Carolina had a hat trick and a shutout, outshot the Cyclones 45-17 and outscored them 11-0.

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