If you didn't stay up for the end of the Allen Americans game last night and and just saw the final score was a 4-1 victory over the Rapid City Rush with no goals allowed in the third period it would sound like a great game by the Americans. Anytime you can get a victory on the road it is a great game but there is plenty of room for improvement as Allen prepares to play Rapid City again tonight. Allen scored three goals in less than three minutes early in the first period to chase Rush goalie Danny Battochio and quiet the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center crowd of 3433. Despite giving up numerous power play chances to Rapid City the play of goalie Riley Gill allowed Allen to maintain their led even as they were out shot by the Rush 19-4 in the third period. For his efforts Gill was named the #1 star of the game. All four goals for the Americans came from the top line as moving Ian Schultz to the line with Chad Costello and Jack Combs proved very successful. Not only did they score all four goals (two each by Schultz and Combs) they were all +4 for the game.
STEVE MARTINSON POST GAME COMMENTS:
- The Schultz, Costello, Combs line played very well. They had four goals tonight but could have had eight.
- We are taking too many bad penalties. You can play tough, finish your checks and not take penalties and that is what we have to do. Players have to move their feet and take the body and not take all of the stick penalties like tripping, slashing and hooking.
- I thought we should have had a few more power plays in the game.
- Riley Gill played well in goal especially in the third period when Rapid City had so much power play time and out shot us 19-4.
- Allen only had three power play opportunities in the game and did not score however they still lead the ECHL in power play efficiency at 38.5% (5 for 13).
- The penalty kill unit allowed only one goal as the Rush were one for ten in the game. Allen had twelve minor penalties in the game which is the most by any team in the league thus far this season.
- Allen now leads the league in average penalty minutes per game at 26.67.
- As coach Martinson had predicted during training camp this team should not have any trouble scoring goals, while the key will be team defense. Allen is ranked #1 in the ECHL in average goals per game having scored fifteen goals in three games for a 5.0 goals per game average. However, on the flip side, the Americans rank #26 in average goals allowed at 4.33. Interestingly the four worst teams in the ECHL in average goals allowed come from the old CHL teams (Tulsa 4.25, Allen 4.33, Brampton 4.33 and Missouri 4.67.)
- Allen should play relaxed in the rematch against Rapid City tonight (Saturday) having won last night but in order to sweep the Rush they will have to do a much better job in avoiding penalties.
- Allen is now 2-0 on the road and 0-1 at home. In the two road victories they have not allowed a goal in the third period. Allen has always been a good road team as evidenced by the fact that they have a better road record than home record in the last five years.
- The struggles continue for the seven new ECHL teams to win games against the older ECHL teams. Last night Quad City lost to Cincinnati 3-2 and Brampton lost to Elmira 3-2 in overtime. These teams play each other again tonight. The overall record of the seven new ECHL teams against the older ECHL teams now stands at 1-6-1.
- It was a good night for several players that have moved on from last year's championship team. Darryl Bootland had a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist & a fight) to help Colorado to victory, Alex Lavoie had a goal as his Florida Everblades won and Kale Kerbashian had the game tying goal in the third period and assist as his Evansville IceMen lost in a shootout.
- Former Allen teammates Dallas Ehrhardt who is now with Missouri and Charles Lachance who is now with Tulsa had a go last night and fought each other to a draw as Missouri won the game 4-3 in overtime.
- Adam Pleskach had all three goals for Tulsa in their 4-3 loss to Missouri and now leads the ECHL in goals scored with seven goals in only four games played.
- If the ECHL stats are accurate Kale Kerbashian has only taken three shots in the first three games he has played for Evansville and scored on all three to lead the league with a 100% shooting percentage. Impressive!
- Talk about a good penalty kill unit, the Toledo Walleye are still at 100% having not allowed a goal in 26 short handed situations over six games.
DID YOU KNOW: Darryl Bootland leads the ECHL in penalty minutes with 49 in just six games. If he keeps up that pace for the entire season he would accumulate 587 penalty minutes and smash the ECHL single season penalty minute record of 512 set by Rob McCaig in 1995-1996.