Thursday, April 21, 2016

Allen Beats Idaho 3-1 and Take 2-1 Series Lead, Martinson Comments, Playoff Update & More

The headline in the 150 year old Boise newspaper when the Allen Americans arrived in town read, "Greedy Steelheads want home sweep over Allen Americans."  The story was well written and talked about a talented Allen team and what the Steelheads had to do to be successful but I am sure the Americans took note of the headline. You can check out the story here:

- Idaho doesn't have to worry about a sweep anymore as Allen won last night by a score of 3-1 before a sparse crowd of 2310 at the CenturyLink Arena. The Americans now lead the best of seven series 2-1.

- The Americans got the first goal of the game at the 4:44 mark of the first period when Eric Roy made a perfect pass from the corner to Greger Hanson in the slot, who rifled it home. Allen took a 2-0 lead late in the first period on a David Makowski power play goal. Idaho scored a power play goal early in the second period to cut the score to 2-1. The Americans came back late in the period with their second power play goal of the game as Matt Register scored on a shot from the point to give Allen a 3-1 lead. Neither team was able to score in the third period. You can see all of the highlights/goals by going to the "ECHL Rewind" section of the ECHL website which you can find here:

- Coach Martinson always emphasizes the importance of having offensive minded defensemen who can score and create opportunities by jumping into the play. Last night was a perfect example of this style. The Americans had a total of eight points in the game (3 goals 5 assists). The defensmen accounted for five of the eight points (2 goals 3 assists).

- Chad Costello had assists on both Allen power play goals last night and has now had at least one assist in 22 straight games. The last game Chad played where he did not have an assist was way back on February 21. While this is an all time record it won't be acknowledged as such because the streak covers both regular season and playoff games.

- The best player on the ice for Allen last night was goalie Riley Gill who stopped 37 of 38 Steelhead shots. The Americans were out shot 31-13 in the final two periods and Gill was called upon numerous times to make quality saves. Can't imagine anyone from either team that watched the game who didn't think Riley was the #1 star of the game. It is unbelievable he wasn't given any of the three stars. C'MON MAN!
UPDATE: Heard from a media friend in Boise that Riley was announced as the #3 star of the game but it got recorded incorrectly on the official score-sheet.  

- Scoring the first goal and winning the special teams battle are always keys to victory for the Americans. Last night they accomplished both. The Americans scored the first goal of the game and were 2-3 on the power play while Idaho was 1-3.

- The teams have an off day today and will resume the series Friday night at 8:10 pm Allen time.

- I had the chance to talk briefly with Coach Martinson after the game and he was obviously pleased with the win. He was happy with the excellent first period when Allen out shot 17-7 and took a 2-0 lead. He will spend time today reviewing the video and making whatever adjustments that are necessary for game four. Martinson also mentioned what a solid job Riley Gill had in goal saying, "Riley made most of the saves look routine."


- Riley Gill has allowed just two goals in is two playoff wins. He leads all ECHL playoff goalies in GAA (1.00) and save percentage (.967).

- Allen led the ECHL in power play percentage during the regular season and that has carried over to the playoffs. Allen is ranked #1 with a lofty 36.4%.

- In the odd stat category, the first three games of the Allen vs Idaho series have end with the same score, 3-1.

- Allen and Idaho have now played seven times this season and the team that has scored the first goal has won all seven games. 

- The #2 seeded Fort Wayne Komets had their backs against the wall having lost the first two playoff games at home against Cincinnati. Last night they played the first of three games in Cincinnati and the Komets certainly made a statement that losing the first two games at home doesn't meant this series is over. Fort Wayne demolished the Cyclones 8-0.

- Manchester was the #3 seed in the Eastern Conferecne but became the first team eliminated from the playoffs. They lost to Adirondack last night at home by a score of 3-0. Adirondack wins the series 4-1 and awaits the winner of the South Carolina vs Kalamazoo series to see who they will play in the second round. South Carolina is a huge favorite to beat Kalamazoo as they lead the series 2-1 and the final four games are in South Carolina.

- The other series which is close to being over is Missouri vs Quad City. The Mavericks lead 3-0 with games in Quad City on Friday and Saturday (if necessary).

-  If you are interested in the Idaho perspective of the game last night with some quotes from the Steelheads coach and players check out this article:

DID YOU KNOW:  Idaho won the Kelly Cup in 2007 and the MVP that year was Steelhead's goalie Steve Silverhorn who later (2012-13) was a member of the Allen Americans first championship team. Current Idaho defenseman Corbin Baldwin, who is out with an injury, was also a member of the 2013 Allen championship team.

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