It was only the first of 72 games for Allen and you can’t read anything into one game but there is no way to sugarcoat the poor performance by the Americans in their 5-1 defeat in Kansas City last night. The game had a familiar ring from last season with shots being one sided and losing the special teams battle. For good measure the Americans also gave up the first goal of the game, something they did in both preseason games against the Mavericks last weekend.
– The Americans were out shot in all three periods, 11-7 in the first, 21-9 in the second and 11-5 in the third for a total 43-21. You won’t win many games when your opponent takes twice as many shots.
– Allen lost on special teams going 0-3 on the power play and giving up two power play goals to Kansas City. The Americans were 2-6 (66.7%) on the penalty kill.
– Allen gave up the first goal of the game which statistically gave them only a 20% chance of winning the game. The first goal was even more predictive around the ECHL last night. There were six games in the league last night and the team that scored first won five of the games, the sixth lost in overtime. After opening night the ECHL the first goal record is 5-0-1-0.
– Here is the press release issued by the Americans recapping the 5-1 loss to Kansas City, https://allenamericans.com/americans-fall-in-season-opener/
– The loss to the Mavericks was the worst opening night loss in team history from a goal differential perspective losing by four goals but the worst opening night loss in team history is still the 9-6 loss at home on opening night in 2014-15. However, the Americans went on to win the Kelly Cup that season.
– How bad are the stats for the Americans after one game? Only 12 teams played last night, here is how the Americans rank.
Power Play – last (tied)
Penalty Kill – second from last (tied)
Goals For – last (tied)
Goals Against – last
Shots For – last
Shots Against – last
Plus/Minus – last
– Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored Allen’s lone goal to tie the game in the first period. He was assisted by Alex Breton and Thomas Frazee. The game got out of hand in the second period as Kansas City scored three unanswered goals and out shot the Americans 21-9.
– The Americans took the short trip (200 miles) to Wichita after the game where they will take on the Thunder tonight (7:05 pm). Wichita played at home last night and beat Idaho 3-2 in a shootout.
– Allen split 12 games with Wichita last season but have dominated the Thunder since the teams joined the ECHL back in 2014. The Americans overall record against Wichita is 39-10-4-3 and when the teams have played in Wichita the Allen record is even better at 20-5-1-2.
– Here are three keys to victory against Wichita tonight.
1. Get off to a good start. Score the first goal and/or win the first period. Wichita had 17 shots in the first period last night against Idaho, Allen had seven against Kansas City. There can’t be that kind of gap tonight.
2. Eliminate neutral zone turnovers which turn into shots for the opponent. Allen had 21 shots in their opener while Wichita had 42. That ratio has to be different tonight for Allen to be successful.
3. Win the special teams battle. Wichita didn’t have a power play goal against Idaho (0-4) but they also didn’t allow one (0-4). Allen was 0-3 on the power play but allowed Kansas City two power play goals (2-6). Allen needs to stay out of the penalty box. In their first three games (two preseason & one regular season) the Americans have had 12 power play opportunities but have given up 20 to their opponent. That is not a winning formula.
– The referee scheduled for tonight is Jacob Rekucki (#20). The linesmen will be Chris Provost (#50) and Chuck Schamel (#97).
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS
“I thought we had good puck possession in the first period but we didn’t get enough shots on net.”
“Our power play just wasn’t smart, we have some work to do there.”
“After the first period we were just outplayed, pure and simple.”
– Other than the Allen blowout loss to Kansas City there were some tight games around the league last night. Newfoundland was at home for their first game for the new franchise and beat Florida 3-2, Toledo won 4-3 in overtime on the road in Greenville, Fort Wayne won 3-1 in Indy, Wichita beat Idaho at home 3-2 in a shootout and Rapid City lost 4-2 in Utah. There is a full slate of games (13) on tap in the ECHL tonight.
– It is only one game but the ECHL penalty minute leaders are David Makowski (20 minutes) and Bryan Moore (10 minutes). Makowski had five minor penalties (two roughing, slashing, high sticking, tripping) and a 10 minute misconduct. Moore was given a 10 minute match penalty for slew-footing.
– There were three shorthanded goals in the six games last night. Greenville, Utah and Toledo all tallied a shorty. If that pace were to continue all season there would be 500 shorthanded goals. In reality there will be around 250 shorthanded goals in the ECHL this season.
– The Allen Americans AHL affiliate the Iowa Wild beat the Texas Stars at home 4-3 in a shootout last night to remain undefeated. The Wild are now 3-0.
– For those on Vincent Arseneau watch he was a healthy scratch for Utica (AHL) again last night as his team lost 4-3. Arseneau has sat out all three Utica games thus far. As a reminder Allen has his ECHL rights so if Utica decided to assign him to the ECHL it would be to the Americans.
– After the frustrating Allen loss last night how about a throwback commercial from a Finnish hockey team.
DID YOU KNOW: Impressive opening night attendance in the ECHL. There were six games played with an average attendance of 7230. Congrats to all the hard working sales & marketing staffs and to the fans for their great support.
10,037 – Greenville Swamp Rabbits
9530 – Wichita Thunder
6875 – Utah Grizzlies
6287 – Newfoundland Growlers
5800 – Kansas City Mavericks
4856 – Indy Fuel