The game was very different than the Allen wins on Friday and Saturday. There were more goals (9), more penalty minutes (61) and more fighting majors (6) than in any of the seven games Allen and Wichita have played this season.
Goal scorers for Allen were Costello (16), Crane (11), Courtnall (3), Stevenson (5) and Steffes (12). Allen had to come from behind twice (1-0 & 2-1) and then took a 4-2 lead before allowing Wichita to comeback and tie the score 4-4 with less than five minutes left in the game. The game winner came with 3:16 left in the game when Gary Steffes scored a shorthanded goal.
Allen has quietly scored points in seven straight games (5-0-1-1), closed the gap to first place Missouri who still has a commanding 13 point lead, and widened their second place lead over Tulsa to 11 points (Tulsa has played five fewer games). The Americans next four games are against the Oilers (two home, two away) and these four games will go a long way in deciding if Tulsa can challenge Allen for second place in the Central Division.
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- I thought we made some great plays tonight and created a lot of opportunities. Crane's goal was beautiful with his drive to the outside while he was being held.
- The first period was terrible as we ended up with just two shots on goal. We spent too much time trying to pass the puck to guys that were covered instead of shooting the puck and go for the rebound.
- We picked it up after the first period and obviously that was a big play by Hanson and Steffes on the shorthanded goal after the two goals we had to witness by Wichita to tie the game 4-4.
- Now we have to get ready for Tulsa as those are four really big games coming up with them. I expect King will be back by the weekend. I could probably play him on Tuesday but it is better he gets some skating in during practice so will wait for the weekend.
- I put Riley Gill on the 21 day injured reserve effective to the date of his injury (1/17). He will be eligible to return for our trip to Alaska.
- We now have a back up goalie, who just arrived today from the SPHL, by the name of Peter Di Salvo. I always believe in playing percentages and I didn't believe the percentages were in our favor to go two and a half months with one goalie. After going with just Gill for six weeks when Rumpel was hurt I decided we needed a back up goalie.
- I am not sure if Makowski will get a suspension. I will ask the league to look at that entire shift because a lot went on before the penalty call.
- It is no coincidence the Americans have had two shorthanded goals this weekend and Greger Hanson had an assist on both of them. Hanson owns the single season shorthanded goal record (shared with Spencer Asuchak) for Allen as he had five shorthanded goals last season in just 55 games. Greger turns the penalty kill into an offensive weapon and the shorthanded goals scored by Crane on Friday and Steffes last night are directly attributable to Hanson's aggressiveness when he kills penalties.
- Reid Halabi had his first fight since arriving in Allen and acquitted himself quite well against Thunder tough guy, Paxton Leroux. Halabi gave away five inches to the much taller Leroux but he is always fighting guys that are bigger than him.
- There were several great plays that led to goals last night. Aaron Gens made a super pass to Chad Costello to put him in alone for his power play goal. Crane's goal was a great individual effort, J.P. Lafontaine made a great pass on the Dyson Stevenson goal and Greger Hanson made a great play on the Steffes shorty. Take the time to go to the ECHL website and watch the video highlights which include all of the goals and the three fights along with the call of Tommy Daniels. You can find the highlights under the "ECHL REWIND" section. Here is the website: http://www.echl.com/
- David Makowski's scoring streak (six games) ended last night but Chad Costello had a goal to extend his scoring streak to seven games. Chad has scored in 11 of the last 12 games and in the last 12 games has 21 points (5 goals 16 assists). Chris Crane has a four game goal streak and in those four games he has eight points (5 goals 3 assists).
- Had a question about why there are now 75 second timeouts during the game. I checked with one of the off ice officials and was told the ECHL dictates the timeouts during each period and the teams have been given the choice of three 60 second timeouts or two 75 second times outs. The Americans chose the 75 second timeouts.
- Here are some photos of the game courtesy of our great photographers:
|Chad Costello power play goal - photo by Lauren Lyssy|
|Reid Halabi lands a punch|
|Guys on the bench cheering on Reid Halabi on fight night - photo by Lauren Lyssy|
|Wichita captain Ian Lowe was checked into the Allen bench - photo by Lauren Lyssy|
|Another view of the Costello goal - photo by Dianne Webster|
|Cris Crane with the snipe - photo by Dianne Webster|
|Synchronized defense, a group effort - photo by Dianne Webster|
|Wichita's Logan Nelson scores 1st goal of the game - photo by scenebykimberly.com|
|Logan Nelson with his second goal - photo by scenebykimberly.com|
DID YOU KNOW: With just two shots in the first period last night, Allen has tied the ECHL record for the second fewest shots in a period this season. Allen also holds the #1 spot as they are the only team in the ECHL that has been held to one shot in a period this season. That happened back on December 13 in the first period against Idaho.