The struggles continued for the Allen Americans last night as they lost to the Alaska Aces 4-3 before a crowd of 4881 at the Allen Event Center. The Americans have lost four of their last five games and their record has fallen to 4-5. They are now in fifth place in the Mountain Division.
- Slow starts, defensive breakdowns and an ineffective power play have plagued the Americans recently and it was the case again last night. Alaska had a 3-0 lead by the 13:28 mark of the first period on a shorthanded goal, a power play goal and an even strength goal. An inspired third period by Allen was not enough to overcome the 3-0 deficit. The Americans out shot Alaska 14-6 in the third and came within one goal a couple of times but could never get the score tied.
- Matt Willows put Allen on the scoreboard at 3:38 of the third period with his third goal since joining the Americans three games ago. Greger Hanson got the Americans back in the game with his fifth goal of the season at 9:39 on a great Chris Crane pass from behind the net. With the score 3-2 and half the third period remaining, it looked like the possibility of another patented come from behind win by Allen until Alaska scored an empty net goal at the 18:43 mark to take a 4-2 lead. Not giving up, Allen scored an extra attacker goal just 19 seconds later as Eric Roy blasted a shot from the point past a screened goalie. Though they were able to apply some pressure in the last minute of play, time ran out and Alaska came away with a 4-3 victory.
- The power play futility continued last night as the Americans were 0-4 to see their power play percentage fall to 5.4% which ranks #25 in the league. Allen has only converted on 2 of 37 power play opportunities. For a team that has used the power play as a big advantage it is very frustrating to see it become a disadvantage thus far this season. Needless to say the power play will break out at some point, it is just a matter of when that will happen.
- Derek Mathers and Alaska's Mackenze Stewart were given game misconduct penalties for leaving the penalty bench and getting involved in an altercation. There was some confusion as to whether the penalties they were serving had expired. If the league rules the players did in fact leave the penalty box illegally they could get as much a a five game suspension. Here is how the rule reads, "The first player to leave the penalty bench for the purpose of starting an altercation shall be suspended for five games." The second player to leave the penalty bench shall be suspended for two games. This should be resolved one way or another before the game today. If Mathers ends up being suspended for more than one game it would mean he misses the game against Colorado on Wednesday. Colorado is the most penalized team in the league and always take more liberties at home so Allen could really use Mathers for that game. UPDATE: There will be no suspensions as results of these game misconduct penalties.
- For the ninth straight Allen game the team that scored first won the game. Let's hope the Americans can get off to a quick start in the rematch this afternoon.
- This season has certainly been atypical but the Americans have historically played well in back to back games when they lose the first game. Look for a good game from Allen this afternoon.
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- You can't beat a lot of teams giving up three goals in the first period. Our penalty kill on their power play goal was really bad. They were able to tic-tac through and we were not forcing or moving our feet.
- On their even strength goal we had a low probability pinch with two forwards below the goal line and the third forward below the hash marks. That was a brain dead play that ended up with the puck in our net. It is just soft defensive play on our part.
- We wake up in the third period and the guys worked hard but it was too late at that point.
- Even at the end of the game when we had an empty net we tried to toe drag at the red line rather than shooting the puck into the zone.
- We can't expect to score four or five goals every game to overcome our defensive weaknesses. Some of our guys from last year are not in shape, they are not moving their feet, they are not quick enough and you can see it on the ice.
- The positive side is we played a much better third period. We need to learn that if we keep spotting a team easy scoring chance you can't beat anybody.
- We can't cheat and beat teams so we have to stop cheating. You have to get above people when you don't have possession of the puck.
- I am not going to watch this all season and say don't worry we will get them at the end. One way or another we need a wake up call. I like to think we have the players that are capable but we can't keep playing like we have been.
- There might be some roster changes Monday or Tuesday. The plan now is that Adam Helewka will return to San Jose after the game tomorrow.
- We will leave Monday night for our road trip to Colorado, Utah and Missouri.
- The Americans had their "Adopt a Player" auction after the game last night. I have had several questions this morning on what the cost was to adopt a player. Here are the results:
$2000 - Greger Hanson
$1200 - Aaron Gens
$1000 - Chad Costello
$1000 - Spencer Asuchak
$800 - Riley Gill
$800 - Gary Steffes
$800 - Joel Chouinard
$800 - Rick Pinkston
$800 - Mike Gunn
$700 - Tristan King
$700 - J.P. LaFontaine
$700 - Eric Roy
$600 - Chris Crane
$600 - Dyson Stevenson
$600 - Kale Kerbashian
$600 - Tanner Eberle
$600 - Jamie Murray
$600 - Micheal Brodzinski
$400 - Travis Brown
- The Missouri Mavericks broke out of their poor start to the season last night at home. They beat the league leading Tulsa Oilers 10-3.
- Referee Kenny Anderson (#16) who was the referee last night will call the game again today. Linesmen will be Brian Bull (#49) and Rick Rivera (#59).
PHOTOS FROM THE GAME
Here are some photos from the game and adopt a player auction courtesy of Dianne Webster:
DID YOU KNOW: The last two seasons the Allen Americans lost their first game of the season, were 6-3 after nine games and went on to win the Kelly cup. This season the Americans won their first game of the season and are 4-5 after nine games.