The Allen Americans shutout the Wichita Thunder 3-0 last night before a very disappointed teddy bear toss crowd of 4173 at Intrust Bank Arena. Anytime you have to wait until after the game is over to throw your teddy bear on the ice you know it has been a bad night.
- It was the Riley Gill show as the Allen netminder made 45 saves to record his third straight road shutout. The last time Gill allowed a goal on the road was at the 15:07 mark of the third period four games ago in Idaho on November 26. Gill was the #1 star in all three shutouts but the performance last night was above and beyond. Riley faced 50 shots combined in the first two shutouts, last night it was 45 shots including a 27 shot bombardment in the second period. Gill faced a lot of shots because Wichita had seven power play opportunities and they came into the game with the best power play in the league at 25.5%.
- The recent trends that have led Allen to a 5-1 record over the last six games continued last night. The Americans didn't give up a goal in the first period for the sixth straight game. They scored the first goal for the sixth straight game. While they didn't score a power play goal (0-4) they still won the special teams battle as Wichita was 0-7. The core veteran players continue to lead the way having scored 10 of the 15 goals scored in the last six games.
- The goal scorers last night were Dyson Stevenson (3), Chad Costello (9) and Greger Hanson (11). Stevenson's goal was just what coach Martinson expected when he brought back David Makowski. Makowski took a shot from the point with three Allen players (Chouinard, Steffes, Stevenson) lined up between him and the goalie. Dyson was right in front of the goalie and deflected the shot into the goal. Costello's goal was a great individual effort as he brought the puck into the offensive zone, made a cut to the slot and beat the goalie high on the glove side in the corner of the net. Hanson made three good plays on his goal. First he poked the puck away from a guy in the slot, the puck went into the neutral zone where he stripped the puck from a rookie defenseman playing in his first professional game, Greger then went in all alone on the goalie, made a great deke left and roofed a backhand shot from in close. You can see all of the goals and several of Gill's best saves at ECHL Rewind: http://www.echl.com/
STEVE MARTINSONS POST GAME COMMENTS
- Thanks to Matt Harding of Team Sin Bin for his help in getting some of these post game quotes from coach Martinson.
- Riley Gill made a spectacular save in the third period to save the shutout. Lots of penalty kill time tonight. When you look at the stats sheet it appears our best penalty killer was the goalie. When things aren't going well you need your go to money guys to step up. Riley has been a money guy for us since he got here. He has great resolve and it is nice to know he is back there. He is the man!
- We were certainly opportunistic tonight but I really didn't like our offensive time. I will be looking at the video to see what we can do to spend more time in our offensive zone. I know we had too many giveaways. We are really not playing the way I like to play yet but we are moving in the right direction. It is a work in progress and we will take the win tonight.
- Makowski hammered the shot Dyson tipped on that first goal. That is what he does and it was a rocket. He has such a quick release it doesn't take him long to take a shot. He works on it all of the time. I actually had him work with my son (who is a defenseman) one time. Makowski's form is just perfect and he gets his shot on the net fast.
- Our style of play fits Makowski really well because he likes to jump up in the play. He has such a hard shot and we have some players that are good at finding the defensmen coming and that is why I like to get him out with Costello.
- Costello, Asuchak and Hanson have all been scoring during the last few games and Chad continues to make plays.
- The rematch with Wichita tonight starts at 7:05 pm CST and you could see different goaltenders for both teams. It will be interesting to see if either team can score a power play goal. Wichita was 0-7 last night and went from being ranked #1 to #4 in power play percentage. Their power play dropped from 25.5% to 22.2% in one game. The Thunder penalty kill was 0-4 and they are now the top ranked penalty kill in the league at 91.0%. After going 0-4 last night the Allen power play percentage dropped to 10.7% as is ranked #25. The penalty kill percentage improved to 84.1% and is now ranked #14. However, in their last six games the Americans are 2-29 on the penalty kill (93.1%).
- Officials for the game tonight are referee Andy Howard (#2) and linesmen Brent Hooks (#61) and Chip Excell (#42).
- With his 45 save shutout last night Riley Gill continues to move up the ECHL goalie leaderboard. He is #4 in GAA (2.22), #3 in save percentage (.935), #2 in wins (11), #3 in minutes (948), #2 in saves (502) and #1 in shutouts (3).
- Matt Willows played in his first game for the Reading Royals last night and had a goal and an assist as Reading beat Indy 8-2.
- The Mountain Division continues to be the most competitive in the ECHL when you look at the point difference between the top and bottom teams in each division. It is 18 points in the North Division, 23 points in the South Division, 16 points in the Central Division and 12 points in the Mountain Division. Here are the Mountain Division standings with the number of games played in parenthesis:
30 points - Colorado (23 games)
28 points - Alaska (20 games)
28 points - Idaho (23 games)
26 points - Allen (25 games)
21 points - Missouri (22 games)
19 points - Rapid City (22 games)
18 points - Utah (23 games)
DID YOU KNOW: The three straight road shutouts by Riley Gill has probably never been done before in the history of the ECHL but it is hard to know for sure as the league doesn't track it. The only record the ECHL maintains for road shutout sequence is a team record. Florida posted a streak of 214:19 from November 21-25, 2008. That included three straight shutouts, but by two different goaltenders. Gill is now around the 185 minute mark all by himself. Thanks to ECHL Director of Communication, Joe Babik, for providing the information about road shutout records.