Broadcaster Tommy Daniels said it best last night that getting wins lately has been a challenge for the Allen Americans but they found a way as they defeated the Rapid City Rush 5-4 in overtime. A disappointed crowd of 1741 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center watched as Eric Roy became the hero on a great individual effort as he scored with 30 seconds remaining in overtime.
- Riley Gill got the win as he replaced Jamie Murray after the second period with the Americans trailing 4-3. Gill stopped all 11 shots he faced in the third period and overtime. Riley lowered his league leading GAA to 2.03 and raised his league leading save percentage to .941.
- Emotions ebbed and flowed for Allen fans throughout the game. The Americans scored the first goal of the game and that is good for a record of 22-2-1-1 so everything was looking up. The game was tied 1-1 after the first period and Allen is a perfect 11-0-0-0 this season when tied after the first period. All was looking good until Rapid City scored three goals in the second period to take a 4-3 lead. Not good as Allen's record when trailing after the second period was 3-15-1-0. The third period is the Americans best as they have outscored their opponents 75-40 and that advantage proved to work again as Randy Cure tied the score 4-4 at the 2:40 mark of the third period. Once the game got to overtime the stats heavily favored Allen and Roy's overtime goal proved the point. Allen is now 7-2 in overtime games while Rapid City is 1-8.
- The goal scorers for Allen were David Makowski (10), Chad Costello (25), Spencer Asushak (20), Randy Cure (1), and Eric Roy (12). The video highlights are not loaded on ECHL Rewind as of this morning which is too bad. I know the home team is responsible for the video highlights but it happens way too often they don't get posted. The assists on three of the goals deserve mention and all three were very different. Greger Hanson made the play on the Asuchak goal flying through the neutral zone past several defenders, carrying the puck up the left wing and then making a great pass to Spencer. The Randy Cure goal that tied the game 4-4 was on a faceoff win by Jake Marchment who drew the puck back to Cure at the point. The overtime game winner by Eric Roy was a great individual effort but it was appropriate the play started when Dyson Stevenson blocked a shot and Roy picked up the puck and skated the length of the ice to score.
- Here is a complete recap of the game from the perspective of the Rapid City Rush which includes quotes from the coach. It mentions in the story the Rush are 0-8 in overtimes but they are actually 1-8. http://rapidcityjournal.com/sports/rush-drop-another-ot-heartbreaker-to-allen/article_e1b70043-e269-574d-a838-fa60d1af2ac8.html
- Coach Martinson's post game comments focused on the team having way too many turnovers that led to goals. He mentioned the unit of Roy, Makowski, Hanson, Costello and Asuchak continue to be the most productive in the league but the team needs to pick up the scoring depth. Kerbashian should be able to help as will Zach Hall when he returns after this weekend.
- David Makowski has the longest goal scoring streak in the ECHL right now. With his goal last night David has a goal in five straight games. Makowski had an assist to go along with the goal and now has 35 points (10 goals 25 assists) in 27 games. That is good for third in scoring among ECHL defensemen.
- Chad Costello continued his torrid scoring pace with a goal and two assists last night. Chad has three points in five of the last six games with two points in the other. Chad has the current longest assist streak in the league having at least one assist in the last seven games. He has a total of 16 assists in the last seven games. Chad now has 90 points (25 goals 65 assists) and has expanded his ECHL scoring lead to 31 points.
- Eric Roy has been on a streak of his own lately. He has a point in six straight games and a goal in four of the six. Eric is now tied for the most goals by a defenseman in the ECHL with 12. He is definitely Mr. Clutch when it comes to overtime. Allen has won seven overtime games this season and Eric has the winning goal in three of them.
- It is always a good sign when Allen wins the special teams battle and that was the case last night. Allen was 2-4 on the power play and are back over 20% for the season (20.2%). The penalty kill held Rapid City scoreless on three power plays. The Americans penalty kill is now ranked #9 at 83.8%.
- The teams take a day off today before resuming their three game set on Friday and Saturday. Game time both nights will be 8:05 pm CST.
- Colorado beat Wichita last night for their seventh straight win. Colorado and Allen remain tied for the Mountain Division lead with 64 points. The two hottest teams in the Mountain Division are Colorado and Utah who are 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 games.
- The Elmira franchise is in danger of not completing the season according to some reports. Here is a story from the local media that provides the details: http://www.stargazette.com/story/news/local/2017/02/07/elmira-wont-contribute-toward-first-arena-upgrades/97593634/
- On a more positive note ECHL hockey will be playing in Jacksonville, Florida this fall as the former Evansville IceMen will become the Jacksonville Icemen. Here is the story which includes a video: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/sports/press-conference-set-to-announce-jacksonville-hockey-team/403573454
DID YOU KNOW: It is now official that Chad Costello has the top three seasons in Allen franchise history for points and assists. Here are the top five in each category.
125 - Chad Costello (2014-15)
103 - Chad Costello (2015-16)
90 - Chad Costello (2016-17) after 50 games
88 - Colton Yellow Horn (2010-11)
79 - Bruce Graham (2009-10)
84 - Chad Costello (2014-15)
79 - Chad Costello (2015-16)
65 - Chad Costello (2016-17) after 50 games
55 - Colton Yellow Horn (2010-11)
51 - Alex Lavoie - (2013-14)