Thursday, February 12, 2015

Allen Wins 5-3, Game Recap, Martinson Comments, ECHL Playoff Question Answered & More

The Allen Americans took on Ontario last night in the second of back to back games trying to avoid a second loss to the Reign. The game started out eerily similar to the 4-1 loss on Tuesday night. Ontario got an early goal (3:39) by the same player (Mike White) who scored the first goal on Tuesday. Just as they did in the first game the Reign got a shorthanded goal. It was one of those crazy goals that happen in hockey. The Ontario player (Maxim Kitsyn) forced a turnover in his defensive zone during the power play and cleared the puck from inside his blue line. The rolling puck made its way down the length of the ice and went in between Gill's skate and the post.

- What made the difference in the game last night is each time Ontario would take the lead early in the first period Allen would respond. After the White goal to make the score 1-0, Ian Schultz answered just 67 seconds later with his nineteenth goal of the season. When the Reign got the shorthanded goal at 7:02 of the first period to make the score 2-1, Allen answered right back with a goal by Kyle Follmer (6) just 90 seconds later. The Americans showed why they are the highest scoring team in the ECHL by adding two more goals by Josef Fojtik (3) and Greger Hanson (14) to make the score 4-2 at the end of the first period.

- After the unfortunate shorthanded goal in the first period Riley Gill shut down the Reign in the second and third period as they out shot Allen 30-14 but could only manage one power play goal. If you recall, Riley recently shared the advice he still remembers his dad giving him when he was young which was to quickly forget bad things that happen during a game. Gill certainly took his dad's advice last night as he was outstanding after the shorthanded goal.  Allen got the only goal of the third period when Tyler Ludwig got his twelfth goal of the season on a five on three power play to make the final score 5-3.

- The split with Ontario was important to show that the top Central Division teams can compete with teams outside the division. Allen finished the season 2-2-1-0 in the five games outside the division. Not the record they were hoping for but the victories were against  two of the best teams in the league (Toledo & Ontario) and all five games were on the road. The Americans know if they play their brand of hockey they can beat any team in the league.

- Talking to Steve Martinson after the game he was happy to get the victory especially after the strange start with another early goal allowed and the shorthanded goal. The team responded well after both of the early Ontario goals with four goals of their own in the first period. Martinson liked the balanced scoring with all three lines contributing goals. Some of the calls during the game were frustrating but the Americans ended up with a five on three goal in the third period. Coach Martinson singled out Kyle Follmer as a player having a strong game (1 goal, 1 assist, +2).

- Four different players had two point nights (Steffes, Costello, Fojtik, Follmer) and Costello with two assists increased his league leading point total to 73. He has a 20 point lead in the scoring race.

- For Ontario the loss last night was only the third time they have lost a game in regulation after scoring the first goal which they have done 27 times this year.

- Allen was out shot by Ontario 39-27 but that is a good thing as the Americans kept their streak alive of never having lost a game in regulation when they are out shot by the opponent. On the season they are now 12-0-1-1 when being out shot. Hard to figure that stat out.

- Another odd stat is Ontario had more shorthanded goals (2) than power play goals (1) in the two games against Allen. In the 19 homes games prior to playing Allen, Ontario had not scored a single shorthanded goal.

- For the two games Allen was 3-15 (20%) on the power play and the penalty kill unit killed 12-13 (92.3%). For the season Allen has the #4 ranked power play (21.3%) and the #1 ranked penalty kill (89.7%).


 - Two former Allen Americans were involved in transactions yesterday. Charles Lachance (2013-2014) was waived by Tulsa and claimed by the Missouri Mavericks. The Mavericks are closing in on 50 different players on the roster for the year. Steve Kaunisto (2011-2012) was traded by the Rapid City Rush to the Florida Everblades.

- In the only other Central Division action last night Quad City beat Missouri 3-2. Quad City remains in second place in the division, 18 points behind Allen.

- Ty Rimmer, who played for Quad City last year and is with Bakersfield this year announced yesterday via twitter that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer two weeks ago, had the tumor surgically removed and is on his way to a full recovery.  Best wishes to the 22 year old netminder, hope to see him back in goal soon.

- Before the Allen vs Ontario game yesterday a news conference was held to unveil the new logo when Ontario joins the AHL next season. They will still be called the Reign but will have a new logo and uniform  reminiscent of their NHL parent club (LA Kings).

The AHL Ontario Reign logo and LA Kings inspired jersey

- With all of the movement in establishing the AHL Pacific Division it is hard to keep everything straight. The NHL Calgary Flames bought the ECHL Stockton Thunder and moved the franchise to Glens Falls, NY to replace the AHL Adirondack Flames which are moving to Stockton. Yesterday the new ECHL team in Glens Falls unveiled name, logo, and color schematics. The team will be known as the Adirondack Thunder.

The ECHL team in Glens Falls, NY has new name & logo

- Had a question about the sequencing of playoff games knowing they will all be seven game series. Here is the answer courtesy of the ECHL Director of Communications. "All playoff series are 2-3-2 unless both teams agree otherwise or limited date availability at an arena requires a deviation. Any change to the 2-3-2 format requires approval by the ECHL."

- The Americans do not arrive back home until this evening. Tomorrow they will start preparing for back to back, home and home games against Wichita this weekend, the first of which is at the Allen Event Center on Saturday.

DID YOU KNOW: With a win at home on Saturday Allen will match the number of wins they had at home for the entire season last year. The Americans current home record is 19-3-1. Last year the Americans home record was 20-10-3.

1 comment:

  1. Great job Allen. Might have to stream the replay on that game.