Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Streak is Over, Colorado Moves on to Conference Finals, Everything in Perspective, Martinson's Record

The streak is over for the Allen Americans but an amazing streak it was. Four straight championships, 15 straight playoff series wins and 12 straight elimination game victories all came to an end last night as the Colorado Eagles beat the Americans 4-3 to win the Mountain Division series 4-2 and advance to the Western Conference finals against the Toledo Walleye.

I have been writing this blog for five years and have never witnessed a loss to end the season before last night so I don't have a lot of experience but it is the way the team lost the game and the series that is so disappointing. Here are some of my random thoughts about the game and the series:

-  To lose at home after two great road wins in Colorado to get back in the series was the most disappointing. Allen's home record the last two months of the regular season was 12-1-1-0. They finished the playoffs with a four game home losing streak including three in a row against Colorado.


- It is well documented Colorado and Allen are the two toughest teams to beat in the ECHL when they score first. It took just 94 seconds for Colorado to get on the score board last night and it was the fifth time in six games they scored first. Allen won the only game in this series when they scored first (game five) and managed to win game four even though the Eagles score first. Credit to Allen for scoring  just 37 seconds after the first Colorado goal last night. This is the last time I will mention this stat (this year) but it says all you need to know about the importance of scoring first, especially as it relates to Allen and Colorado. In the playoffs this year they are a combined 10-1 when scoring first and if you add in the regular season their record is 85-5-2-2.


- As frustrating as it was to watch the first goal scored by Colorado at the 1:34 mark of the first period it pales in comparison to watching Matt Register score the game winner with 69 seconds left in the game. Hockey is a game of mistakes as coach Martinson likes to say and there were several on the game winning and series winning goal. Matt Register was part of Allen's Kelly Cup championship team last season and he has owned the Americans this season. Colorado beat Allen six times this season going 2-0 in the regular season and 4-2 in the playoffs. Matt Register had the game winning goal in four of the six Eagles wins. That is what you call payback.


- Prior to last night Allen had scored three goals and allowed 11 in the second period in 10 playoff games. When the Americans outscored Colorado 2-1 in the second period last night and took a 3-2 lead into the second intermission a victory seemed likely. Allen has owned the third period all season. In the 10 playoffs games prior to last night the Americans had scored 21 third period goals and allowed only four. Last night they were outscored 2-0 in the third period. It was the first time Allen had blown a second period lead in the playoffs and one of the few all season. Between the regular season and playoffs the Americans record when leading after two periods was 36-2-0-1.


- It was disappointing the referees decided to swallow their whistles last night. Officiating isn't the reason Allen lost but the lack of penalties certainly hurt the Americans the way they dominated special teams the last three games of this series. It is hard to believe a team that plays the style that Colorado plays was perfect and didn't have a single rules infraction for the entire game.


PERSPECTIVE

- Expectations have always been very high in Allen. After all, the Americans went to the championship finals in their first year of existence, have never missed the playoffs and under Steve Martinson known nothing but championships. Allen is probably the only team in the league that considers anything less than a Kelly Cup a disappointing season. 


- The team has had a heck of a season and most fans in other markets would be thrilled to have the success Allen has had this season. The most remarkable thing about the team's success is they were 8-11 at the end of November and in last place in the Mountain Division. From that point the Americans finished the season with a  record 41-6-4-2. The Americans went 15-0-1-0 over their last 16 regular season games to overtake Colorado for the top spot in the Mountain Division. Allen finished with 104 points which was #2 in the league trailing Toledo by just two points.


- When Allen lost last night 22 of the 27 teams in the ECHL were already on vacation. Not making it to the ECHL final four/conference finals is certainly painful but the team had an extraordinary season by any measure other than their own.


- Congrats to the Colorado Eagles who have an excellent team and were the better team in this series. To beat Allen three times on the road is quite an accomplishment. The Eagles are a perfect 6-0 in road games in the playoffs and since Toledo will have home ice advantage in the conference finals that excellent road record will come in handy for Colorado.


- Everyone has different reasons for who they support once their favorite teams is eliminated from the playoffs. My reasoning has always been straight forward. If your team beats my team I hope you go all the way. If Colorado goes on to win the Kelly Cup it reflects well on Allen and the entire Mountain Division. It is also nice to see former Allen champions do well once they move on and three of Colorado's key players are former Americans.



DID YOU KNOW: Steve Martinson just completed his 21st year as a head coach. Here are his playoff results for his 21 years of coaching.

10 - won championship
1 - lost in finals
7 lost in second round
2 lost in first round
1 - out of playoffs 

13 comments:

  1. Another season where this blog has been my morning ritual for the last six months. Always informative and spot on - Thanks Barry!

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  2. Thank you Barry for helping fuel our obsession with hockey and the Allen Americans! Great job again and getting better every season. Is it October yet?

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  3. Last night I do believe it was a matter of losing due to officiating. I don't think Allen was going to be allowed to win this series. There were so many things that should have been called last night (how about 6 men on the ice late in the game for one example - a possible game changer). No, CO didn't suddenly start playing a clean game. I feel sick for the work Coach and the team put forth in the last three games particulary only to have the officials allow such a penalized team get away with what they did. A very sour way to end the season. Hats off to the guys for battling like they did. It was fun to watch! Thank you for writing all season long. It adds a lot to the enjoyment of the season. If it wasn't for such awful officiating, we might want you to go back to fishing during the playoffs! Surely such a nice guy can't be back luck, right?!

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  4. Indeed!

    Ted I agree Barry does a phenomenal job with his daily updates on the Blog! Kudos Mr. Jansen

    Looking forward to next season

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  5. Gteat stuff as usual Barry, thanks for the time and effort you put into the blog.
    Thanks Allen, for those who move on I wish you well.

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  6. Great Job, Barry!! I've always made this my stop all of last year and in the playoffs this year too. Have a great Summer

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  7. I thought Allen played a great, intense game last night. I was a bit surprised that the refs were "letting them play" to the extent they were, however, as with any game, I see a lot of things that aren't called on both sides. That being said, Allen would have benefited from some "ref activity" against the bEagles. Not to steal Barry's thunder but...Colorado playing an entire game without ONE penalty? COME ON MAN!!!

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  8. I am still proud of our Team and am hoping that the Core of the team returns and Happy Coach Martinson will be behind the Allen Becccccnch one again towards another successful season. Barry, now that the season is over are you going to keep us updated on team happenings, Player Signing, etc? Have a Great Summer! RED TILL I'M DEAD! Gary Blaha

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  9. I will say, Allen did not make it easy on the Eagles and I tip my hat to the Allen Americans and there fans! We had fans from Colorado that went to Allen to watch the Eagles play and the report here is that the Allen fans were really nice and welcoming. The same happened here, I got to sit next to a really nice couple from Allen TX and I think I had more fun with them because of the spirited competition. I look forward to going to Allen TX one day to visit and watch a game. Thank you to the Allen fans who were so nice to our fans, I welcome all of you as well to the BEC and you will be treated with the utmost respect and if not, I suggest you let anyone on the Colorado Eagles Fanatics Facebook page and it will be straightened out. Good luck in the following season and I really enjoy this blog!

    Frankie Hernanddez

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  10. Just want to send my "thank-you" out to Barry for the Blog. Just found Mixlr but have been following the Blog all season. Wife and I have been to every final championship playoff win for the past three years. Darn, we were hoping for another one. Oh well. It's been lots of fun and I appreciated the daily updates. Be looking for you again in October.

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  11. Thanks Barry look forward to the future. There seemed to be a lot of referee mistakes in the series and these can add up to missed opportunities at PP. Another understated mistake was leaving Mathers off the roster, his hands were missed! GO RED.

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