I want to start with the good news this morning. Coach Martinson, goalie Frank Marotte and forward Dawson Butt have all cleared COVID protocol and are on their way to Idaho. Hopefully they will arrive in time for practice today and will definitely be able to join the team for Thanksgiving dinner tonight.
The Americans lost to the Idaho Steelheads last night by a score of 4-2 before a Wednesday night sellout crowd of 5095 at the Idaho Central Arena. With the loss Allen’s record has fallen to 4-7-2-0 with a points percentage of .385. The game was close and the Americans played well considering the circumstances but moral victories don’t mean much when it’s Thanksgiving and your team is one of four in the ECHL with a points percentage below .400.
– Allen got off to a good start, scoring the first goal of the game early in the first period (3:48) when Gavin Gould scored his fourth goal and seventh point in the last two games. Scoring first is usually a good sign as about 75% of the time the team that scores first will win, but not the case for Allen this season. The Americans have scored first in seven of their 13 games but have gone on to lose five of the seven.
– After Allen took a 1-0 lead, Idaho scored three unanswered goals before Tyler Poulsen scored his first goal of the season to close the gap to 3-2 after the second period. Try as they did, Allen could not get the game tying goal in the third period. Idaho scored an empty net goal with 56 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
– I say it was a moral victory because the Americans were playing without their coach, two contracted goalies (Bibeau & Marotte), Jack Combs who leads the team in points per game (1.40) and defenseman Eric Roy who had six points in seven games before missing the last four games. Allen was also missing Chad Butcher, Branden Troock, Dawson Butt and JD Dudek.
– Allen held Idaho to 28 shots, way below Allen’s average in shots allowed (36.85) but the Americans managed just 23 shots, below their average of 26.77. Allen is now ranked #26 in average shots taken per game and #27 in shots allowed. The shot differential (shots for minus shots against) is the worst in the league at -10.08.
– Allen had a power play midway through the third period but managed just one shot on goal. The Americans were 0-3 on the power play, Idaho was 1-3.
– Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-lose-tight-battle-in-idaho/
– Here is the game recap from the Idaho Steelheads: https://www.idahosteelheads.com/en/articles/steelheads-soar-over-americans-4-2-in-third-straight-sellout
– The Americans will practice today and have a team dinner tonight before playing Idaho again Friday and Saturday. Allen will have to generate more offense, do better on special teams and reduce turnovers if they expect to win. With some reinforcements arriving and Martinson back behind the bench the Americans should be in better shape for the weekend.
– The ECHL current streak list has Allen players in every category. Ryan Lohin (currently in Charlotte) is #2 on goals scored list at three games. Gavin Gould is #1 with a five game assist streak and Spencer Asuchak is #4 with an eight game point streak.
– Newfoundland won its seventh straight road game last night beating Adirondack 6-3. The Growlers points percentage is .846 way ahead of second place Fort Wayne (.654). In the history of the ECHL just one team has ever finished the regular season with a points percentage above .800. In 2001-02 the Louisiana IceGators points percentage was .806 on a record of 56-12-4.
– Only two ECHL teams have won more than six of the last 10 games. Newfoundland is no surprise at 8-2-0-0 but the other is not so obvious. The Utah Grizzlies have a record of 7-3-0-0 in the last 10 games.
– The top four point scorers (see below) in the ECHL this season have a combined 83 points. That is more points than three ECHL teams have; South Carolina (66), Tulsa (77) and Atlanta (82).
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