The Colorado Eagles beat the Allen Americans 3-1 last night before a crowd of 5001 at the Budweiser Events Center. It was the sixth straight win for the Eagles and the eighth road loss in the last ten games for the Americans.
The game was the seventh and final time these teams play during the regular season with the Eagles taking the series 4-3. Colorado outscored Allen 22-15 in the series and out shot the Americans 210-193.
- The game last night was well played by both teams including great goalie play by Allen's Riley Gill and Colorado's Clarke Saunders. There was no scoring until the third period. Colorado scored 25 seconds into the third when Sean Ringrose tipped in a Kyle Ostrow shot. The Americans would strike back in less than five minutes on the power play as Casey Pierro-Zabotel buried a pass from Chad Costello for his 12th goal of the season. The teams remained deadlocked until the 12:49 mark when Ringrose made a nice pass from the corner to Kyle Kraemer who was unprotected coming up the slot. Kraemer, who was a college teammate of Chad Costello, made no mistake and scored the game winner. Colorado got a late empty net goal to make the final score 3-1. The game was much closer than the final score thanks in a large part the the play of both goalies.
- Riley Gill was playing in his first game since the middle of January and showed no rust whatsoever. He will be called on again this afternoon when the Americans take on the Rapid City Rush.
- Take a look at the highlights at echl.com and pay particular attention to the save Colorado netminder Clarke Saunders made on Vincent Arseneau early in the second period. It was a great glove save at a critical point of the game. Here is how Saunders described the save: "It was kinda a broken play. The guy had the puck there and bobbled it, so to be honest, I tried to whack it away from him and I happened to put it right on a guy's stick back door. I kinda had to make that save because I am the one that passed it to him. You just throw your hand up in the right spot and he probably didn't get it as high as he'd like. You just say 'wow that was neat' and move on like everything else."
- Reid Halabi along with Colorado's Curt Gogol got their money's worth for one altercation with 12 seconds remaining in the first period. They each took penalties for fighting (five minutes), head-butting (match penalty) and leaving the players bench (game misconduct). A suspension will be added which will be announced today by the league.
- Tristan King sustained an upper body injury and will not play today in Rapid City.
- Luckily coach Martinson brought extra players on the road trip. With King and Halabi out, J.P. LaFontaine and Mike Gunn will be in the line up this afternoon in Rapid City.
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- The team played hard but the game came down to Colorado capitalizing on one more mistake than we did.
- The goalie play by both netminders was really good. Riley Gill played great after being out of the lineup for over a month.
- Their game winning goal was tough to watch after we played so hard.
- I was really disappointed in the play where Tristan King was injured. It looked to me like their player tripped King way after he passed the puck and then purposely drove King's head into the ice. I thought it should have been a match penalty.
- With Halabi and King out we will play seven defensemen and nine forwards in Rapid City tomorrow. I don't anticipate moving a defenseman up front unless we need to.
- Allen continued their league leading special teams play. They were 1-3 on the power play and improved their #1 ranking to 21.6%. The Americans killed all four of Colorado's power play opportunities to improve their #1 ranked penalty kill to 87.3%.
- The battle for the fourth seed in the Western Conference tightened last night with Allen losing and the three teams right behind them getting points. Here is how the battle for the fourth seed stands with points, games remaining and record in the last ten games.
69 points: Allen - 15 games remaining (4-4-1-1)
68 points: Cincinnati - 15 games remaining (8-1-0-1)
67 points: Utah - 14 games remaining (4-3-1-2)
64 points: Colorado - 16 games remaining (7-3-0-0)
61 points: Tulsa - 16 games remaining (4-6-0-0)
- Joel Rumpel did not get his first AHL start yesterday as he served as the backup to Aaron Dell who got the start. The Barracuda lost to Bakersfield 3-2. The teams play again this afternoon (3:00 pm PST) so maybe Rumpel gets the start today.
ALLEN VS RAPID CITY GAME PREVIEW
- The game today (4:05 PM MST) will be the fourth and final time Allen will meet Rapid City in the regular season. The Americans were victorious in the three previous meetings winning in Rapid City on November 6th (4-1) and November 7th (7-2). In the only game at the Allen Event Center the Americans prevailed 3-1.
- Here is how Allen and Rapid City match up:
ALLEN RAPID CITY
Team Record 32-20-3-2 (69 points) 23-28-3-3 (52 points)
Division Ranking 2nd - Central 4th -West
Conference Ranking 4th - Western 12th - Western
League Ranking 4th 17th
Last Game 3-1 L (Colorado) 3-2 L (Fort Wayne)
Goals For 173 138
Goals Against 163 168
Power Play 21.6% (47/218) 15.9% (31/195)
Penalty Kill 87.3% (28/220) 86.7% (24/180)
- Here is how Allen and Rapid City rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:
Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 3rd (16.56) - Rapid City 12th (14.74)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 12th (3.04) - Rapid City 26th (2.42)
Goals Allowed per Game: Allen 15th (2.86) - Rapid City 17th (2.95)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 27th (27.74) - Rapid City 28th (25.39)
Shots Against Per Game:14th (29.93) - Rapid City 22nd (31.70)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 1st (21.6%) - Rapid City 19th (15.9%)
Penalty Kill Percentage; Allen 1st (87.3%) - Rapid City 2nd (86.7%)
- A couple of interesting things from the stats above. Allen and Rapid City have the two best penalty kill percentages in the ECHL. On the flip side they are the two worst teams in the league in generating shots on goal.
- Rapid City beat Fort Wayne 8-2 on Friday night but were out shot 30-18.
- Officials scheduled for the game this afternoon are referee Andrew Wilk (#24)
and linesmen Dylan Pepper (#77) and Cade Bloomenradar (#91). It will be the third Rapid City game in a row for this officiating crew. In the game last night (Fort Wayne beat Rapid City 3-2 in OT) Wilk called just two penalties in the entire game and they were both against Jamie Schaafsma.
- Don't forget you can watch ECHL TV today so you can take in the Allen vs Rapid City at no cost. Get all the details and sign in from echl.com.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Thanks to Charlie for today's question.
Q: When is the ECHL trade deadline and will Allen be making any trades?
A: The ECHL trade deadline is next Thursday (March 10) at 3:00 pm EST. It is difficult to know if Allen will make any trades but you can be assured coach Martinson is actively involved in talking to teams around the league about potential trades. If he can improve the team he certainly will. Keep in mind to get good players you have to give up good players. Another thing to keep in mind as the trade deadline approaches is the Americans still have the possibility of getting a player from Brampton as part of the trade that brought Reggie Traccitto to Allen and sent Jonathan Parker to Brampton. If you recall, Allen received future considerations in that trade which could be another player. Finally, coach Martinson has to think about what players he might be getting assigned from San Jose as the playoffs approach. Lot's of moving pieces as the trade deadline approaches.
DID YOU KNOW: The Colorado Eagles scored the first goal in all seven games against Allen this season. Allen has the best record in the ECHL when scoring first but has scored first in only 28 of their 57 games.