Monday, February 20, 2017

Rapid City Sweeps Allen, Game Recap, Changes Are Coming, Favorite Photos & More

Hockey is a game of ups and downs and ebbs and flows and the 3-2 loss to the Rapid City Rush yesterday sent 4638 Allen fans and a bunch of dogs (it was Pucks & Paws Day) home disappointed. Losing twice at home against the last place team in the division is certainly a downer. The fact that it was the fourth game in five days is not an excuse for the Americans as Rapid City had the same thing with some travel thrown in for good measure.

- The goal scorers for Allen were Greger Hanson who scored his 30th goal and Spencer Asuchak who tallied his 23rd. Greger also has one goal from his loan to San Diego (AHL). His 31 total goals ties his personal best and there are still 16 games remaining in the regular season. Asuchak is also having a career year as his 23 goals in the most he has scored in a season going back to his junior days in the Western Hockey League.

- The highlight package is on ECHL Rewind and you can see all of the goals, a couple of great saves by the Rush goalie and the Mathers fight. You might want to focus on the defensive breakdowns on the Rapid City goals as you can see where Allen players were focused on the puck and left Rush players all alone.

- Here is the recap of the game from the Allen Americans:

- Here is the recap of the game from the Rapid City Rush:

- Here is the pregame interview with Tom Manning and Steve Martinson:

- It was a quick fall from grace for Allen as it is the time of year when the top teams start playing their best hockey. Allen had the most points in the ECHL after the win over Indy Friday night. With two losses to Rapid City the Americans now find themselves in second place in the Mountain Division and third place in the Western Conference. To make matters worse, all of the teams Allen is battling for the top spot in the conference have games in hand varying from three to five games.

- Coach Martinson has said several times the team is going to have trouble winning against the better teams in the league if they keep playing the way they have recently. The Americans have been inconsistent with too many turnovers and defensive lapses.

- Allen has just one game remaining the rest of the month and that is in Tulsa on Friday. With only one game in nine days it would be easy for fans to checkout for a while. My advice would be to pay close attention as the rest of February could see some big changes. It is that time of year where players will get recalled or loaned, trades get made to strengthen teams for the playoffs, amateurs get identified for signing after their college eligibility is complete and some unexpected things happen. Pay close attention.


- Chad Costello had an assist on the Hanson goal last night to keep his scoring streak alive. Chad has at least one point in 13 straight games. Costello has been held scoreless in just seven of the Americans 56 games this season. He now has a 35 point lead in the ECHL scoring race. Tied for second place in ECHL scoring is Greger Hanson and Casey Pierro-Zabotel who have 65 points. Greger is also in second place in the league in goals with 30, just two behind the leader.

- The two hottest teams in the Mountain Division are the Colorado Eagles who have won 12 games in a row and the Missouri Mavericks who are 8-2 in their last 10 games.

- It is fascinating to see all of the stories out of San Jose about whether the Sharks should acquire an experienced back up goalie for the playoffs rather than going with rookie Aaron Dell. All Dell does amongst all of the chatter is continue to do his job. He made 36 saves Saturday night to lead San Jose to a 4-1 win over Arizona. His season long record is now 7-3-1 with a GAA of 1.95 and save percentage of .934. He deserves to be the backup goalie in the playoffs because he has earned it, just as he has earned everything he has attained during his entire career.

- Here are a few favorite photos from last night courtesy of Dianne Webster:

DID YOU KNOW: Allen and Rapid City played six times this season and each team won three times but the odd stat is the visiting team won all six games.

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