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Allen Surrenders 56 Shots, Loses 6-2, Trails Series 2-0

Thursday, May 11th
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A sellout crowd of 5015 in Idaho last night watched the Steelheads dominate the game from the opening puck drop to the final horn in a 6-2 win over the Allen Americans. Idaho now has a 2-0 lead in the series with three more home games (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and a chance to close out the series without returning to Allen.

– Idaho is very difficult to beat when playing from behind. The Steelheads scored the first goal of the game, had a 1-0 first period lead and a 3-0 second period lead. Idaho has not lost in the playoffs if they achieved any of the three, let alone all three.

–  Here are some of the stats that show just how one-sided the game was:

  • Allen was outshot 20-4 in the first period. It is the most shots allowed in the first period in the entire playoffs.
  • Allen was outshot 17-10 in the second period.
  • Allen was outshot 19-9 in the third period. The fourth most shots allowed in the third period in the entire playoffs.
  • Allen was outshot 56-23 for the game. The most shots allowed in a single game in the playoffs by five shots.
  • Allen had as many PIMS in the game last night (48) as in the first seven games of the playoffs (49).
  • Allen’s penalty kill gave up two power play goals. In the first seven games of the playoffs the penalty kill unit gave up one power play goal.

– Allen pulled goalie Kevin Mandolese after the second period, not because he was playing poorly but to give him some rest. Mandolese faced a full game worth of shots in 40 minutes. He faced 37 shots, saved 34 for a .919 save percentage. Chase Perry played the third period, his first action of the playoffs, and saved 16 of 19 shots (.842).

– Here are the game recaps issued by both teams:

Allen American: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-fall-behind-0-2-in-the-series-after-6-2-thumping-by-idaho/

Idaho Steelheads: https://www.idahosteelheads.com/en/articles/offense-explodes-for-steelheads-in-6-2-victory-over-americans

– Here are the video highlights: https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/5/allen-americans-vs-idaho-steelheads—may-10-2023-Wjlf6GF2

– Allen has now lost 10 straight games to Idaho, eight in the regular season and two in the playoffs. It’s hard to conclude anything other than Idaho is a much better team. It was true in the regular season, and it is true in the playoffs. I know the Americans will not quit and will die trying, but the hole they find themselves in will be very hard to dig out of. There is no doubt coach Costello is singularly focused on just one thing and that is to win the game on Friday. That is an achievable goal.

– As a reminder, here are the scores of the 10 straight wins in the games between Allen and Idaho this season. What is striking is most of the games (7 of 10) were after Allen had turned its season around. Note Idaho scored less than five goals just one time and has averaged 5.3 goals per game. Allen never reached five goals and averaged just 2.4 goals per game.

  • 6-2  May 10
  • 5-4  May 5
  • 6-3  March 25
  • 3-1  March 24
  • 5-3  March 22
  • 5-0  March 11
  • 6-4  March 10
  • 5-2  November 26
  • 5-1  November 25
  • 7-4  November 23

OTHER COMMENTS

– So much for the road teams having a perfect record in the second round of the playoffs. Prior to last night the road teams were 8-0. Last night the road teams were 0-3. What that means is all four second round series could end up with sweeps. Here is where they stand including the division seeding (#1, #2, #3 or #4)

  • North Division: #1 Newfoundland leads #2 Reading 3-0 with all home games remaining.
  • South Division: #4 Florida leads #2 Jacksonville 3-0 with next two games at home.
  • Central Division: #2 Toledo leads #1 Cincinnati 3-0 with next two games at home.
  • Mountain Division: #1 Idaho leads #2 Allen 2-0 with next three games at home.

– How important is the power play in success in the playoffs? The three teams above with a 3-0 series lead and likely to advance to the conference finals are the top three playoff teams in power play percentage.

  • 1. Toledo (38.7%)
  • 2. Newfoundland (28.6%)
  • 3. Florida (23.5%)

– Newfoundland can be the first team to advance to the conference finals when they take on Reading at home tonight. The other three series have the day off and will be back in action tomorrow. Here is the ECHL Today with a preview of the game in Newfoundland tonight. https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/5/echl-today-may-11

– Long time Americans fans may remember goalie Eric Levine who played in Allen for a short time during the 2013-14 season. I had a couple of great conversations with him after practice that season. Flash forward to a couple of weeks ago when Eric played his last pro game for the Peoria Rivermen, announced his retirement and wrote a very well written thank you/goodbye letter to the Peoria Rivermen and to hockey. He captures a lot of the struggles and rewards of minor league hockey. It is a great read:  https://www.pjstar.com/story/sports/nhl/rivermen/2023/05/10/retiring-peoria-rivermen-goalie-eric-levin-writes-farewell-letter/70194868007/

DID YOU KNOW: Four current players are in the top 40 all time in ECHL playoff games played and are participating in the playoffs this season. Here is the list with playoff games and all-time rank:134: Matt Register, Idaho (1st)103: John McCarron, Florida (3rd)81: Spencer Asuchak, Allen (16th)74: Justin Vaive, Cincinnati (29th)– Here are the top six Allen players with the most playoff games played (ECHL & CHL). All won multiple championships in Allen:

  • 98 games – Spencer Asuchak
  • 76 games – Greger Hanson
  • 65 games – Chad Costello
  • 61 games – Jamie Schaafsma
  • 61 games – Tyler Ludwig
  • 58 games – Gary Steffes

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