Proving they can win low scoring games as well as high scoring games the Allen Americans defeated the Missouri Mavericks 3-1 before a small (3475) Sunday afternoon crowd at the Allen Event Center. Allen opened the scoring at the 13:31 mark of the first period when Rylan Schwartz deflected a Kevin Young shot past Mavericks goalie Mike Clemente and the Americans would never relinquish the lead. Ian Schultz gave Allen a 2-0 lead early in the third period but Missouri came right back and cut the lead to 2-1. The game wasn't decided until Jack Combs backhanded a shot into an empty net to seal the 3-1 victory at 19:41 of the third period.
When the Allen versus Missouri rivalry was intensified this summer after Richard Matvichuk was named head coach of the Mavericks everyone was looking forward to the match ups between the two coaches that brought back to back championship to Allen. Don't think anyone would have imagined Allen would be 6-0 against Missouri at this point of the season and 21 points ahead of the Mavericks in the standings. With only three more games yet to be played Allen is assured of winning the season series with the Mavericks.
Allen has the longest current winning streak in the ECHL (six games) dating back to December 31 and also the longest current home winning streak (7 games) dating back to December 20.
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- I put up some numbers in the locker room which shows our record after the 3-3 start at the beginning of the season is 22-2-1-2. I thought I would throw that out to the guys as we have a lot of players having banner seasons, the team is doing well, the goal tending is doing well, special teams are doing well so it has been a great year thus far.
- The players will have tomorrow off and on Tuesday we will start getting ready for Wichita who we play on Friday and Saturday.
- It is kind of a broken record but we need work on our power play. I spent time looking at power play video today as we will continue to work on that at practice. When things aren't working you have to simplify and just get pucks to the net with traffic in front. That is one area where we need improvement. Skill works after you have gotten some shots but if all you do is try and make plays from the start it is easier to defend. You have to use your skill after you have picked up a rebound or you have the other team running around a little bit.
- It was nice to win a low scoring game as we did tonight. You always like to win a game 5-1 but I prefer winning 3-1 rather than 7-3. We gave up some odd man rushes early in the game as sometimes we gamble and cheat because we have such good goal tending.
- Aaron Dell should be ready to go for practice on Tuesday and will be back for the weekend. He could have been the back up for tonight's game but it didn't make any sense to take a chance.
- Jack Combs and Chad Costello each had two points in the game last night and extended their ECHL points lead once again. It is now Combs (56 points), Costello (54) and third place Adam Pleskach (41 points).
- Another split last night in former CHL teams playing older ECHL teams as Brampton lost to Reading 6-2 and Wichita beat Evansville 4-3. The overall record for the former CHL teams playing outside their division is now 5-16.
- There were no power play goals scored by either team last night as they were both 0-4. The Mavericks have not scored a power play goal all season against the Americans going 0-29.
- Tyler Barr played his first game for Allen and made his presence known with some big checks early in the game. After making an overnight drive to Laredo to get his immigration papers in order he was obviously playing on adrenaline. Barr will be wearing #24. Known for his physical play Tyler has averaged one fight for every three games he has played in his junior and professional hockey career.
- Another great game for Riley Gill saving 39 of 40 shots for his nineteenth victory of the season. Riley is ranked #5 in GAA (2.33), is #3 in save percentage (.922) and is #1 in wins (19).
- With their recent win streak Allen now has a win percentage of .803 and trail Florida by just .003 for the best win percentage in the ECHL. The Americans have 53 points and lead the Central Division standings by eleven points, the Western Conference standings by six points and are behind only Fort Wayne (55 points) in the entire ECHL.
- Dave Gens was in Allen for the last couple of weeks visiting with and watching his son (Aaron) play and is driving back home to Baudette, Minnesota where the temp this morning is -20 and that is not wind chill, that is air temp. Dave already knows half the season ticket holders in Allen as a life long minister he relates to everyone. Five of his six children played hockey including son Matt who also played professionally. Dave has spent a lot of time traveling around the country watching the children play hockey and is cherishing watching Aaron, the last of the kids playing hockey, have such a great season.
DID YOU KNOW: Chad Costello has at least one point in the last 15 home games dating back to November 16 and in those 15 games has 32 points.