*Please note while Barry's name remains at the bottom of this blog, he is on vacation and the information/views posted in his absence do not reflect Barry's views or the views of the Allen Americans organization.
(Photos courtesy of ScenebyKimberly)
When Trevor Ludwig scored, assisted by Aaron Gens and Greger Hanson, 58 seconds into the first period, it appeared it would be a great night at the AEC. The Stingrays snatched that great night away less than 3 minutes later on an unassisted goal by Andrew Rowe. That was not the clincher as Stingray's Wayne Simpson, assisted by Michal Cajkovsky and Andrew Rowe, flashed a puck past Riley Gill, on an odd man rush, to gain the lead at the 6:19 mark of the first period. And the Stingrays were not done yet, as Wayne Simpson, assisted by Scott Ford and Derek DeBlois would strike again 4 minutes 31 seconds later.
Allen would fight to come back in the second period when Gary Steffes,on a rebound, buried the puck in the net at the 14:23 mark to reduce the South Carolina lead to 1. Allen would tie the game, 1:43 into the 3rd period on a beautiful goal by Spencer Asuchak, assisted by Greger Hanson and Dyson Stevenson. Unfortunately, that would not be enough, as Allen gave up the game winner, a short handed goal by Sean Dolan at 11:30. Their top scoring line proved tonight why they are the best in the league.
South Carolina won their 4th consecutive opening playoff game. Both teams have identical records for the second playoff game with each notching two victories. However, Allen must be aware that the Stingrays are the ECHL's best road playoff team (9-1-1-0).
- As stated in the previous blog, Stingray's Rowe and Simpson must be held at bay. Rookie DeBlois is also a threat on this line.
- Special teams have to perform. Allowing odd man rushes and short handed goals will not win a playoff game. Although Allen was only on the penalty kill for 6 minutes, the PK unit must remain effective. The Stingrays were in the box for 8 minutes where Allen took advantage and scored on the PP, this must continue.
- Have to get more pucks to the net, the SOGs last night were 24-Allen, 23-Stingrays. Both teams can and will score, so the more attempts, the greater the chance that goals will be scored
Coach Martinson's post game comments:
- on the positive side, they are definitely beatable
- need more guys in the battle, did not get enough from the top guys tonight
- defense and goaltending need to be better
- painful to tie up game then allow short handed goal
- not a best of one, we need to pull up our socks and play hard next game
- our young guys were good, we all need to be better on Tuesday, as the guys that were not strong tonight must rebound
- Clarke was good tonight, made their defense look around
- our top defense was not ready for their top scoring line
- got to have confidence, have to make them earn goals
- nobody is looking for a game 7, have to win here then go into S.C. and win
- we outplayed them beginning shortly after the 10 minute mark of the first period, were not giving them many scoring chances
- we weren't smart or tough enough on their goals
- not worried about O/T as format is different in playoffs (5 on 5)
- top guys have to be top guys and they weren't, have to be smarter, have to bring our "A "game
Attendance for the game was 4042 which is almost 800 over the playoff average of 3284. Another boisterous, rowdy crowd on a Sunday afternoon. Let's bring more on Tuesday to make the Stingrays' "SEA RED".
Did you know: Stingray's rookie Derek DeBlois had an AHL callup from none other than our affiliate, Worcester Sharks. He played four games and scored one goal.