Sunday, January 1, 2017

Allen Finishes the Year with 8-4 Win, A December to Remember, Jersey Auction, Player Streaks

New Year's Eve has been kind to the Allen Americans over the years as they have never lost on December 31. The winning tradition continued last night with an entertaining 8-4 win over the Utah Grizzlies on "Old Time Hockey Night" before a crowd of 5045 at the Allen Event Center (AEC).

- When Utah scored the first goal of the game and broke a streak of 139:27 without Allen allowing a goal some may have thought the bubble had burst on the recent dominating play by the Americans. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Less than five minutes after Utah took a 1-0 lead, Allen overwhelmed the Grizzlies with four goals in rapid fire succession. When the dust settled, the Americans had scored four goals in 118 seconds, had a 4-1 lead and chased the Utah goalie from the game.

- With a 4-1 Allen lead the game was essentially over after the first period but not the scoring. Some poor defensive play by both teams in the second period produced seven goals. By the time the second period was complete Allen had scored four more goals and Utah three. Allen took an 8-4 lead into the second intermission.

- As the third period commenced the only question remaining was whether the Americans could attain the franchise record of 10 goals in a game. Ironically that record was set on New Year's Eve in 2010. It was not to be as the third period was scoreless for both teams so Allen had to settle for an 8-4 win.

-  Goal scorers for Allen were Chad Costello (18), Dyson Stevenson (5), David Makowski (3), Zach Hall (4), Greger Hanson (19, 20), Bryan Moore (8),  and Jake Marchment (11). You can check out all of the goals plus winning fights by Stevenson and Eberle at ECHL Rewind. You will need some time as the highlight package runs 5:22. Here is the link:

-  With the win over Utah, the Americans improved their record to 20-13-1-1 and moved into a tie for first place in the Mountain Division with 42 points. They raised their winning percentage to .600. There is only one team (Toledo) in the entire ECHL with more wins than Allen and just two teams (Toledo & Florida) with more points.

The boys are all smiles as Stevenson, Hall, Moore, Makowski wait for Choiunard to join the celly*


- This team is scary good right now and has been for the last month. December was a grind for the Americans as it was the busiest month of the season with 14 games. They finished the month with a record of 10-2-1-1. The team not only won but they won in style. It was the most entertaining regular season month in memory for most fans with lots of goals, great defense, amazing goaltending, and the typical Allen toughness. Here are the facts:

When December began, Allen had scored a total of 61 goals and allowed 66 goals for a goal differential of -5. In the month of December alone Allen scored 67 goals and allowed 29 for a goal differential of +38. For the entire month the Americans averaged 4.78 goals per game.

The goals allowed over the 14 games in December was 2.07. This included four shutouts and three games where Allen allowed only one goal. At the beginning of the month the Americans were ranked 13th (3.14) in goals allowed. Today they are ranked #3 (2.71) in goals allowed and are just .01 from the top spot.

Special teams were a key both offensively and defensively to the December success. The power play was 20-68 which is 29.4%. The penalty kill was 8-74 which is 89.2%. The power play started the month ranked 26th (8.2%) and finished the month ranked #11 (17.6%). The penalty kill started the month ranked 16th (82.6%) and finished the month ranked #8 (85.5%).

All this offense and defense was accomplished with the help of the typical Allen toughness.  There were 19 fighting majors handed out during the month and 10 different players dropped the gloves.


-  Allen has scored 46 goals in the last eight games averaging 5.75 goals per game. With that kind of offensive production there are a lot of impressive streaks to talk about.

Greger Hanson - Greger has been the #1 star in the last two games and scored nine points (5 goals 4 assist) in the two games. Greger has moved into third place in the ECHL scoring race with 44 points (20 goals 24 assists).

Chad Costello - The best passer in the ECHL has a goal and eight assists in the last three games and has extended his ECHL scoring lead to 11 points. Chad has 56 points (18 goals 38 assists). His 38 assists are 12 more than any other player in the league.

Bryan Moore - After being held without a goal on Friday night, Bryan got one last night. He has a goal in seven of the last eight games.

David Makowski - David had a goal and an assist last night to continue a couple of streaks. He has at least one point in nine straight games and he hasn't had a negative plus/minus game since returning to Allen 12 games ago. He is fifth in the ECHL with a +18 and has accomplished that in just 12 games. Makowski is scoring at a point a game pace  with 14 points (3 goals 11 assists) in 12 games. His 1.17 points per game average is the second best in the ECHL among defensemen.

Joel Chouinard - Joel was a +3 last night and is now +24 on the season. He leads the ECHL in this category with no other player in the league higher than +20.

Riley Gill - Riley leads the ECHL in GAA (2.12) and save percentage (.938). He has not allowed a goal in 156:21 and counting. Riley missed the game last night because of a family full of flu so Allen fans will have to wait until next weekend to see how far the scoreless streak gets extended.

- It was great to see emergency back up goalie (EBUG) Thomas Hodges get in the game last night. It had be a big thrill for the young man who saw his first professional action. You could see the entire bench was happy for Hodges who entered the game with 50 seconds remaining after Jamie Murray came up with what looked like a stiff back. By rule the EBUG can only enter the game if the starting goalie if injured. Hodges has been helping out the Americans all season. He played high school hockey at Plano West. 

EBUG Thomas Hodges*

- There was another specialty jersey auction last night as the "Vintage" jerseys were on the auction block after the game. With so many jersey auctions this season it seems to be effecting the price. Mike Gunn's jersey went for $900 but no other jersey went for more than $750.  Most went for between $500-$700 with several in the $350-$450 range. Regular auctioneer, Tommy Daniels, has the flu and went right home after the game so that may have influenced the prices as well. No offense to Tom Manning who filled in for Tommy as the auctioneer but a vintage auctioneer may have been a better choice on Old Time Hockey Night. Tom Manning is younger and prettier than Tommy Daniels but you have to give the auctioneering skills to Tommy. Kudos to Manning for all the work he did in putting together what was a great promotion. It took a lot of hard work on Tom's part with the help of many others including his musician brother. I heard numerous compliments from young and old who want to keep the old time music and the siren, not so much the scoreboard. 

Sticking up for teammates & game misconduct may by why Mike Gunn's jersey fetched $900*

- Happy Birthday to Riley Gill, Josh Hepditch who played in Allen in 2011-12 and the voice of the Wichita Thunder Jason Mals. Wonder if any of the three were the first baby born in the New Year and got a bunch gifts?

*All photos courtesy of Dianne Webster

DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans have never lost a New Year's Eve game in franchise history with a perfect 7-0 record. Here is the list:

2016-17 - Beat Utah at home 8-4
2015-16 - Did Not Play
2014-15 - Beat Rapid City at home 5-3
2013-14 - Beat Wichita at home 5-3
2012-13 - Beat Quad City at home 4-0
2011-12 - Beat Laredo at home 3-2
2010-11 - Beat Tulsa at home 10-1
2009-10 - Beat Wichita in Wichita 3-0


  1. They beat Utah at home 8-4, not Tulsa

    1. Madison, thanks for catching that mistake in the DID YOU KNOW section of the blog. Appreciate you letting me know. Were you able to use the tickets you won in the Allen Americans Blog ticket drawing?