The Allen Americans closed out their three games series against the Utah Grizzlies last night with a 3-2 shootout loss before a COVID restricted sellout crowd of 2392 at the Allen Event Center (AEC). The Americans earned five of six points in the three games against Utah, a points percentage of .833, so while the loss was disappointing the week was successful.
– The odd stat of the day has to be the fact Allen has gone extra time in eight games this season with five of them being against Utah. Prior to last night’s shootout loss the Americans were 1-0 in overtime and 3-0 in shootouts against the Grizzlies.
– The series against Utah can be characterized as good defense with struggling offense. Allen allowed just four regulation time goals in the three games but only scored seven themselves. The Americans averaged 2.33 goals per game in the series, a full goal per game below their season average. Even more concerning is that fact that only two of the seven goals Allen scored in the Utah series were scored even strength. Technically the second Allen goal last night was even strength but it was scored two seconds after a penalty expired so the player was not back in the play.
– The game last night was one of lost opportunity. Allen fell behind in the first period giving up the first goal at the 6:53 mark and that is never a good sign when you consider the Americans points percentage in games they score first is .780 (19-5-1-0) compared to .400 (5-8-1-1) when they give up the first goal. To the Americans credit they came roaring back with two goals in the first period to take a 2-1 lead at the first intermission. Utah scored the only goal of the second period to tie the score 2-2 and neither team scored in the third period. Lost opportunity was had by both teams as they each had seven power play opportunities but managed to convert on just one.
– Overtime was exciting with both teams having excellent opportunities to end the game. There were a total of nine shots on goal in the overtime. Shootouts by most statistical measures conclude they are best referred to as crapshoots or coin flips. Last night Allen went first in the shootout and missed in round one (Mackin), round three (Laberge) and round four (Lammon). Only Chad Butcher in round two was successful. Utah was successful in rounds one and four to earn the extra point and win the game 3-2. Close doesn’t count but Laberge got the puck past the goalie and it slid just wide of the post and Lammon just missed as his shot hit the cross bar.
– Goal scorers for Allen were Samuel Laberge (12) and Steven Owre (1). Here are the video highlights from the Allen Americans YouTube channel:
– Here is the game recap issued by the Utah Grizzlies: https://www.utahgrizzlies.com/en/grizzlies-news/grizz-win-3-2-in-shootout-at-allen
– After a day off today the Americans will start preparing for their next series which starts Wednesday against Kansas City as the homestand continues. It will be four games in five days against the Mavericks. Allen won the series against Utah earning five of six points. Next goal is to win the series against Kansas City and earn at least six points.
– ECHL, AHL and NHL teams have been busy signing players just finishing their college careers. Allen has recently added Tim Doherty, Chad Butcher and Steve Owre. Another recruiting resource for Martinson and other ECHL general managers is depth players on AHL teams who may be available for assignment to the ECHL because of the signing of college players. Martinson expects a player from Iowa being assigned as early as Monday. He is also talking to several other organizations about assigning players to Allen.
– Allen added two more players (Butcher & Owre) to the players used list this season and now total 45 which is just one short of the all time record of 46 players used in 2015-16. FYI the fewest number of players Allen ever used in a full season was 41.
– Defenseman Phil Beaulieu had the primary assist on both Allen goals last night and had also had a goal Friday night. Beaulieu has been moving up the list of points by rookie defenseman. He is currently ranked #6 with 14 points (3G, 11A) and is just three points from second place. When you are on a team with Matt Register (26 points) and Les Lancaster (30 points), two of the top four scoring defensemen in the ECHL it is easy to be overlooked but Beaulieu is coming on strong.
– The Western Conference standings continue to be very competitive with all teams at .500 or above. While Allen is playing Kansas City at home four times this week, Wichita will visit Utah for three games. Fort Wayne continues to do what they always do, play either Wheeling or Indy. The Komets have played 23 games this season and 19 were against these two teams. Fort Wayne’s record against Wheeling is 7-1-1-1 and against Indy is 6-2-1-0. It all continues as the next six weeks the Komets play Wheeling nine times, Indy seven times and Florida once.
– Allen’s penalty kill unit gave up a goal last night for the first time since March 21. In their last two series the penalty kill has killed 27 of 28 opportunities for a penalty kill percentage of 96.4% and have scored two shorthanded goals. The penalty killers have out scored the opponents power play units 2-1 over the last six games. Can’t ask for more than that.
DID YOU KNOW: Despite the shootout loss last night Allen still has one of the best records in the ECHL for games that go to overtime and shootouts. Here are the details: