*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.
Who would have thought that at the 0:37 mark of the first period the ice would be covered in teddy bears? Over 5,000 bears were collected and the lives of many children will be a little brighter this holiday season. Thanks to all the fans who brought and tossed a bear(s) for 2 great charities.
(photos courtesy of ScenebyKimberly)
Amazing, simply amazing! Allen would score 4 goals on 4 shots in the first period sending Utah's goalie Chris Rawlings to the bench. Now that is what we call a strong start! The Americans tamed those Grizzlies right from the start and they would not see much life for the entire game. Other than peppering our goaltenders for a total of 44 shots, these bears only managed to get 3 past Joel Rumpel or Riley Gill.
- Allen's first goal of the night was scored by Ian Schultz receiving a perfect centering pass from Chad Costello who stole the puck from the Utah defense deep in their own zone
- The second goal came after a pass from Aaron Gens to Chad Costello who found Garry Steffes on the doorstep of the Utah net at the 1:45 mark of the first
- Allen would score again when Rick Pinkston directed the puck coming off the boards to Tristan King who found Costello streaking across the mouth of the goal (3:14 mark also a power play goal and no, Chad was not naked)
- Chris Crane scored his first goal on a rebound from a shot by Justin Courtnall at the 4;08 mark
- Utah would score next on a power play on a slapshot by Eric Knodel from the upper half of the left face off circle (7:15, 1st period)
- Utah would strike again when Jacob Poe was checked off the puck in the left corner of the Allen zone. The puck then bounced to Alex Krushelnyski who scored unassisted from 15' just to the right of Joel Rumpel (6:16 of second)
- Less than a minute later, Costello scored his second goal. Some fierce forechecking by Pinkston and Gary Steffes allowed Ian Schultz to control the puck. Schultz then centered the puck to Costello who went top shelf over the outstretched glove of the Utah goalie Taran Kozun. (6:59 of second)
- The first goal of the third period was scored at the 6:27 mark by Chris Crane set up by a shot from the left point byAyrton Nikkel into traffic in front of the net. The assist by Nikkel was his first professional point. Congratulations Ayrton!
- Sparked by desperation and behind by 4 goals, Utah pulled their goalie with over 5 minutes remaining in the game. Costello found the empty net at the 15:24 mark shooting the puck three quarters length of ice from just inside the Allen blue line. This completed the "hat trick" for Chad and was his 5th point of the night.
- Utah closed out the scoring with just one minute left in then game when Jon Puskar scored off a pass from Matt Berry
This win puts Allen back in sole possession of second place in the Western Conference and fourth place in the ECHL. With his 5 points, Costello regained the league lead in total points and increased his league leading assists to 21, 6 ahead of his nearest competitor. Allen equaled their season game high goal total of 7. By scoring 7 times with just 18 shots on goal Allen scored on almost 40% of their shots (38.88%).
(photo courtesy of Lauren Lyssy)
Coach Martinson's post game comments: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSapf7nZa-g, you may have to copy and paste into your browser)
- first three goals were scored by one line
- our goalies made some big saves
- defense struggled under pressure
- need to work hard on hold ups to give defense more time to get out of the zone
- Riley working hard, is in good shape
- 6 power plays are too many, our top 2 penalty killers were out tonight (Stevenson, Zabotel)
- some things we need to work on to get the puck out of our zone more quickly
- missed Stevenson in the line up, he's a hard working glue guy
- when we score goals not getting rebounds - one reason why SOGs lower, but still not good
(photo courtesy of Dianne Webster)
Correction to 12/5/15 blog: We stated that we were meeting Utah for the final time, whereas that information was incorrect as we meet them again on Feb. 5th at the AEC. Thanks to Madison Shields for bringing this to our attention.
Did you know: The Toronto Marlies of the AHL had an odd goaltender in uniform for their game Friday night. Faced with only 1 active goalie, Dave Ayres signed a 1 day contract as an emergency backup goalie. Ayres is a 38 year old operations manager who serves on the ice crew and drives the Zamboni for Marlies home games,