In their first five games of the season Allen gave up a total of one goal in the first period. When Wichita scored two goals last night in the first four minutes of the game you could tell it spelled trouble. When the Thunder took a 3-0 lead in the first period the game was essential over as the Americans could never recover. Allen got to within two goals a couple of times before Wichita pulled away to beat the Americans 7-2 before a crowd of 2215 at the Allen Event Center. It was a disappointing/embarrassing  effort by Allen who had their four game winning streak snapped. Wichita won for the third time and is now the only undefeated team in the ECHL.

 

– The teams headed for Wichita right after the game where they will continue their three game series tonight at at 7:05 pm CST. The only good thing about the 7-2 loss is the Americans don’t have to wait long to do something about it.

 

– If there was any good news in the game stats it was the Americans managed to put 40 shots on goal but the flip side is they allowed Wichita 46 shots. Allen is now ranked #12 in average shots allowed per game (37.33). Only Wichita is worse (38.33).

 

– The good news is Allen scored a power play goal. The bad news is they were 1-8 including a 5-on-3 that they couldn’t convert. The lone power play goal was offset by the Americans giving up their first shorthanded goal of the season to give Wichita a 3-0 lead which turned out to be insurmountable.

 

– Goal scorers for Allen were Corey Mackin (2) and Joe Garreffa (3). Here are the video highlights:

 

– Here is the game recap issued by the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-say-goodbye-to-2020-with-a-loss-to-wichita/

 

– Here is the game recap issued by the Wichita Thunder:  https://www.wichitathunder.com/news/echl-news/big-win-in-allen-on-nye.html

 

– I had a chance to check in with coach Martinson this morning and he said the trip to Wichita went fine and they arrived without delay. Allen will be playing with the same lineup tonight and will have an EBUG, Thomas Hodges, for both games in Wichita. C. J. Motte is out of the lineup sick (not COVID for those that have been asking).

 

– Martinson was in the process of going through the video of the game last night in preparation for the game tonight. Puck possession and turnovers kept coming up in our conversation. As you might expect he was not pleased with the performance last night.

 

–  If the Americans expect to turn things around tonight they obviously have to get off to a better start. In their first five games they outscored their opponents 6-1 in the first period. Good starts have been elusive against the Thunder. Wichita has scored the first goal of the game the last seven times they have played Allen.

 

– The special teams edge went to Wichita last night. They were 1-7 on the power play and also scored a shorthanded goal. Allen managed a power play goal (1-8) but missed on a 5-on-3 and must take better advantage of what most likely by plenty of power play opportunities. The referee scheduled in Wichita will be Logan Gruhl who was the referee in Allen last night.

 

OTHER COMMENTS

– I get asked about COVID all the time as it relates to the Allen Americans. They are one of a few teams playing that has not placed anyone on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. It should be noted there is no requirement a player who has tested positive for COVID be placed on the exempt list. The advantage is you don’t have to count a player against the roster or salary cap if they are on the exempt list. As long as a player can fit on the roster and within the salary cap there is no need/requirement they be put on the exempt list. The bottom line is just like all of the teams that have had players test positive and be placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, the Americans have also had players test positive, they just haven’t been place on the exempt list.

 

– It is all hands on deck as Allen is playing with every healthy player this weekend. You can expect numerous lineup changes for next weekend when Allen heads to Rapid City for three games. Dyson Stevenson, Samuel LaBerge, Phil Beaulieu and the top line center coach Martinson has talked about recently should all be available.

 

– Allen’s next home games, another three games in three days series against Wichita, is January 15, 16 and 17. By then the AHL plans will be in place and more roster changes, both additions and subtractions, are to be expected. As I have mentioned before coach Martinson is already in the process of lining up players to accommodate whatever transpires over the next two weeks.

– There were four games in the ECHL last night. Here was the attendance:

2215 – Allen
2169 – Kansas City
1300 – Utah
1019 – Wheeling

 

– There are only three games slated for the ECHL tonight. In addition to Allen at Wichita, South Carolina is at Greenville and Rapid City is at Utah. Here is the ECHL Today with a preview of the games:  https://www.echl.com/en/news/2021/1/echl-today-jan-1

 

DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans New Year’s Eve (NYE) game has become a tradition. In 2009-10 Allen played on the road and in 2015-16 they did not play on NYE but every other season they have played at home. The Americans NYE fortunes have changed recently culminating with the 7-2 loss last night. In their first seven NYE games Allen was 7-0. Since 2017-18 the Americans are 0-4.  Here are the NYE results:

2020-21 – Lost to Wichita at home 7-2
2019-20 – Lost to Idaho at home 6-5
2018-19 – Lost to Tulsa at home 3-1
2017-18 – Lost to Wichita at home 4-2
2016-17 – Beat Utah at home 8-4
2015-16 – Did Not Play
2014-15 – Beat Rapid City at home 5-3
2013-14 – Beat Wichita at home 5-3
2012-13 – Beat Quad City at home 4-0
2011-12 – Beat Laredo at home 3-2
2010-11 – Beat Tulsa at home 10-1
2009-10 – Beat Wichita on road 3-1