When the Idaho Steelheads scored the first goal of the game last night 50 seconds into the second period you could hear a collective groan from Allen Americans fans. Scoring first has proven prophetic every time Allen and Idaho have played this season (eight times) and it was so again last night as the Steelheads beat the Americans 3-1 to even the best of seven series 2-2. To make matters worse the first goal was a shorthanded goal on a play that started with a clean face off win by Allen in the Idaho zone. Riley Gill made the initial save but Idaho's Kyle Jean was trailing the play and put in the rebound.
- Allen tied the score 1-1 at the 16:53 mark of the second period when Tristan King scored his first goal of the playoffs. King made a nice deflection of a Vincent Arseneau shot from the point. Chad Costello also had an assist on the goal to extend his assist streak to 23 games.
- Just over a minute into the third period a neutral ice turnover led to the to the game winner for the Steelheads. Idaho added an empty net goal to make the final score 3-1.
- Scoring the first goal and winning the special teams battle seems to be great predictors of the outcome of most games. Last night Idaho accomplished both. While both teams struggled on the power play with Allen going 0-4 and Idaho going 0-5, the shorthanded goal by the Steelheads proved to be the difference in the game.
- It is often said one of the best things about losing in being able to do something about it quickly and the Americans will have that chance less than 24 hours after the defeat. The teams play game five tonight with puck drop scheduled for 8:10 pm Allen time.
- It has worked for eight straight games so it is not going out on too big of a limb to say whoever scores the first goal tonight wins the game.
- Referees scheduled for the game tonight are Andrew Wilk (#24) and Mike Sheehan (#11). The linesmen will be Scott DeBaugh (#67) and Andrew Wetzel (#81).
- I didn't have a chance to talk to coach Martinson after the game. To be honest I was at the Dallas Stars game to watch them lose in overtime to the Minnesota Wild in a game that didn't get over until midnight. Martinson's quote in the Americans press release about the game was, "We made a couple of big mistakes and it cost us. Giving up that shorthanded goal really hurt, and our power play didn't do anything to help us."
- Here is a recap of the game from the Idaho Statesman with plenty of quotes from coach Neil Graham. http://www.idahostatesman.com/sports/nhl/idaho-steelheads/article73502952.html
- The Americans have out shot Idaho in three of the four games in this series including in both of Allen's losses. For the series Allen has out shot the Steelheads 131 -113.
- The number three seems to be a magic number when Allen plays Idaho. In seven of the eight games they have played this season, one of the teams has ended up with three goals and of course all four of the playoff games have end with a final score of 3-1.
- Some interesting results in playoff action around the ECHL last night. Missouri beat Quad City 4-1 to sweep that series 4-0 and now awaits the winner of the Allen vs Idaho series. The Mavericks will have a week off before their next game. Fort Wayne beat Cincinnati 3-2 in double overtime to tie the series 2-2. The road team has won all four games thus far in that series. In what could be a huge upset in the making, the #8 seed Reading Royals beat #1 seed Toledo in Toledo by a score of 5-3 to take a 3-2 series lead. Game six takes place Sunday in Reading.
- The San Jose Barracuda lost the first game of their best of five series against Ontario last night. The score was 2-1 and the game was played in San Jose. Game two is tonight in San Jose. The final three games of the series will be in Ontario next Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. Nikita Jevpalovs, who is playoff eligible for Allen, had the only goal for San Jose in a losing cause. The lone assist on Nikita's goal went to goalie Aaron Dell.
- Here is a great article about Colton Yellow Horn who played in Allen from 2009-12 and was one of the most exciting players to watch in team history. This story is about Colton traveling the world playing hockey. http://www.ammsa.com/publications/windspeaker/yellow-horn-seeing-world-getting-paid
DID YOU KNOW: Three years ago last night Allen lost game six of the Central Hockey League (CHL) semi-finals to the Missouri Mavericks by a score of 6-2. Three years ago tonight the Americans beat Missouri in game seven by a score of 7-3. Brian McMillin had the first and last goals of the game and Todd Robinson also had two goals. Allen went on to meet Wichita in the final which also went to seven games before the Americans won the CHL championship with a 3-2 overtime thriller.