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Allen Loses 2-1, Series Tied 2-2, Game Recap, Video Highlights, Coaches Comments

Saturday, April 29th
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Allen was on the wrong end of the fourth one goal game of the series last night as the Kansas City Mavericks came out on top by a score of 2-1. A big crowd of 5306 went home disappointed after the Americans scored the first goal of the game early in the first period (5:58) but couldn’t find the back of the net the rest of the game. The series is now tied 2-2 with game five tonight (7:05 pm).

– The Allen offense has dried up in the last three games scoring just four goals (1.33 average). Allen has lost two of the last three games and the lone win was a 1-0 shutout. Allen scored more power play goals than any other team in the league during the regular season but haven’t cashed in against Kansas City since the second period of game two. After a 23.9% power play percentage during the regular season the Americans are now at 12.5% (2-16) in the series. On the flip side the penalty kill has been flawless not giving up a power play goal in the last three games and limiting the Mavericks to 1-13 for the series. That is penalty kill percentage of 92.3% which is ranked #2 in the playoffs, just behind Toledo at 92.9%.

– Allen’s opponents know in order to beat the Americans they have to shut down the big four players (Combs, Crone, Finlay, Hargrove). Teams have had limited success when you consider that all four averaged 1.30+ points per game during the regular season. The group had 60% of Allen’s goals and 63% of Allen’s game winning goals in the regular season. Kansas City had no answer for the group in game one of the playoffs. All had points, they scored all three goals and added four assists in Allen’s 3-2 win. However, in the last three games the group has one goal and one assist. The one goal was a big one as Jack Combs had the game winner in Allen’s 1-0 overtime win in game three. Based on their regular season production this group would have 16 points in three games. In the last three games they have had two points. The bottom line is Allen will need more scoring from the big four to win tonight and close out this series on Monday.

– This series has certainly seen great goaltending and team defense but the lack of offense by both teams sticks out. It is a given both goalies have been outstanding. Kevin Mandolese has a 1.73 GAA and .942 save percentage. Shane Starrett has a 1.72 GAA and .938 save percentage. Here is a look at total goals by both teams in the eight first round playoff series. All teams have played four games with the exception of Reading vs Maine who have played five games.

  • 14 goals – Allen vs Kansas City
  • 18 goals – Cincinnati vs Fort Wayne
  • 22 goals – South Carolina vs Florida
  • 23 goals – Jacksonville vs Greenville
  • 24 goals – Idaho vs Utah
  • 24 goals – Toledo vs Indy
  • 35 goals – Reading vs Maine
  • 40 goals – Newfoundland vs Adirondack

– Some stats from the game:

  • Allen was outshot 33-25 including 12-8 in the third period.
  • Allen was 0-4 on the power play, Kansas City was 0-6.
  • Allen took eight penalties for 16 minutes, Kansas City six for 12 minutes.
  • Kansas City scored its first goal with 39 seconds remaining in the first period and the game winner with 106 seconds remaining in the game.
  • Allen’s only goal was scored by defenseman Kris Myllari.

– Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/series-tied-2-2-after-2-1-loss-in-game-4/

– Here are the video highlights: https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/4/kansas-city-mavericks-vs-allen-americans—apr-28-2023-ZraMYJlR

COACHES COMMENTS

– Coach Costello and coach Gens addressed the season ticket holders in a post-game press conference. Here is what they had to say:

“We had a good crowd and great playoff atmosphere tonight. This is a very tight series. They didn’t shoot a goal in with their stick so that is kind of a weird way to lose but we lost.”…..Costello

“I thought we had our “B” game tonight. It was a good effort, but we weren’t clean and didn’t have the rushes we normally do.”…..Costello

“We have to stay positive and get ready for tomorrow. The locker room is not down, and I know they will bring it tomorrow.”…..Costello

“They haven’t really scored a normal goal against us all series but in the playoffs bounces like that are going to happen.”…..Gens

“At the end of the game we had a good push but not good enough to get the equalizer. We will be ready tomorrow.”…..Gens

“We took three straight penalties in the second period so spent a lot of time on the penalty kill. Crone doesn’t kill penalties and I didn’t have Hargrove killing penalties to try and save his legs for offense. I used Hebert and Novak on the penalty kill and they did a great job. If it seemed like Crone and Hargrove didn’t get as much ice time it is because of the penalties. They both got over 20 minutes of ice time.”…..Costello

“McAuley missed part of the game with a little injury. We will find out tomorrow if he will be in the lineup.”…..Costello

“Once we took all those penalties it was hard to get the momentum back. The ice was tilted a little bit in their favor tonight. That was not the case in the prior games, even in the loss in Kansas City. We have had more offensive zone time until tonight. That is something we will definitely take a look at.”…..Costello

“They had two lucky goals tonight, but we have to give them credit. They funneled more pucks to our net then we did to their net. We have to learn from tonight and find a way to get more pucks to their goalie.”…..Costello

“We have changed up our defensive pairings for this series. With the addition of Ty Farmer, we have the flexibility to do that, and we are pleased with how that has worked.”…..Gens

“Our lack of power play production is a mixture of how they are playing us and lack of execution on our part. I think we need to be a little less cute with the puck and take what they give us a little more. I like when we get an early shot with net front presence because of the way the defense is forced to react. Our power play passing has been a little off, but I will stick with both power play units as I believe in them. I remind them before every power play that they have scored more power play goals than any team in the league. We will keep trying.”…..Costello

OTHER COMMENTS

– Idaho evened up its series with Utah (2-2) last night with a second straight road overtime win against the Grizzlies. Utah had Idaho on the ropes but have now let the Steelheads back in the series. Last night Utah had leads of 3-1 and 4-2 but couldn’t hang on. The teams play game five tonight in Utah before returning to Idaho for game six and seven (if necessary).

–  Wichita announced yesterday that coach Bruce Ramsay has agreed to a contract extension. Ramsay was the ECHL Coach of the Year on 2020-21 but the Thunder have missed the playoffs the last two seasons. The press release does not say the length of the contract extension. Here is the press release: https://www.wichitathunder.com/en/news/thunder-extends-head-coach-bruce-ramsay

– There are five games on the ECHL schedule tonight. Only one is an elimination game. Reading plays at home against Maine and can advance to the second round with a win. Here are the previews from ECHL Today: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/4/echl-today-april-29

– Had a fan point out to me last night after the game that Allen has lost its last five home playoff games. Checked it out and sure enough it is a five-game losing streak. The loss to Kansas City last night, three straight losses to Rapid City in 2022 and the excruciating overtime loss to Fort Wayne in 2021. I rarely predict game outcomes, but I will predict the Americans five game home playoff losing streak comes to an end tonight and the victory will be led by the big four.

DID YOU KNOW: During the 2022-23 regular season 23 of 28 ECHL teams had home points percentage above .500. Just 12 were above .500 on the road. Playing at home is a clear advantage.However, thus far in the Kelly Cup playoffs (33 games) road teams have a winning record. After going 4-1 last night road teams now have a record of 17-16 (.515) and have outscored home teams 102-94 goal. In the Mountain Division series featuring #1 seed Idaho vs #4 seed Utah the series is tied 2-2 and the road team has won all four games.

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