The Allen Americans beat the hapless Indy Fuel last night 6-3 before a Saturday night crowd of 4978 at the Allen Event Center (AEC). Allen continued the offensive juggernaut the have become recently as they have scored 28 goals in the last four games (7.00 average), 42 goals in the last seven games (6.00 average) and 57 goals in the last 10 games (5.70 average). It is pretty hard to lose when scoring goals at that pace.
- What has made the Americans so lethal during their recent resurgence is depth. They have been getting scoring from all three lines and that continued last night. Goal scorers were Bryan Moore (9,10) Spencer Asuchak (15), Gary Steffes (8), Tanner Eberle (7) and Chad Costello (19). Five different players had multiple points. As you look at the replays from ECHL Rewind make sure to use the 10 second rewind button to look at each goal numerous times. What caught my eye was some outstanding play making by Zach Hall on both Moore goals, the accuracy of the shots by Asuchak (high corner) and Steffes (spin and shoot) and an outstanding stretch pass by Joel Chouinard on the Costello breakaway goal. Here is the link: http://www.echl.com/
- Special teams continue to be a positive for the Americans as they were 1-3 on the power play and didn't allow Indy a goal on their two power play opportunities. Since the beginning of December the power play is executing at 30% and the penalty kill at 90%.
- It was easy to leave the AEC feeling pretty good with a 6-3 win but if you peel back the onion there is plenty of room for improvement. To start with Allen was playing a team that has one win over their last 18 games while Allen is 13-2-1-1 in their last 16 games. Indy is a team close to the bottom of the league in almost every statistical category. Allen scored the first goal of the game but just 42 seconds later a defensmen pinched, the forwards didn't get back and Indy had a three on one. the Fuel scored on a rebound after Jamie Murray made the initial save. Allen took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission but let the worst team in the league outplay them in the second period. Indy out shot the Americans 13-10 in the second period and scored two goals within 52 seconds after Allen had taken a 4-1 lead. So midway through the second period Indy is hanging around with the score 4-3. The Americans took care of business and finished strong but defensive lapses that allowed the Fuel to hang around will have to be cleaned up for the rematch this afternoon.
- Jamie Murray will start in goal again this afternoon as Riley Gill is nursing an injury. Dyson Stevenson is out and Derek Mathers will be back in the lineup (see below).
- After the game Steve Martinson had little interest in talking about anything other than the fight between Indy's Chris Williams and Dyson Stevenson. To start with, Williams is two inches taller and 35 pound heavier than Stevenson if you go by the official ECHL stats. In reality it is more like three or four inches and 50 pounds but Dyson doesn't back down from anyone. What irritated everyone in the Allen locker room was Williams was just coming on the ice and Dyson was at the end of his shift. Play had stopped and Williams skated around the linesman and jumped Stevenson and forced him to fight. It is never a fair fight when one player is tired at the end of a shift and the other player is fresh just coming off the bench. To make matters worse Williams hit Stevenson when he was already down and it was that punch that hurt Dyson. Stevenson is out with an upper body injury and will not play today. If you are attending the game (4:05 pm puck drop) keep an eye on #6 as I will predict it will be a long day for Mr. Williams. To quote coach Martinson, "We have last change at home and I can assure when #6 is on the ice he will see a lot of the Mathers, Marchment, Brittain line." This incident reminded me of one of the many Steve Martinson quotes I have heard over the years, "Don't pour fuel on the fire unless you want a bigger fire." I think the Indy Fuel leaked some fuel on the fire last night.
- Officials scheduled for the game are referee Mike Sheehan (#11) and linesmen Brian Bull (#49) Chase Wilkinson (#68). Sheehan was the referee last night and is one of the best referees in the league. He called 24 minutes worth of penalties last night. If you are betting over or under on the 24 minutes of penalties this afternoon definitely take the over.
- Travis Brown played in his first game for the San Jose Barracuda (AHL) yesterday afternoon after getting called up on Friday and was unfortunately injured (lower body). Typically injured players stay with the club until they have recovered but not always. Let's hope San Jose sends Travis back to Allen to recover rather than him staying in a hotel in San Jose.
- With all of the goal scoring recently by Allen there are some really impressive stats to talk about:
Bryan Moore - with his two goals last night Bryan now has a goal in eight of the last nine games (10 goals total). Bryan has at least one point in nine straight games.
Chad Costello - With a goal and an assist last night Chad has had multiple points in seven of the last eight games for a total of 20 points (7 goals 13 assists). Chad has at least one point in 27 of the last 30 games. He has a 10 point lead in the ECHL scoring race with 58 points.
Spencer Asuchak - Spencer has 21 points (8 goals 13 assists) in his last 15 games. He has at least one point in 12 of the 15 games.
David Makowski - His streak of never having a minus game since returning to Allen (13 games) ended last night as David was a -3 but his scoring streak continues. Makowski has at least one point in 10 straight games. That is the second longest streak currently going in the ECHL.
Allen has the current longest streak (nine games) in the ECHL of getting at least one point. During that nine game stretch the Americans record is 8-0-0-1.
- The Mountain Division could not get any tighter as three teams are tied for the lead with 44 points. The bottom three teams are falling further behind. Remember, top four teams make the playoffs. Here are the current standings:
44 points - Allen
44 points - Colorado
44 points - Idaho
43 points - Alaska
31 points - Utah
31 points - Missouri
27 points - Rapid City
- I get plenty of compliments and thank yous for writing the blog and with all of the time it takes to produce it each and every day hearing the positive feedback helps sustain me. Last night I got one of the best compliments ever. I stopped by to say hi to a friend and season ticket holder before the game and he was asking me how long it took to write the blog each day, guessing it took a good chunk of time. I shared with him the process I go through each day and he responded with, "I just want you to know how much I enjoy your blog and appreciate what you do for the fans." He then pulled out his phone, went to his app page and said, "See this app, that is where I go first thing every morning for my daily bible verse and devotional. Right after that I hit this icon and go to your blog. Not bad Barry, you are second, right after god each morning." Thanks Evan for the kind words which definitely went to the top of the all time compliment list.
DID YOU KNOW: Chad Costello is averaging 1.61 points per game this season. That is right in between his average last season (1.43) when he scored 103 points and 2014-15 when he averaged 1.74 points per game and totaled 125 points. At his current pace Chad would finish the season with 116 points.