One of Rapid City coach Daniel Tetrault’s post game quotes, “You’ve got to burn that film and move on” best describes how Allen dominated the Rush last night. The Americans beat Rapid City 4-1 before a crowd of 3675 at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Allen didn’t pull away until the third period but the dominance started from the opening puck drop. The Americans had 20 shots on goal in the first period but managed only one goal. The game was tied 1-1 after the first period. After a scoreless second period the Americans exploded for three goals in the third period outshooting the Rush 15-3.
– The final tally showed Allen with two even strength goals, a power play goal and a shorthanded goal for a 4-1 victory while outshooting Rapid City 46-22.
– Allen struggled in the first two games of the series scoring even strength goals. They had twice as many last night (2) as combined in the first two games (1).
– Allen’s special teams played a key role in the win. Allen’s power play goal (scored by Chad Butcher) was the sixth straight game the Americans have scored a power play goal. In the three game series against Rapid City the Allen power play was 50% (4-8). The penalty kill was perfect again (0-3) and has not allowed a power play goal to Rapid City in the last 10 games. Allen’s penalty kill percentage against Rapid City this season (11 games) is now 97.4% (1-39).
– The odd stat of the day is Allen’s penalty kill unit has outscored Rapid City’s power play unit in the 11 head to head games 5-1. That’s right, Rapid City has one power play goal in the 11 games but Allen has five shorthanded goals. The Americans have seven shorthanded goal this season with five of them coming against the Rush. Rapid City has allowed the most shorthanded goals (11) in ECHL.
– The goal scorers for Allen were Corey Mackin (20), Scott Conway (5), Les Lancaster (14) and Chad Butcher (3). Steve Owre and Mackin both had two assists. Here are the video highlights from the Allen Americans YouTube channel:
– Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-score-three-in-the-third-to-beat-rapid-city/
– You don’t get to see game recaps written by the local newspaper very often. Here is the story from the Rapid City Journal with a complete story of the game including quotes from coach Tetrault, great photos and a slide show. This is worth the read: https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/rush-s-winning-streak-snapped-as-allen-special-teams-aid-in-4-1-win/article_4e52c79a-5951-50e5-bed8-7d053ff58621.html
– I had a chance to catch up with Steve Martinson this morning just before the team headed back to Dallas on an early flight (6:00 am departure). Here are some of his comments:
“We played the way we are capable of playing last night both offensively and defensively. Jake Paterson was good in goal.”
“We didn’t shoot the puck as well as we could with too many pucks right at the goalie. We dominated the first period with 20 shots but came away with only one goal.”
“We will have a light practice on Monday before we play Wichita on Tuesday.”
“Zane Franklin will be ready to go by Tuesday.”
“Dyson Stevenson should be back in the lineup sometime this week.”
– Allen’s power play is up to 19.7% and is ranked #2 in the ECHL. The road power play is now the best in the ECHL at 22.9%. Over the last 11 games the power play has scored at least one goal in 10 of the 11 and the power play percentage is 28.6% (14-49).
– Jake Paterson still hasn’t qualified for the ECHL official stats because a goalie now needs 900 minutes to qualify and Jake has played 788 minutes. If Jake was qualified (he will be soon) his .928 save percentage would rank him #2 in the ECHL. FYI, #1 is former Allen goalie Jake Hildebrand (.929) and #3 is former Allen goalie Evan Weninger (.926).
– The top four teams in the Western Conference standings (Fort Wayne, Wichita, Allen, Utah) all won last night and the bottom three (Rapid City, Tulsa, Kansas City) all lost.
– After the win last night Allen’s record in the last 10 games (7-2-0-1) is the best record in the ECHL. The only other ECHL team with seven wins in their last 10 games is Wichita (7-3-0-0). It should be a great game when Wichita comes to town on Tuesday.
– With his goal (shorthanded) and assist last night Les Lancaster, who is playing hurt, extended his scoring lead among all ECHL defensemen. Les has 37 points, two more than second place Samuel Jardine (Greenville) and four more than third place Matt Register. Lancaster now has 14 goals, three more than Willie Raskob (Indy). No other ECHL defensemen have more than seven goals.
– You may have noticed Conner Bleackley, who was traded to Indy on Tuesday, was suspended by the team to retain his rights. What I understand is Conner decided to go home rather then continue to play pro hockey. Bleackley’s stint in Allen was disappointing for the former 1st round (23rd overall) NHL draft pick. He was on a 22 game goal scoring drought when he was traded. Even though he wasn’t scoring Bleackley played hard every shift, finished his checks, never was afraid of contact and created plenty of opportunities. Since turning pro in 2016-17 Conner has played for five AHL teams (some were loans) and Indy would have been his sixth ECHL team. If this is the end of his playing career I am sure it has to be disappointing at some level given the potential others saw in him. I was hoping to do a story about Conner after the pandemic but it will now be another story that won’t get told. It is also a reminder of what a tough occupation pro hockey at the ECHL level can be. I am sure all Allen fans wish Conner the best no matter whatever endeavor he pursues inside or outside of hockey.
DID YOU KNOW: Allen’s average attendance this season is down 2178 per game from last season which is better than most teams. Losing an average of 2178 fans per game is a big hit but seven ECHL teams have lost even more revenue from ticket sales. Here is the post from ECHL Stats today: