Allen fans got a glimpse of what could be last night as the Americans beat the Wichita Thunder. There were a lot of fans (4960) who saw a lot of goals (7) in what was easily the most entertaining game of the year as Allen beat Wichita 7-3 and that doesn’t count a disallowed goal that was clearly in the net.
– It was an all around effort for 60 minutes in every facet of the game. Allen scored first, had a first period lead (2-0), outshot the Thunder (38-33), took fewer penalties than Wichita (4-5) and won the special teams battle. When the defense did break down, goalie C.J. Motte came up big time and time again.
– Allen was led in scoring by Zach Pochiro who had four goals in the game. His goals included a power play goal, a penalty shot goal and a goal that the Wichita defense put in their own net. Zach now has 21 goals in 34 games and is on pace to score 40 goals.
– The other goals scorers for Allen were Riley Bourbonnais who scored his seventh goal of the season with eight seconds remaining in the first period to give Allen a 2-0 lead, Dante Salituro who got his seventh goal of the season which was a shorthanded goal and Mitch Maloney, his third goal of the season. Braylon Shmyr scored a goal but it was disallowed as both the referee and goal judge did not see it cross the goal line.
– Here is the game recap issued by the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/pochiro-and-americans-rout-wichita-7-3/
– Here is the game recap issued by the Wichita Thunder: https://www.wichitathunder.com/news/press-release/thunder-closes-road-trip-with-loss-at-allen.html
– Here is an almost seven minute highlight package that includes the goals and some great goalie saves. At the 3:50 mark of this video you can see the disallowed goal clearly cross the goal line. It is a good thing the missed goal did not impact the outcome of the game.
– After the game coach Martinson and Jack Gulati met with the season ticket holders. Here are some of their comments:
“The team put on a good show tonight and there is a lot more left for tomorrow. Tonight you saw Allen Americans hockey”…..Jack Gulati
“It is good to be in a good mood, as I said to the players after the game it was a lot more fun and we did it before a big crowd. We want to win, we want to entertain and we want to make you proud of what we are doing”…..Steve Martinson
“Jake Doty is trying to get someone to fight but has not been successful and Gogol had a couple of good hits in the first period”…..Martinson
“It is a good thing the no goal call wasn’t the difference in the game. It is tough for Shmyr who scored the goal”….Martinson
“I didn’t like Wichita’s last goal and on two of their goals they had players all alone in front of our net. Tonight was a night we scored enough goals to overcome our mistakes but we have to be better than that”…..Martinson
“A couple of times we turned the puck over at the blue line trying to make a play that wasn’t there and one of them led to a goal”…..Martinson
“I think it helped tremendously we had this week to practice and work on things. You can show video of mistakes but you have to practice the right way to do things and that was the focus this week. We worked on getting pucks in, back pressure and better gaps by our defensemen. You can talk about things until you are blue in the face but you have to practice to get better”…..Martinson
“You have to learn from your mistakes and get better. I think we got better this week and we have to continue to get better”…..Martinson
Jack Gulati had this to say about a question he was asked about what he would say to the naysayers who question Steve Martinson’s coaching this season. With tongue firmly in cheek Jack said, “When I arrived in Allen on Tuesday I was thinking about that a lot and decided Marty has over stayed his welcome and he has to go. But then I remembered we already bought a 1000 bobble-heads of Marty and thought what in the hell would we do with them. So I can’t fire him, he has job security.” Needless to say it was the biggest laugh of the night and it was great to see everyone enjoying a laugh.
“Jack ended his conversation with a heartfelt comment that says it all, “Marty is my friend and Marty is my coach.”
ALLEN VS WICHITA REMATCH PREVIEW
– Both teams jumped on their buses right after the game last night for the 360 mile trip to Wichita where they will have a rematch tonight (7:05 pm).
– It was great to see the energy in the win last night. Having time off to rest and practice this week was obvious in Allen’s performance. The Americans have a chance to win two games in a row tonight which would be only the second time all season they have won consecutive games.
– Special teams was key in the game last night as the Americans scored a power play goal and held the best power play unit in the ECHL scoreless (0/2). The penalty kill unit not only did not give up a goal they also contributed a shorthanded goal. Winning the special teams battle will be necessary again tonight.
– Allen has some clean up to do on defense. On two of the Wichita goals last night there were Thunder players all alone behind the defense. Dalton Thrower, who sat out last night serving a one game suspension will be back in the lineup tonight.
– Defenseman Etienne Boutet, who was acquired in the trade with Orlando for the rights to Olivier Archambault, has been released from his tryout agreement (PTO) with Stockton (AHL) is on his way to Allen. He will not arrive in time for the games with Wichita.
– Allen still hasn’t put a winning streak together but there is no doubt they are starting to play better hockey. They are 4-4 over their last eight games. The Americans still have a ways to go to win consistently and they have a very tough schedule upcoming with the next eight games on the road with two in Wichita, three in Idaho and three in Tulsa. It would be great if Allen could go 4-4 over the next eight games. When these eight road games are completed the Americans will have only five road games remaining the rest of the season compared to 20 home games.
– With his four goals last night Zach Pochiro joins Greger Hanson (February 10, 2017) and Jack Combs (December 10, 2014) in the Allen four goal club. Zach now has 21 goals which is already more than last season when he finished with 18 goals.
– Before last night’s offensive outburst Allen had only score six goals once and five goals twice all season. You have to go back to March 10, 2018 to find the last time the Americans scored seven goals and that was a road game in Utah. You have to go all the way back to December 27, 2017 to find the last time Allen scored seven goals at home. That game was also against Wichita.
– I was talking with Rick Gosselin in the press box last night about all things Allen Americans and he asked if the Allen win against Kansas City when Steve Martinson was suspended would count toward toward his career wins. By the end of the game Rick had contacted the ECHL and they confirmed the win would count towards Martinson’s 1000 win journey. The win last night was Martinson’s 988th.
– Zach Pochiro’s penalty shot was the first this season for Allen. Zach beat the odds when he scored on his penalty shot as only nine of 24 (37.5%) penalty shots this season have been successful. You have to go back to February 17, 2017 for the last time Allen had a successful penalty shot. It was another Zach that time as Zach Hall scored on a penalty shot against Indy. The goalie for Indy was an Allen alumnus, Jake Hildebrand.
– The Mountain Division came out on top last night in their battle with the Central Division. Idaho beat Toledo 4-3 in a shootout, Kansas City beat Cincinnati 7-6 in a shootout and Utah beat Wheeling 3-0. The Central Division still has a big lead in inter divisional play with a record of 21-7-1-3.
DID YOU KNOW: Zach Pochiro joined some unique company when he passed the 20 goal mark last night and before the season is over he could be challenging the 40 goal mark. Here are the 20+ goal scorers in each season, a who’s who of Allen Americans hockey:
31 Bruce Graham
23 Nino Musitelli
23 Justin Bowers
33 Colton Yellow Horn
21 Jarret Lukin
20 Dave Bonk
20 Judd Blackwater
24 Yellow Horn
20 Jim McKenzie
24 Jamie Schaafsma
22 Darryl Bootland
21 Scott Howes
28 Jonathan Lessard
25 Alex Lavoie
21 Spencer Asuchak
21 Greger Hanson
20 Tyler Ludwig
44 Gary Steffes
41 Chad Costello
22 Jack Combs
21 Chris Crane
27 Bryan Moore
20 Alex Guptill
21 Zach Pochiro (after 39 of 72 games)