Sunday, March 15, 2015

Allen Loses 5-3 Game Recap, Penalty Kill Struggling, Costello & Hanson Streaks Continue, Attendance #'s

There are frustrating losses and then there are very frustrating losses and for Allen the 5-3 loss to Rapid City in front of a boisterous crowd of 4592 at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center last night falls into the later category. Give credit where credit is due as the Rush came out on top in the final game of an intense three game series with the Americans. Here is a list of things that contributed to the high frustration quotient.

- Allen dominated play in the first period out shooting Rapid City 19-7 but did could not score.
- Another late period goal (1:12 remaining) gave the Rush a 1-0 lead after the first period.
- The first goal by the Rush was scored on the power play.
- There were no goals scored in the second period  (Allen has outscored opponents 95-50 in the 2nd)
- The second Rush goal was also scored on the power play at 1:01 of the third period.
- Former Allen defenseman Dallas Ehrhardt scored just his 3rd goal in two years at the 6:28 mark of the third period to give the Rush what seemed like an insurmountable lead of 3-0.
- After being held scoreless for two and a half  periods Allen was given a long 5-3 power play and scored twice in 15 seconds with Tyler Ludwig (15) & Gary Steffes (40) getting the goals .
- Gary Steffes completed the comeback and tied the score 3-3 at 11:43 with his 41st goal.
- After being held scoreless for two and a half periods Allen erupts for three goals in 102 seconds.
- After clawing their way back in the game Allen takes a penalty and gives up a third power play goal to give the Rush a 4-3 lead. 
- Allen pulls Riley Gill and Kale Kerbashian gets the empty net goal to seal the 5-3 victory for the Rush.
- Kale Kerbashian ends up with a goal & three assists and is named the games #2 star.
- Allen gives up three power play goals to the Rush in just seven opportunities. 
- Allen outshoots Rapid City 42-26 and loses the game 5-3.

- So the weekend turned out to be a bust as Allen lost twice to Rapid City, failed to clinch a playoff spot twice, lost the overall points lead in the ECHL to the Florida Everblades and gets to spend the better part of Sunday traveling the 1058 miles back to Allen. Things won't get any easier when the Americans return home as they take on another team battling for a playoff spot, the Wichita Thunder, at the Allen Event Center on Tuesday and Wednesday.

- Steve Martinson's post game comments to me were so short it doesn't warrant a separate heading today. Experience has shown that the shorter coach Martinson's comments are after the game the more frustrated he is with the outcome. His comment last night was concise and to the point, "Bad penalties and bad penalty killing." You would have to admit that sums up the game pretty well.


- Mentioned yesterday how the Allen penalty kill is still ranked #3 (86.5%) in the ECHL despite struggling for a while now. For much of the season Allen was #1 with a 90% kill percentage. Last night was certainly a low point for the penalty kill giving up three power play goals in just seven opportunities. Over the last month the penalty kill has given up 15 power play goals in 67 power play opportunities for a penalty kill percentage of 77.6%. As a comparison the lowest season long ECHL penalty kill percentage is owned by Stockton at 76.5%. All you have to do is look at who is not around to kill penalties and it makes some sense. Brian McMillin, Spencer Asuchak, Ian Schultz, Jesse Messier, and Rylan Schwartz. All of the forwards Allen has lost were penalty killers. With the decline of the Americans effectiveness on the penalty kill it will be imperative for Allen to reduce the number of penalties they are taking. Allen still leads the ECHL in average penalty minutes per game at 23.29.

- With the loss last night Allen still leads the season series with Rapid City 6-4 with two final games coming up in Allen (April 9th & 10th). These will be the last two games of the season for Rapid City and they will most likely be critical to playoff seedings.

- Of the ten games Allen has played against Rapid City this year the one last night was unusual in a lot of respects. It was the most shots (42) Allen has had against the Rush and it was the second fewest shots (by one shot) Allen has allowed to Rapid City all year. It was only the second time Allen has had two power play goals and it was the first time Allen has given up three power play goals to Rapid. It was by far the most penalty minutes (55) taken against the Rush this year but it was also the most penalty minutes (28) the Rush took against Allen all year.

- Some streaks were kept alive last night as Chad Costello had an assist and has the longest current point scoring streak in the ECHL as he has a point in the last eleven games. Greger Hanson had an assist to extend his current road point scoring streak to twelve games.

- South Carolina continues to roll as they beat Gwinnett 6-0 last night at home to set a new record for the longest win streak in the ECHL's 27 year history. It was the 18th consecutive victory for South Carolina but they are still in third place in the East Division, seven points behind division leading Florida.

- Jack Combs had an assist last night on a goal with one second remaining in the game to give Stockton a 2-1 victory over division leading Idaho. Jack is now tied for second in the ECHL scoring race. His 67 points trail first place Chad Costello by 31 points.

- On Wednesday the Brampton Beast held a meeting with season ticket holders they called the "State of the Franchise Address" with the purpose of providing season ticket holders with an update on a number of hockey and business related topics including player transactions, game day productions and the future direction of the franchise. They emphasized their commitment to Brampton and the financial benefits of moving to the ECHL which made a big difference in giving the team more stability. The meeting included an opportunity for season ticket holders to ask questions. This type of meeting with season ticket holders sounds like a best practice that some other teams could learn from.

DID YOU KNOW: The Brampton Beast has the largest year over year average attendance increase of any team in the Central Division. Here is the change in average attendance from 2013-2014 to 2014-2015 through games played last night.

+307 - Brampton
+262 - Tulsa
+68   - Quad City
+25   - Wichita
-133  - Allen
-225  - Missouri
-630  - Rapid City

1 comment:

  1. Love your last comment. I think ours could benefit as well. *hint* *hint*