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Allen Sweeps Rapid City with Comeback OT Thriller

Sunday, April 2nd
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There have been more than a few spectacular wins among the Allen American 33 wins this season. Given the circumstances, last night was one of the best as Allen defeated Rapid City 4-3 in overtime before a crowd of 4851 at The Monument Ice Center. Here is a partial list of what the Americans overcame to win the game last night and sweep Rapid City:

  • Allen started the game with 14 skaters, missing Massicotte (recalled), Butcher (injury) and Finlay (injury).
  • Mikael Robidoux left the game in the second period and didn’t return so Allen played with 13 skaters.
  • Rapid City scored the first goal. Allen’s record when giving up the first goal was 11-22-0-1 (.338).
  • Rapid City led 1-0 after the first period, Rush record at home with a first period lead is 12-3-1-0 (.781).
  • Rapid City led 2-1 after the second period, Allen’s road record when trailing after the second period was 1-13-0-0 (.071)
  • Allen was outshot 41-17 over the first two periods.
  • Trailing 3-1 in the third period Allen had an apparent goal disallowed.

– With all of the obstacles Allen found a way to stage a great comeback. The power play played a big role. After being scoreless in the first two games of the series the power play was 2-4 last night. Colton Hargrove had both power play goals. Allen trailed 1-0 after the first. Hargrove’s first power play goal tied the score 1-1 early in the second period. Just 41 seconds later Rapid City regained the lead (2-1) which they took into the second intermission. The Rush outshot Allen 22-8 in the second period but thanks to some great saves by Chase Perry, the Americans were still in the game.

– Rapid City took a 3-1 lead early in the third period and it appeared Allen would have to settle for winning the series but not the game. Things went from bad to worse when an apparent goal by Grant Hebert to cut the scored to 3-2 was disallowed for goalie interference.

– The disallowed goal seemed to give the Americans energy. Three minutes later Colton Hargrove scored his second power play goal to cut the score the 3-2 and less than two minutes after the Hargrove goal, Jack Combs tied the score 3-3. Neither team was able to get the game winner over the last half of the third period. Allen won the third period 2-1 and outshot Rapid City 17-10 to earn a point and send the game to overtime.

– It took just 24 seconds into overtime for Allen to end the comeback with a win. Ironically, Grant Hebert, who had a goal disallowed earlier, was a big part of the overtime goal. Hebert won the opening faceoff, took the puck on a handoff from Kris Myllari behind the Allen net, skated the length of the ice beating two defenders and took a shot that was stopped and deflected into the corner. Hebert beat two guys in a puck battle in the corner and put the puck out front to Jack Combs who made no mistake putting a backhander by the goalie for the win.

– Coach Costello said after the overtime win on Friday it was a huge character win for Allen playing a desperate team on the road. You would have to say it was all that times two the way the team showed its character against an even more desperate Rapid City last night. Costello’s quote after the game says it all, “This is one of the best wins I have ever been part of.”

– In what could be an indication of what this team can deliver down the stretch. Allen won on Friday night (4-3) despite a rare night when the four 30 goal scorers were held scoreless. Last night the 30-goal group had all four goals.

– Goal scorers for Allen were Colton Hargrove (36,37) and Jack Combs (32,33). Here are the video highlights. Note the role Hebert plays on the overtime goal. https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/4/allen-americans-vs-rapid-city-rush—apr-1-2023-DXOAGhjQ

– Game recaps:

Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/game-recap-combs-scores-overtime-winner-to-beat-rapid-city/

Rapid City Rush: https://www.rapidcityrush.com/en/news/2023/4/rapid-city-falls-in-ot-to-allen-4-3

– Allen won’t have long the celebrate the sweep in Rapid City. The Americans put themselves in an excellent position with the six points earned against the Rush. Yes, Allen is in second place in the division, but they are a mere two points from fifth place and out of the playoffs. Allen will host the Savannah Ghost Pirates for three games next week. Allen can’t sleep on the Ghost Pirates. Savannah is in last place in the South Division out of playoff contention. However, only two teams (Idaho and Cincinnati) have more wins in the last 10 games than Savannah who is 7-3-0-0 in the last 10.

– You could see some roster changes this week with all of the injuries Allen sustained in Rapid City. Remember, Dalton Skelly was placed on injured reserve last week so he will not be available against Savannah. Zachary Massicotte did not play for Belleville last night after playing on Friday. Aidan Brown and Dalton Gally were not with the team in Rapid City but are healthy and available. It could be a busy week for general manager Costello.

– With his two power play goals last night, Colton Hargrove now has a total of 17 which is three more than any other player in the league. Hank Crone is tied for second with 14 power play goals. Allen has three of the top four in the ECHL in overall goals, #1 Crone (42), #2 Hargrove (37) and #4 Combs (33).

OTHER COMMENTS

– After the games last night, the Mountain Division standings remain very close. There won’t be any changes today. There are eight games on the ECHL schedule today but only one Mountain Division team (Tulsa) plays. Here are the current standings by points with games remaining in parenthesis:

  • 109 points – Idaho (6)
  • 68 points – Allen (7)
  • 68 points – Kansas City (6)
  • 67 points – Utah (6)
  • 66 points – Wichita (5)
  • 63 points – Rapid City (6)
  • 51 points -Tulsa (8)

– Idaho clinched the regular season championship last night and now must deal with the Brabham Cup curse. A reminder the last team to win the Brabham Cup and Kelly Cup in the same year was the Alaska Aces in 2014.

– Fort Wayne punched its ticket to the playoffs last night. All four Central Division playoff teams are now determined (Cincinnati, Toledo, Indy, Fort Wayne). The opposite is true in the South Division where no teams have qualified for the playoffs.

DID YOU KNOW: ECHL teams with the most and fewest net power plays goals this season. Net power goals are derived by subtracting shorthanded goals allowed from power play goals scored:MOST62 – South Carolina*60 – Allen*58 – Toledo*57 – Newfoundland*57 – Wichita*FEWEST21 – Norfolk27 – Florida*30 – Wheeling31 – Iowa31 – Kalamazoo*Teams currently in playoff positions.

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