- The main event which resulted in 94 of the 148 penalty minutes happened at the 8:55 mark of the third period. Whenever brawls like this happen there is always a little bit of "where you sit is where you stand" that comes into play. I watched the replay of this sequence at least 15 times as ECHL TV has a great view from behind the play. The play started with Mike Gunn stepping into Idaho captain Jefferson Dahl as he carried the puck into Allen's zone. To me it looked like a good check (shoulder to chest) but you can see referee Andy Howard immediately raise his hand for a delayed penalty. Dahl passed the puck to his left wing before Gunn delivered his check so the penalty may have been for interference. No penalty was called because Idaho scored. The left wing took a shot that trickled through Stephon Williams for a goal. Idaho broadcaster Brian McCormack described what happened like this, "There was a delayed penalty before the Merchant goal went in. It was Gunn that got a good hit on Jefferson Dahl and that looks like what sparked all of this. Gunn went into Dahl, Dahl got knocked down, (Henrik) Samuelsson gave Gunn a shot (in the back) and then Lessard went after Samuelsson to defend Gunn."
Everything broke loose from that point including Allen goalie Stephon Williams and Idaho captain Jefferson Dahl fighting. When the dust settled there were 94 penalty minutes called and three Allen players (Lessard, Josh Thrower and Williams) were tossed out of the game. When you watch the entire incident from beginning to end it is hard to see how the penalties were so one-sided.
- I had a chance to talk to coach Martinson about the game and he acknowledged with so many skilled players out of the lineup and the top players logging so many minutes the team was tired. The penalty kill was bad with sticks not in the right place on several of the Idaho power play goals. The brawl in the third period was the culmination of the style of play Martinson saw from Idaho over all three games. The slew foot that resulted in Peter McArthur getting injured is a prefect example of a cheap play that wasn't even called a penalty in the game. McArthur also had a tooth broken when he was hit with a highstick by the Idaho captain while being held by another player. When teams hit from behind, knee players and dive and then aren't willing to back up their play when challenged you end up with incidents like last night. Martinson saw just what the video shows, Gunn delivered a clean check and then was crossed checked from behind after the goal was scored and the play was over. To quote coach Martinson, "After three games of all of the talk and cheap shots our guys had enough. I have no idea why three of our guys were taken off and none of theirs."
Allen plays Idaho in Boise in January and March but they don't play again in Allen until the last two games of the season on April 6th & 7th. Those games are a long way off but plan on attending because I am certain the Americans have already circled those games on their schedule.
- Allen's only goal in the game was scored by Eric Roy midway through the first period which tied the score 1-1. It was Eric's fourth goal of the season which leads all Allen defensemen. Here is a highlight video so you can check out all of the goals and the third period brawl:
- Here is the game recap issued by the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/americans-idaho-involved-wild-saturday-night-affair/
- Here is the game recap issued by the Idaho Steelheads: http://www.idahosteelheads.com/events/allen-americans-vs-idaho-steelheads-8/#gametab-2
- Allen came out on the short end of the score last night but full credit to the team who was playing hurt and playing shorthanded. There were only seven forwards dressed for the game rather then the usual 10. The list of missing forwards would be the nucleus for a top notch team. Olivier Archambault and Spencer Asuchak are in San Jose, Zach Pochiro and Alex Schoenborn didn't make the trip because of injuries, Zach Hall and Peter McArthur are with the team but could not play because of injuries and throw in a couple of players that were game time decisions and played. The Americans don't have any points for their effort last night but showed what doing anything for your team and teammates is all about.
- Despite the loss last night it was a great trip for Allen winning two of three games against a very good Idaho team. The players have the day off in Idaho today and will fly back to Allen Monday morning. They will get some much needed rest as they don't play again until Friday and Saturday when they take on the Rapid City Rush at the Allen Event Center.
- The Americans were whistled for 65 penalty minutes in their 5-4 win on Friday night and 95 penalty minutes last night by referee Andy Howard who officiated both games. The 95 minutes are the second most in the ECHL this season and the 65 minutes are the fourth highest total. Allen was called for 15 minor penalties last night which is the most in a game in the ECHL this season.
- The Allen penalty kill has gone from bad to worse over the last two games. Four of Idaho's five goals last night were on the power play. In the last two games Idaho went 6-16 (37.5%). The Allen road penalty kill has fallen to a season low 72.1% which is ranked #26 in the league. Hard to believe the difference at home where the penalty kill is ranked #2 at 91.8%.
- Don't forget the online auction through BidPal ends today at 9:00 pm CST. There are still a lot of items that you can get for the minimum bid which includes some great jerseys for only $149. Keep an eye on the auction items today and you could pick up a bargain. Here is the link: https://one.bidpal.net/goamericans/welcome
- Had a lot of questions about the suspension of Vincent Arseneau because the press release stated it was an indefinite suspension. Here is the press release issued by the ECHL yesterday: https://www.echl.com/echl-announces-fines-suspensions-72
The reason that the suspension is indefinite is the ECHL wants to do some fact finding before making a final decision so they suspended Arseneau for the game last night and will make a final decision next week. There is no question Vincent left the bench after he was escorted there by the linesmen but there are some questions as to why he was taken to the bench rather than the penalty box and why he was the only player taken off the ice at the time. The league will gather the facts and make a decision. It is not expected to be a long suspension and it is possible, though not likely, it will be the one game Arseneau has already served.
- Congrats to Spencer Asuchak who was recalled by the San Jose Barracuda yesterday. San Jose is ranked #26 in the AHL in goals scored per game (2.63). Spencer is center with great net front presence and that may be just what San Jose is looking for. The Barracuda play on the road in Ontario this afternoon and Asuchak should be in the lineup.
- Allen lost some ground in the standings losing to Idaho last night while both Wichita and Colorado won. Here are the current Mountain Division standings with games played in parentheses:
28 points - Wichita (17 games)
25 points - Colorado (18 games)
23 points - Allen (19 games)
22 points - Idaho (18 games)
17 points - Utah (19 games)
17 points - Tulsa (18 games)
14 points - Rapid City (17 games)
DID YOU KNOW: Allen and Idaho have vaulted to the top of the ECHL penalty minutes list after a total of 95 penalty minutes Friday night and 148 minutes last night. The Americans and Steelheads are tied for the league lead in minor penalties with 125 each. Allen is #1 in average penalty minutes per game (25.53) while Idaho is #2 (21.94).
Allen's 25.53 average penalty minutes per game is higher than any other season since the Americans joined the ECHL. Here are the numbers with the league ranking in parentheses:
2017-18: 25.53 (#1) - through 19 games
2016-17: 19.89 (#1)
2015-16: 16.51 (#5)
2014-15: 22.83 (#1)