Sunday, November 19, 2017

Allen Beats Wichita 3-2, Game Recap, Rematch Preview, Martinson's Post Game Comments, Archambault Injured & Penalty Minutes Don't Predict Success

The mastery of the Allen Americans over the Wichita Thunder on the road continued last night as the Americans defeated the Thunder 3-2 before a crowd of 6417 at Intrust Bank Arena. The Thunder has lost only two games in regulation all season and both have come at home at the hands of the Americans. Since joining the ECHL in 2014 Allen's record in Wichita is now 19-2-1-2.

- In the game last night Allen got off to a great start on a goal by Vincent Arseneau at the 2:40 mark of the first period. The Americans took a 2-0 lead six minutes later when Miles Liberati scored on a one timer from the point off a faceoff win by Zach Hall.

- Dyson Stevenson scored on a Wichita power play (16:20) to make the score 2-1 and that is how the first period ended. At that point Allen fans were confident the game would go the Americans way. The reason being is Allen's record when scoring first now stands at 6-0 and their record when taking a first period lead is 5-0.

- Mathieu Aubin scored early in the second period (1:06) to give Allen a two goal lead and then Wichita scored their second power play goal at the 13:16 mark to cut the score to 3-2. That was the end of the scoring as there were no goals scored in the final 27 minutes of the game. Good defense and some spectacular saves by Allen goalie Stephon Williams carried the day.

- The goal scorers for Allen were Vincent Arseneau (5) who has a goal in four straight games, Miles Liberati (2) who has a goal in the last two games and is just one goal away from matching his goal total for all of last season and Mathieu Aubin (3) who has scored three goals in the last three games. Since returning from the 21 day injured reserve Aubin has played in five games and has four points (3 goals 1 assist). You can check out all of the goals plus a save of the year candidate by Stephon Willams at ECHL Rewind. Here is the link:

- Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans:

- Here is a game recap courtesy of Matt Harding who covers the Wichita Thunder for Team Sin Bin. Matt's story includes a description of each goal, quotes from Wichita coach Malcolm Cameron and all of the video highlights:


- We had a great start with the two early goals in the first period but I thought we kind of stopped skating at times after the 2-0 start.

- We didn't do a good job of killing a couple of bad penalties and it led to both Wichita goals. I thought one was a bad call and one was a bad penalty to take.

- We can play a lot better and will have to do that tomorrow. We need to make sure we keep moving and keep skating.

- It was big to get the early goals to start the first and second period. On Aubin's goal early in the second period we caught them on a bad line change.


- As great as the win was last night if the Americans don't back it up with another win today they will not have gained any ground on Wichita. The other teams ahead of Allen in the standings (Colorado & Idaho) also won last night so the Americans find themselves in fourth place in the Mountain Division standings. Only two points separate first place Wichita (21 points) and fourth place Allen (19 points) with Colorado and Idaho in between with 20 points. Colorado and Idaho are idle today so if Allen wins in regulation they vault from fourth place to tied for first place in the division.

- If Allen is to win this afternoon (4:05 pm) they will need to have another good start just as they did last night and they will have to improve their special teams play. The Americans power play on the road is 2-24 and is ranked #25 at 8.3%. Wichita's power play at home is at 20.7% after they went 2-4 last night. There is a similar disparity between the penalty kill units. Overall Allen is ranked #5 (87.3%) on the penalty kill but if you look at road games the penalty kill is ranked #25 at 77.3%. Wichita's home penalty kill is 83.9%. Allen gave up two power play goals last night and didn't score any. It is unlikely they can win this afternoon if they repeat that performance.

- Allen and Wichita have now played three times this season with the Americans winning twice. There will be another nine games between these teams this season. After three games the head to head stats have Allen outscoring Wichita 9-8 and out shooting them 107-95. Wichita has the advanatge on the power play going 3-11 (27.3%) compared to Allen at 1-8 (12.5%). Allen leads in penalty minutes 48-30.

- Fans got to see two of the best goalies in the league last night in Shane Starrett and Stephon Williams and their stats couldn't be closer. They have the exact same save percentage at .932 which is third best in the league. Williams gave up two goals last night and lowered his GAA to 2.26. Starrett's GAA inched up to 2.23 after he allowed three goals. It will be interesting to see if either team makes a switch to their backup goalies who have also played great when given the opportunity. Jeremy Brodeur (Allen) has a .921 save percentage in the four games he has started and Joel Rumpel has a .930 in the five games he has played. The way Stephon Williams has been playing my guess is coach Martinson stays with the hot goalie. 

- Officials scheduled for the game are the same as those who worked the game last night. Referee Sean MacFarlane (#4) and linesmen Addison Brush (#80 ) and Michael Houle (#49).


- Allen has a five game point scoring streak going (4-0-0-1) which is the longest current steak in the division.

- The San Jose Barracuda won last night beating Ontario 2-1. Olivier Archambault was injured during the game, left the ice holding his wrist and did not return. Hope it is nothing serious.

- It is still a ways away but the home game on Saturday, December 2 against Rapid City will be a great game to bring the family. It is not only the night for the Teddy Bear Toss it is also Nickelodeon Night and the players will be wearing Spongebob specialty jerseys.

-  Rick Duncan from conducted this interview with Joel Choiunard before the team left for Wichita. Rick is a sponsor with the Americans and his website covers north Dallas sports news from high school to the pros, from basketball to football to hockey to rodeo. In other words he covers all sports from A to Z. Rick has been doing this for years and his website is very comprehensive. He and his team have been doing a lot of stories about the Allen Americans. Make sure to check out if you haven't already done so.


DID YOU KNOW: Wichita leads the Mountain Division standings and has the fewest penalty minutes (183) in the division. The teams in second, third and fourth place all have over 300 penalty minutes, Colorado (337), Idaho (303) and Allen (306). Whenever I look at standings and penalty minutes I always conclude there are different ways to build a winning team. Here are the facts.

The team with the fewest penalty minutes in the North Division is Reading (101) and they are in fourth place. The team with the fewest penalty minutes in the South Division is South Carolina (140) and they are in third place. The team with the fewest penalty minutes in the Central Division is Quad City (130) and they are in fifth place.

The team with the most penalty minutes in the Mountain Division is Colorado (337) and they are in second place. The team with the most penalty minutes in the North Division is Worcester (269) and they are in last place. The team with the most penalty minutes in the South Division is Greenville (292) and they are in second place. The team with the most penalty minutes in the Central Division is Indy (287) and they are in last place.

Here are the penalty minutes for the four division leaders:

257 - Florida (South Division)
245 - Wheeling (North Division)
230 - Toledo (Central Division)
183 - Wichita (Mountain Division)

Here are the penalty minutes for the four last place teams:

287 - Indy (Central Division)
269 - Worcester (North Division)
252 - Rapid City (Mountain Division)
218 - Jacksonville (South Division) 


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