It was a Sunday afternoon battle for last place in the Mountain Division and the Allen Americans came out on the short end of the stick again, losing to the Wichita Thunder 2-1 before a crowd of 2399 at the CUTX Event Center. Allen has now lost four straight games and its record is 2-5-2-0 with a points percentage of .333. The Americans are last in the Mountain Division and their .333 points percentage is ranked #23 in the ECHL.


– The schedule doesn’t get an easier for Allen as it will be on the road the rest of November. First comes three games in Rapid City (17th, 19th, 20th) followed by three games in Idaho (24th, 26th, 27th). Eight of Allen’s next nine games between now and December 10 are on the road. Maybe that will be a good thing for the team to spend a lot of time together on the road.


–  Sunday’s 2-1 loss was an indication that nothing seems to be going right for the Americans. After allowing 20 goals in the first three games of this losing streak the Americans held Wichita to just two goals but managed to get only one of their own.


– Coach Martinson’s first comment when I talked to him post game was the team played two good periods but ran out of gas in the third period. Wichita’s fresher legs, the Thunder didn’t play on Saturday, showed up in the third period when Allen was out shot 18-5. In the first two periods the Americans out shot Wichita 17-16.


– It was another bad start for Allen giving up the first goal and only goal of the first period. That was not a good sign since the Americans have not won a game this season when giving up the first goal of the game (0-3-0-1). Trailing 1-0 after the first period was also a bad sign. The Americans are 0-3-0-0 when trailing after the first period.


– It looked like momentum had changed in the Americans favor when Allen tied the score 1-1 with 18 seconds remaining in the second period. Eric Roy made a “Hail Mary” pass from inside his blue line that bounced off a defenseman at the opposite blue line and sent Chad Costello in all alone. Chad made a sweet move beating the goalie five hole for his fifth goal of the season.


– As quickly as Allen gained momentum at the end of the second period they lost it at the beginning of the third period. A penalty just 12 seconds into the period and a power play goal 11 seconds later gave Wichita a 2-1 lead that it would not relinquish. If you saw the replay on this power play goal you saw how wide open the Thunder player was in the slot. That doesn’t happen without more than one player making the wrong decision. As coach Martinson said after the game, it was Hockey 101 mistakes by multiple players.


– Allen was outplayed in the third period which is obvious by the 18-5 shot margin but the Americans had a good chance to get the equalizer with a 6-on-4 power play the last 1:20 of the game. When the power play started at the 18:40 mark the shots were 18-1 in favor of Wichita. In the last 80 seconds of the game, with the goalie pulled and a two man advantage, the Americans had four shots on goal but could not get the equalizer. Martinson mentioned post game he would like to see more slap shots from the point on the power play than the team is taking.


– It has clearly been a tough start for the Americans, losing seven of  nine games to start the season is never acceptable. Things may get worse before they get better but it won’t be for lack of trying. There is going to be another roster disappointment this week, there may be a trade, new players will arrive and injured players may return to the lineup. What is known is Jack Combs is not eligible to return from injured reserve until November 20 and Darian Skeoch will miss the first game in Rapid City serving the second of his two game suspension.


– The Americans received some good news late last night. Goalie Antoine Bibeau has been reassigned to Allen from Charlotte and will arrive tonight. This will be Bibeau’s third reassignment to Allen, the first two lasted only a couple of days. Any injuries in Seattle or Charlotte could result in Bibeau being recalled so it is a tentative situation, the prize you pay for a goalie with the resume as distinguished Bibeau’s. Antoine returns to Allen tied for #3 in the ECHL in save percentage (.952).


– Ryan Lohin was Allen’s leading scorer with eight points (6G, 2A) in six games when he was recalled to Charlotte last Tuesday. The Checkers played games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and Lohin was a health scratch in all three. Charlotte has a heavier schedule than Allen right now. The Checkers have seven games in 12 days starting on Wednesday. Allen has six games in 12 days starting on Wednesday. With so many games in a short period of time you can understand why Charlotte has extra forwards. Hopefully Lohin will see some consistent game action and if not, maybe Seattle will decide it is best for his development to be reassigned back to Allen.


– Allen has now had six home games, three on Saturdays and three on Sundays. The average attendance for the three Saturday night games is 4478. The average for the Sunday afternoon games is 2187. Allen’s overall average attendance is now at 3244 which ranks them #20 in the ECHL.


– Allen’s special team stats continue to slip. The power play is ranked #17 at 17.2% (5-29). The penalty kill is ranked #23 at 73.5% (9-34).


– The hottest teams in the Mountain Division are Utah (7-3-0-0 in the last 10 games), Tulsa (5-2-0-0) and Kansas City (5-4-0-0). None of the other four teams have a winning record.


DID YOU KNOW: Eric Roy leads all Allen defensemen in average points per game at .86. Here is the ECHL Stats post from today that lists the 10 ECHL defensemen averaging 1.00 or more points per game (minimum 5 games):

1.50 – Brenden Miller, South Carolina
1.20 – *Connor Corcoran, Fort Wayne
1.18 – Charle-Edouard D’Astous, Utah
1.14 – *Patrick Holway, South Carolina
1.13 – Jordan Subban, South Carolina
1.00 – Daniel Brickley, Norfolk
1.00 – Michael Brodzinski, Orlando
1.00 – Blake Hillman, Toledo
1.00 – Noel Hoefenmayer, Newfoundland
1.00 – Tim Davison, Atlanta