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Allen Extends Points Streak to Five, Game Recap, Video Highlights, Costello Comments and More

Saturday, April 8th
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It was a perfect setting for Allen Americans hockey last night. A sellout crowd (5959), specialty jersey night and the playoffs on the line created an atmosphere rarely seen in the regular season. To top it all off Allen defeated the Savannah Ghost Pirates 6-2 to take over sole possession of second place in the Mountain Division. In the process Allen extended its point streak to five games (4-0-1-0) which is the longest point streak in the Western Conference.

– As I said in the preview yesterday, if Allen got off to another good start like it did in the overtime loss on Wednesday the Americans would not be denied. Allen turned the game into a no doubter scoring the first four goals of the game. The first goal of the game was early in the first period (2:18) when Jack Combs scored off a great pass from Jakov Novak. Hank Crone scored late in the period, unassisted, when he knocked a clearing pass out of the air and put a backhander past the goalie. Allen led 2-0 at the first intermission.

– The Americans add two more goals in the second period. Colby McAuley scored the first of his two goals just 61 seconds into the period. At the 13:44 mark Hank Crone took at great pass from Jack Combs to score a power play goal, his record breaking 45th goal of the season. Allen took a 4-0 lead into the second intermission and the game was essentially over. The only question that remained was whether Allen could preserve a shutout for goalie Chase Perry who had stopped all 29 Savannah shots in the first two period.

– Savannah is a hard-working team and made a big push in the third period. A turnover led to a Savannah goal by Brent Pedersen, his fifth goal in the series. A second Savannah goal just 15 seconds later cut the score to 4-2. The Ghost Pirates had a 12-2 shot advantage before the Americans stemmed the tide. A rebound goal by Grant Hebert gave Allen a three-goal lead (5-2) and Colby McAuley scored his second goal of the game and fourth of the series to make the final score 6-2.

– The goal scorers were Jack Combs (35), Hank Crone (44, 45), Colby McAuley (10,11) and Grant Hebert (8). Hank Crone had two assists to go along with his two goals. Here are the video highlights. One of the things that makes it so much fun to watch the Americans is all of the pretty goals the team scores. Several examples in these highlights: https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/4/savannah-ghost-pirates-vs-allen-americans—apr-7-2023-6leraV0O

– Here is the game recap issued by the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/game-recap-americans-score-six-in-6-2-win-over-savannah/

CHAD COSTELLO COACH’S COMMENTS

“I loved the way we played tonight. The energy from the crowd was incredible. We could sense in the locker room after warmups it was going to be a special crowd. We thrived off the energy from the fans.”

“It was an exciting game with a lot of pretty goals. Our compete level was very high. We are a very driven team right now and will get deeper tomorrow with Fournier returning to the lineup.”

“Perry was outstanding tonight and so were our defensemen. I challenged them to be really stiff and hard to play against and they did that. We were a little short up front, so I put a lot of emphasis on our six defensemen, and they came through for us.”

“I am so proud of Hank Crone. I talk about him to my kids and family all the time. He has grown so much during the season. The second I signed Hank I said to him here are the keys to the Lamborghini, I am going to help you keep it on the road. I haven’t had to do much. That kid is exciting. He is a true talent, and we are blessed to have him on our team. I love watching him play. He competes harder defensively than he gets credit for.”

“I really enjoy the way that referee handles the game. He doesn’t get in the way of the outcome and handles himself really well.”

TONIGHT’S PREVIEW

– Not a lot to say about the game tonight. Allen needs to keep the peddle to the metal as two points tonight will almost certainly put the team in the playoffs and take another giant step toward finishing in second place. I have all of the ingredients for crow chili ready to go which will make a great post season meal.

– Allen has had great starts in the first two games of this series and that will be a key to the game tonight. The Americans win 70% of the games when they score first. A good start will be critical.

– Allen has had the best of the special teams in this series while staying out of the penalty box. The Americans power play is 4-9 (44.4%). The penalty kill is 100% (0-3). The referee tonight is the same referee as the first two games of the series. Each game is different, but it could be another game with few power play opportunities. If Allen wins the special teams battle tonight the Americans will have a good chance of winning the game.

– Team defense will also be a big key to the game. Allen gave up two goals last night. If Allen holds Savannah to less than four goals the Americans will win the game. Allen has won 16 of the last 18 games when allowing three of fewer goals.

– I will post the lineup changes for the game tonight on social media later this afternoon. Will also share the Skeoch suspension decision.

OTHER COMMENTS

– Hank Crone is now the all-time leader in goals in a single season for the Allen franchise. It is a good day to post the Allen 30+ goal club that is full of players from this season It has been almost 25 years (1999-2000) since an ECHL team had four players with 30+ goals. It is also a record in Allen franchise history. In 2010-11 Allen had three players score 30+ goals. Here is an update of the Allen 30-goal club. This season’s group of four still has five games remaining to add a few more goals.

  • 45 goals – Hank Crone (2022-23)
  • 44 goals – Gary Steffes (2014-15)
  • 41 goals – Chad Costello (2014-15)
  • 38 goals – Colton Hargrove (2022-23)
  • 35 goals – Jack Combs (2022-23)
  • 35 goals – Greger Hanson (2016-17)
  • 34 goals – Bruce Graham (2010-11)
  • 34 goals – Nino Musitello (2010-11)
  • 34 goals – Zach Pochiro (2018-19)
  • 33 goals – Chad Costello (2016-17)
  • 33 goals – Colton Yellow Horn (2010-11)
  • 31 goals – Liam Finlay (2022-23)
  • 31 goals – Bruce Graham (2009-10)
  • 30 goals – Corey Mackin (2020-21)

– Hank Crone had four points last night and is now just one point away from the century mark. Hank will become the 70th player in ECHL history to score 100 points in a season, but the vast majority of the 100-point seasons took place in the 1980’s and 1990’s. 100 points has been accomplished only three times since 2009-10, all by Chad Costello. (2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17).

– Allen added two power play goals last night and is now tied for the league lead in power play goals with 70. The Americans power play percentage moved up to 24.5% which is still ranked #3 in the league. South Carolina is #1 (24.8%) and Toledo is #2 (24.7%).

– Former Allen defenseman Darian Skeoch leads the Ghost Pirates with 108 penalty minutes after adding 25 PIMS last night. Skeoch had the rare double game misconduct penalty late in the game when he jumped Mikael Robidoux. Skeoch was given a five-minute major, an aggressor game misconduct and a leaving the bench game misconduct. He will definitely miss the game tonight and expect he might be done for the season (four games).

– Here is another stat that shows just how good Idaho has been this season. Idaho has a team plus/minus of +545. The next best team (Cincinnati) is at +289. There are nine players in the ECHL with a plus/minus of more than +30. Eight of them play for Idaho including the top two players, Matt Register +53 and Cody Haiskanen +50.

– Allen took a big step in its quest for the playoffs last night. Here is an update of the chart that shows maximum points for the five teams battling for three playoff spots if they win their remaining games. Six points in Allen’s remaining five games will lock the Americans into second place for the playoffs no matter what the other teams do.

  • 81 points – Allen
  • 76 points – Utah
  • 76 points – Kansas City
  • 74 points – Wichita
  • 74 points – Rapid City

–  There are 12 games on the ECHL schedule tonight. The Mountain Division teams in action are Savannah at Allen, Kansas City at Tulsa and Idaho at Utah. Here is the ECHL Today with the previews:  https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/4/echl-today-april-8

DID YOU KNOW: 12 of 16 ECHL Kelly Cup playoff teams have been determined after three more punched their tickets last night. One team in the North and three in the Mountain still need to be determined. Here is the list of playoff teams in current standings order by points. Nine of the 12 teams were in the playoffs last season.NORTHNewfoundland, 94Reading, 84Maine, 82??????SOUTH*South Carolina, 89Jacksonville, 84Greenville, 83Florida, 82CENTRALCincinnati, 99Toledo, 95*Indy, 83Fort Wayne, 73MOUNTAIN*Idaho, 113??????????????????*Missed 2021-22 playoffs

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