In one of the most complete games of the season Allen earned its second road shutout last night by beating the Kansas City Mavericks 3-0 before a crowd of 2169 at Cable Dahmer Arena. Allen allowed the Mavericks just 16 shots on goal and only two in the third period. The 16 shots allowed is the second fewest in the ECHL this season. Allen also holds the top spot in shots allowed in a game which was against Wichita on January 1 when the Americans gave up just 12 shots. The two shots the Americans gave up in the third period is #2 in the league this season. The #1 spot was in the same game against Wichita on January 1st when the Americans gave up one third period shot.
– Allen out shot Kansas City in every period, they scored a goal in every period, the penalty kill was perfect (0-2), the goaltending was excellent and the power play generated a lot of shots even though they didn’t score.
– It was a great night for the defensemen as they were a big part of the shutout and scored all three Allen goals. The Americans were led by Les Lancaster who scored the first goal of the game on a rare 2-on-1 defensemen rush with Turner Ottenbreit. Nolan Kneen scored his fourth goal of the season in the second period to give Allen a 2-0 lead at the second intermission. Lancaster scored his second goal of the game and fifth of the season on another rare play in the third period, a penalty shot. It was the eighth penalty shot of the season in the ECHL and just the third successful one. Allen has two of the three penalty shot goals this season, Spencer Asuchak has the other one.
– Jake Paterson had to make just 16 saves to earn his second shutout of the season but stopped some grade A shots. Jake improved his record to 4-1-1-0 and now has the #2 GAA in the ECHL (1.79) and the #2 save percentage (.939). Not a bad effort considering Paterson was not going to start the game until the designated starter, Justin Kaplemaster, was injured when he was hit by a puck at the pregame skate. Coach Martinson told me Justin assured him he could play through the soreness but was not 100% so Martinson opted to go with Paterson. The plan is for Kapelmaster to play on Monday.
– With his two goals last night Les Lancaster is now #1 in the ECHL in goals scored by defensemen with five. Nolan Kneen, who scored his fourth goal of the season is tied for #2 in the ECHL. Matt Register didn’t have a point last night but his 17 points is tied for #1 in the ECHL. A talented group of offensive defensemen but just as important, they are a big part of the Americans having the #3 ranked team in average goals allowed at 2.38. Register and Turner Ottenbreit are both in the top ten in plus/minus for defensemen.
– Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/game-recap/americans-blank-kansas-city-behind-jake-patersons-16-saves/
– Here are the video highlights and the post game interview with Steve Martinson. If you have any problems you can finds these videos at this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4skvqPU3CGKx-vRDPCD4tA
– The Americans are back at it this afternoon (4:05 CST) for game two of five straight against the Mavericks. Jake Paterson will get the start with Justin Kapelmaster dinged up but even if he is okay to play Martinson typically gives his goalies the next start after a shutout. Jesse Mychan didn’t make the trip and Allen added forward Jared Bethune yesterday but the Americans are playing with eight defensemen and just nine forwards. Using three lines wouldn’t be a problem normally but with three games in less than 45 hours Martinson will use a couple of defensemen up front at times to try and keep everyone fresh.
– Obviously Allen scored first last night as they have in their last two games, both wins. The Americans record when they score first is now 12-1-0-0. When they don’t score first Allen’s record is 3-4-1-0. Another good start is key tonight.
– The one area where there is room for improvement is on the power play. Prior to last night, when one Kansas City player took 12 penalty minutes, the Mavericks were the least penalized team in the ECHL. They are ranked #13 now averaging 11.35 PIM per game. The Americans went scoreless last night and haven’t had a power play goal in their last four games. Allen looked good on a couple of their power plays against the Mavericks with three shots on goal but could not cash in. They may not get a lot of power play chances in the game tonight but it would sure help to convert on one or two. Coach Martinson is giving a lot of players power play time and you can expect more of that in the game today.
– Another key in the game today is controlling Kansas City’s top line. The line, led by Brodie Reid, who is leading the ECHL with 24 points, had a couple of excellent opportunities last night but Jake Paterson made great stops. The top line has almost half of the Mavericks goals this season (23 of 47). It is not reasonable to expect to hold this top line off the scoreboard completely but minimizing their damage will be key.
– Wichita beat Utah 4-2 on the road last night, Rapid City beat Tulsa 2-0 at home and Fort Wayne lost in Wheeling 4-3 in overtime. Here are the Western Conference standings by points percentage:
.750 – Wichita
.738 – Allen
.595 – Utah
.500 – Fort Wayne
.479 – Tulsa
.425 – Kansas City
.375 – Rapid City
– After just 12 shutouts in the first two months of the ECHL season there were three last night. In addition to Jake Paterson’s 3-0 shutout against Kansas City, Michael Lackey of Orlando shutout Greenville 5-0 and Adam Carlson of Rapid City shutout Tulsa 2-0. A good night for the goalies.
– San Jose Barracuda lost to Texas 5-3 last night with all three players that were in Allen to start the season dressed for the game. Zach Sawchenko was the backup goalie, Joe Garreffa had no points and two shots. Jake McGrew scored his is first AHL goal.
– Iowa played short with just five defensemen in its game last night. Allen has eight defensmen on the roster including two (Register and Beaulieu) under contract with the Wild. If Iowa is down to five healthy defensemen they have to be thinking about recalling a couple of defensemen from Allen. Iowa doesn’t play again until Saturday.
DID YOU KNOW: Allen has 25% of the penalty shots awarded in the ECHL this season and 67% of the successful penalty shots. Here are the Allen players that have had penalty shots since the Americans joined the ECHL. Prior to this season Allen had converted on three of 14 (21%) of their penalty shots. Successful penalty shots are marked with an asterisk:
2020-21 – *Spencer Asuchak, *Les Lancaster
2019-20 – Alex Breton
2018-19 – *Zach Pochiro, *Alex Breton, Adam Miller
2017-18 – Zach Hall, Zach Hall, Jonathan Lessard
2016-17 – Spencer Asuchak, *Zach Hall
2015-16 – J.P. LaFontaine, Spencer Asuchak
2014-15 – Jack Combs, Jamie Schaafsma, Gary Steffes