Trailing 1-0 after two periods the Allen Americans exploded for five third period goals to defeat the Utah Grizzlies 5-1 last night before a disappointed crowd of 4498 at the Maverik Center. With the win the Americans have a 3-1 series lead and a chance to close out the series tonight (8:05 pm Allen time).
- Special teams have been a key to victory all series and that proved to be the case again last night. Allen had only three power play opportunities but cashed in on two of them. Allen's first two goals came by way of the power play. The Americans were perfect on the penalty kill not allowing a goal on the three Utah power plays.
- A hallmark of Steve Martinson coached teams is never giving up and that has been proven over and over this season with many third period comebacks. If you look at the regular season, goals for and against by period proves the point. During the regular season the Americans outscored their opponents in all three periods but the margins were very different. In the first period it was 80-66, the second period 85-72 and in the third period 120-59. In this playoff series with Utah the Grizzlies have had the lead in all four games only to succumb to Allen comebacks. Utah has outscored Allen in the first period 4-2 and in the second period 6-1. However, Allen has dominated the third period by scoring 11 goals and allowing the Grizzlies zero.
- Team depth is another attribute of this Allen team and balanced scoring has been the result. The Americans have had 11 different players score the 14 goals in this series. Chad Costello is tied for the team lead in points (5) but hasn't scored a goal. No player has more than two goals.
-The goal scorers last night were David Makowski (1), Eric Roy (1), Greger Hanson (2), Wade MacLeod (2) and Alex Krushelnyski (1). You can check out all the goals at ECHL Rewind. Here is the link: http://www.echl.com/
- Here is the game recap issued by the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/americans-explode-for-five-in-the-third-to-beat-utah-5-1/
- Here is a game recap from the Salt Lake City Tribune: http://www.sltrib.com/sports/5204646-155/grizzlies-utah-gives-up-five-goals
- Finally a game recap from deseretnews.com: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865678368/Utah-Grizzlies-doomed-in-third-period-trail-Americans-3-1-in-playoff-series.html
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- Our power play got us going just as it has all year. We had traffic in front of the goalie and were pounding shots from the point.
- The veteran guys led the way tonight. All four goals (excluding the empty net goal) were lasers.
- We have a lot of depth and proven scorers on this team. Goals can come from everyone and we have three lines that are a threat to score on every shift.
- In the third period our proven scorers made their young defensemen pay.
ALLEN VS UTAH GAME FIVE PREVIEW
- With four playoff games now in the books here is a comparison between Allen and Utah.
Series Record 3-1 1-3
Goals For 14 10
Goals Against 10 14
Goal Differential +4 -4
Plus/Minus +5 -8
Shooting % 10.9% 9.0%
Goals Scored Ave. 3.50 2.50
Goals Allowed Ave. 2.50 3.50
Power Play 29.4% (5/17) 10.0% (2/20)
Penalty Kill 90.0% (2/20) 70.6% 17/14)
- Two stats that jump out in this series are special teams and third period production. As mentioned above Allen has been outstanding in the third period outscoring Utah 11-0. The Americans had the second best special teams in the ECHL during the regular season and that has certainly been the difference maker in this series. Remember, the team that has scored the most power play goals has won all four games thus far. Allen has scored on five of 17 power play opportunities which is a 29.4% success rate. Utah has converted on two of 20 chances for a 10% conversion rate. The inverse of these numbers are the penalty kill percentages with Allen at 90% and Utah at 70.6%. If Allen can continue this trend they will be in good shape tonight to get another victory.
- During the regular season Allen was outshot by their opponent in 42 of
their 72 games though their record in those 42 games when they were
outshot was an outstanding 31-6-3-2. This series against Utah has been
unique as Allen has outshot the Grizzlies in all four games. The totals
are 129 shots for the Americans and 111 for the Grizzlies.
- The referees tonight will be the same as last night, Andrea Barone (#15) and Jonathan Sitarski (#23).
The linesmen will be Andrew Collins (#49) and Kollin Kleinendorst (#35)
- Don't look now but guess who is leading the entire ECHL playoffs in plus/minus? Yes, it is none other than Joel Chouinard who is +7. Between the regular season and playoffs Joel is now at a cool +54.
- Every playoff game Riley Gill plays sets a new record and last night was no exception. His win in Utah was the 50th of his storied ECHL career. No other goalie in ECHL history has more than 43 playoff wins.
- Allen had a great comeback win last night but it pales in comparison to what Colorado did in Idaho. The Eagles scored three times in the last 2:28 including the game tying goal with nine seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime. Colorado then scored 41 seconds into overtime to win the game 6-5. When you have a 5-2 lead with 2:28 left in the game and lose there is no recovering for Idaho in this series. Colorado now leads the series 3-1 with a chance to close it out tonight. Here is a recap of the Idaho nightmare courtesy of the Idaho Statesman: http://www.idahostatesman.com/sports/nhl/idaho-steelheads/article146150389.html
- It is never good to get ahead of yourself but it looks like the Mountain Division will come down to the matchup everyone was predicting. Allen and Colorado both have 3-1 series leads and home ice advanatge. They both play tonight with a chance to close out the series on the road knowing that games six and seven will be at home if necessary.
- In addition to Allen and Colorado winning last night here are the other results. South Carolina won 4-2 in Greenville and lead the series 3-2. Toledo beat Kalamazoo 3-2 at home to take a 3-2 lead in that series. Quad City avoided elimination beating Fort Wayne 3-2 in overtime at home. Fort Wayne now leads the series 3-1.
- The schedule tonight has Manchester at Adirondack (Manchester leads the series 3-1), Florida at Orlando (Orlando leads 2-1), Fort Wayne at Quad City (Fort Wayne leads 3-1), Reading at Brampton (series is tied 2-2), Allen at Utah (Allen leads 3-1) and Colorado at Idaho (Colorado leads 3-1). With four of the six games potential elimination games most likely the end of the season for one or more teams tonight.
- Congrats to Allen affiliate San Jose Barracuda who opened their AHL playoff series last night by shutting out the Stockton Heat 4-0 at home. They play game two of this best of five series on Sunday. Meanwhile the Sharks have a must win game at home tonight as they take on Edmonton trailing in the series 3-2.
DID YOU KNOW: In case you were wondering Allen's playoff record in the 14 game fives since Steve Martinson became coach it is 9-5. When Allen has had a chance to close out a series in game five their record is 5-2. According to the the website Who Wins if you look at the first round of every NHL seven game playoff series in
history when a team leads 3-1 and started the playoffs at home the
visiting team in game five wins 55.2% of the time but they win the
series 85.1% of the time. The stats are clearly in the Americans favor.