|Anybody seen the puck? - photo by Dianne Webster|
Fans of the Allen Americans know based on past history that any win on a specialty jersey night is a good win. Even though the Americans didn't play their best hockey, they came away with a much needed two points by defeating the Cincinnati Cyclones 3-2 last night. It was the largest crowd of the season at the Allen Event Center (AEC) as 5631 enthusiastic fans watched Allen get down 2-0 and then score three unanswered goals for the come from behind victory.
Cincinnati got on the scoreboard exactly one minute into the game when a shot missed the net and caromed off the end boards right to Andrew Yogan who tapped it in the net. The Cyclones would take a 2-0 lead midway through the first period and it appeared the specialty jersey jinx was on. Allen got one back at the 14:13 mark on a great play by Nolan Descoteaux to score his first goal of the season. He intercepted an errant Cincinnati pass as he was coming out of the penalty box, skated the length of the ice and fired a shot that trickled past the goalie. Allen had numerous turnovers, took three penalties and were out shot 9-3 in the first period so being down 2-1 was a pretty good outcome.
Allen would tie the game early in the second period on a power play goal by Chris Crane (6) who was at the goal mouth and tipped in a pass from David Makowski. Just 18 seconds after the Crane goal Justin Courtnall would get the game winner when he deflected in a shot from the point by Mike Gunn. It was Courtnall's second goal of the season and first since October 17th.
|Justin Courtnall with the game winner - photo by scenebykimberly.com|
Any time you go down in a game 2-0, have only 15 shots on goal, get out shot 27-15, give up six power play opportunities and come away with a victory it has to be a good night.
It was also great to see a couple guys like Descoteaux and Courtnall step up and lead the team to victory. Nolan Descoteaux had a goal and an assist to be selected the #1 star of the game. Justin Courtnall had the game winning goal, lead the team in shots and was selected the #2 star of the game.
No rest for the weary as it will be a short turn around before game two of the series this afternoon. Puck drops is at 4:05 pm.
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- I didn't like how we started out in this game. I will have to look at the tape but we had way too many turnovers in the first period that led to shots. We were out shot 9-3 in the period but the three power plays they had factors into that.
- Pierro-Zabotel did well for his first game back. He hasn't skated much because of his injury and we were gone. He is just a steadying influence for us.
- We didn't play our best tonight but we came up with some plays when we had to, our goalie out played their goalie and we won the game.
- I would expect a better effort tomorrow afternoon from our top players.
- Tristan King is still out and will not play this weekend.
- Eric Roy had a power play goal for Lake Erie tonight. To get a goal in your second AHL game is pretty good.
- Dyson Stevenson had his 10th fight of the year last night and held his own against Jeremy Gates, who is two inches taller and 25 pounds heavier than Dyson.
- Asked Nolan Descoteaux to describe his first goal of the year which was a big goal. Here is what he had to say, "Their guy tried to pass to a defenseman and missed him and it came right on my stick as I was coming out of the box. It was a three on one with Pierro-Zabotel on my left and Costello was the late guy coming. I looked up and saw Casey and heard Costello coming behind me. I was looking left at Zabotel the whole time and then I peeked right at the last second and saw a lot of space so took the shot. The puck trickled in on its own so I didn't have to touch it when I got to the net. It was good to see that one go in the net especially coming right out of the penalty box. Sometimes coming right out of the box you can be in the dog house if you go right to the bench. It was good to get one on the board there."
- Players say that sometimes it is hard to get in a rhythm when you have so much time off between games. That may have been the case with the slow start last night. Look for a better game from the Americans this afternoon.
- Greger Hanson was a healthy scratch for the San Jose Barracuda last night as they lost to Iowa 2-1 in overtime. Hanson has now been a healthy scratch in the last five San Jose games. When this happens to players that are non-contracted and on a tryout agreement (PTO) it usually means they will be returned to their ECHL team. As much as it would be great for Greger to stay in the AHL it has to be frustrating when you don't get to play.
- Joel Rumpel and Riley Gill will split the next two games in goal.
- Would assume coach Martinson will be pleased there will be a new officiating crew for the game this afternoon. The referee scheduled is Stephen Reneau (#17) and the linesmen will be Erik Contino (#92) and Mitch Macpherson (#48).
- It was quite the game in Colorado last night as the Eagles handed Missouri just their fourth regulation loss of the season beating the Mavericks 5-3. The game had a little bit of everything from a shorthanded goal, power play goal, empty net goal, and a goalie fight. It wasn't much of a fight but they met at center ice and were ready to go. They were both tossed with nine minutes left in the game.
- You can check out all of the highlights from last night including the goalie fight, the Stevenson fight and all of the goals by going the ECHL website and finding the "ECHL Rewind" section. http://www.echl.com/
|Justin Courtnall had the game winner and highest bid in the auction - photo by Lauren Lyssy|
- Here are the results of the specialty jersey (Shriners Hospital for Children) auction from last night. Probably not the most popular of jerseys from some of the comments I heard, from they should call the team the Allen Killer Bees to these look like the throwback McDonald's jersey.
Arseneau $375 Zabotel $350 Gens $500 Makowski $375 Federico $275 Parker $300 Courtnall $650 Thrush $300 Hanson $375 Pinkston $400 Costello $500 Nikkel $250 Crane $450 Stevenson $475 Steffes $400 Gill $550 King $350 Lafontaine $325 Gunn $325 Descoteaux $300 Poe $275 Rumpel $425 Belfour $225 Halabi $ 275 Schultz $300 Doremus $200 Roy $325
DID YOU KNOW: After last night's penalty filled game against Colorado, the Missouri Mavericks are no longer the least penalized team in the ECHL. Missouri now averages 10.14 penalty minutes per game but have been edged out by Indy who averages 10.08 per game.