There was a lot to like about Allen’s 5-3 win over the Utah Grizzlies last night before a Wednesday crowd of 1553 at the Allen Event Center (AEC). Allen scored first to improve their record when scoring first to 14-2. The Americans had a 2-1 lead after the first period and improved its record to 10-0-1-0 when leading after the first period. Allen allowed only three power play opportunities to Utah who has the ECHL’s best power play percentage and the Americans killed all three. It was the first time in the last six games Allen hasn’t allowed a power play goal.
– There is still room for improvement as Allen was out shot 36-27 and went 0-3 on the power play. Going back a month the Americans have just four power play goals in 10 games. Over that time the power play is 4-34 for an 11.8% conversion percentage. There were also too many defensive breakdowns where Utah had players all alone in front of the net and Justin Kapelmaster had to make saves he wouldn’t be expected to make.
– Goal scorers for Allen were Jesse Mychan (11,12), Samuel Laberge (7,8) and Joe Garreffa (8). Other notable contributions came from Phil Beaulieu who had three assists. Beaulieu and Ben Carroll were both a +4 for the game.
– Here is the game recap issued by the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/news/general/mychan-and-laberge-lead-allen-over-utah/
– Here is the game recap issued by the Utah Grizzlies: https://www.utahgrizzlies.com/en/grizzlies-news/allen-defeats-utah-5-3
– I had a chance to talk to coach Martinson this morning. The two themes of his comments were that the team had surges of good play but not consistently and there were too many turnovers at the wrong time that kept letting Utah back into the game. There is a lot of skill on the team right now with the players from San Jose and those just returning from after missing a few games. Americans will have a lot of depth when they head for Utah in a week.
– The Allen roster keeps changing which is no surprise given all that is happening. Yesterday Martinson released forwards Jared Bethune and Scott Conway to make room for players coming off the Commissioner’s Exempt List. Today forward Steenn Pasichnak will head back to the San Jose Barracuda. Steenn played in four games since being assigned to Allen and had no points and was -3.
– The Allen roster is now at 24 players including three goalies, eight defensemen and 13 forwards. Coach Martinson is expecting the last four guys on the Commissioner’s Exempt List to be cleared today so the team will be at full strength except for Colby McAuley who is on injured reserve. Look for additional roster changes before Allen’s next game on March 12.
– Defenseman Matt Register sat out the game last night serving the one game suspension he received in Kansas City for flipping the puck into the spectator area during a stoppage of play.
– Allen puts some distance between themselves and Utah with the win last night. Allen’s points percentage improved to .648, good for third place in the Western Conference ahead of fourth place Utah who dropped to .586. The Americans have a ways to go to catch Fort Wayne and Wichita who are tied for first place with a .722 points percentage.
– Stories about enforcers/fighters/heavy weights/tough guys are always fascinating to read. I did one on Kip Brennan years ago and they all seem to be great guys off the ice and their stories reveal there is more to fighting than dropping the gloves and going toe to toe. To hear these guys tell their stories and talk about the science of fighting, the timing of fighting and the code to fighting is very informative. Here is one of those stories written by Mark Binetti who is the Director of Communication and voice of the Rapid City Rush. His story about former Allen tough guy, Garrett Klotz, is a great read about the player but also about his role on the team: https://www.rapidcityrush.com/en/news/2021/3/the-sheriff-on-the-ice-garrett-klotz