Anytime you get a victory on the road against a division rival it is a good day but the Allen Americans 5-4 win over the Idaho Steelheads last night before a sold out crowd of 5149 at CenturyLink Arena was extra special. It was special because a shorthanded, dinged up team found a way to win when the odds were stacked against them and three rookies played a big role in the victory. There weren't a lot of pretty tic tac toe plays, just hard work, greasy rebound type of goals. Here are a few examples of what was good about the game:
- Rookie Jeremy Brodeur was named the #1 star of the game despite giving up four goals. Allen was out shot 42-25 including 18-8 in the second period and 16-7 in the third. Brodeur came up big time and time again.
- Allen scored the first goal of the game for the fourth time in the last five games and is still undefeated when scoring first with a record of 8-0.
- Rookie Connor Reilly, who was called up from Birmingham (SPHL) and didn't arrive in Boise until after the morning skate, scored his first professional goal.
- Coach Martinson said in his pregame interview he tweaked the power play for this game and it paid off with two power play goals as the Americans went 2-6.
- Rookie Daniel Leavens scored the first goal of the game and had two assists including the primary assist on Miles Liberati's game winning goal. Leavens made a great pass from behind the net to Liberati who was all alone in the slot.
- Bryan Moore had a three point night with a goal and two assists. Bryan has six points in the last three games. Looks like he is starting to heat up.
- Spencer Asuchak scored his typical way (net front) by putting in a rebound off a shot from the point on the power play.
- It was a chippy, chirpy type of game that included 96 penalty minutes which was in sharp contrast to Allen's 3-1 win on Wednesday when there were 12 penalty minutes.
- Goal scorers for Allen were Daniel Leavens (2), Bryan Moore (4), Spencer Asuchak (4), Connor Reilly (1), and Miles Liberati (3). You can check out all of the video highlights at ECHL Rewind: https://www.echl.com/
- Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/americans-hold-third-5-4-win-idaho/
- Here is the game recap by the Idaho Steelheads: http://www.idahosteelheads.com/events/allen-americans-vs-idaho-steelheads-7/#gametab-2
ALLEN VS IDAHO GAME THREE PREVIEW
- It will be game three against Idaho tonight and it should be a doozy. Anytime teams play three games in a row feelings are pretty raw by the last game. Idaho doesn't want to be swept at home and in listening to post game interviews they felt they should have won the game last night. Here is what Steelheads forward Cody Corbett, who was the #2 star of the game, had to say in his on ice interview right after the game, "They were running around trying to get in our heads. We are not going to let that happen tomorrow night. We are going to come out and beat them to the ground. We are going to come out strong and pummel them." Sounds like a challenge the Americans will gladly accept.
- Allen and Idaho have now played four times this season with Allen winning three of the four. The visiting team has won three of the four games. The head to head totals have Allen leading in goals 14-11 but Idaho with a big edge in shots 139-111. Allen is 6-23 (26.1%) while Idaho is 4-24 (16.7%) on the power play. Allen has taken 33 penalties for 105 minutes and Idaho has taken 30 penalties for 71 minutes.
- The keys to the game tonight remain the same. Get off to a good start, win the special teams battle and hold down the shot differential.
- Allen has scored the first goal and had a second period lead in the two wins in Idaho. If they can accomplish that again tonight they will get the sweep.
- The shot differential is a concern. Idaho has out shot Allen 74-45 in the first two games. If that continues it may cost the Americans tonight.
- Allen scored two power play goals last night but they also gave up two power play goals. The Americans road penalty kill percentage has dropped to 76.5% which is ranked #26 in the ECHL. The referee tonight is the same as last night and he typically calls a lot of penalties. Allen needs to avoid those penalties that give Idaho a man advanatge.
- Allen has been playing hurt this entire series and the possibility of a suspension for Arseneau for leaving the bench will only make things worse. All they need now is for someone to get called up to the AHL. The hope for tonight is enough injured players can try and play so the Americans aren't playing with seven or eight forwards.
The referee scheduled for the game tonight is Andy Howard (#2) and
the linesmen will be Scott DeBaugh (#67) and Brendan Gormley (#38).
- Congrats to Daniel Leavens who was named the winner of the "Hot Hands" award last night by ECHL Weekly for his three point night and great assist on the game winning goal.
- Thanks to 65 penalty minutes in the game last night the Allen Americans find themselves in a familiar spot atop the ECHL rankings for average penalty minutes per game (21.67). Idaho is ranked #5 at 20.12 penalty minutes per game.
- In other action in the Mountain Division last night the winners were Wichita and Tulsa. Colorado lost in overtime and gained a single point. Wichita remains in first place with 26 points followed by Allen and Colorado who are tied for second place with 23 points.
- The San Jose Barracuda (AHL) were shutout by Ontario 3-0 last night and are now in sixth place in the Pacific Division. The top four teams make the playoffs.
- It is still a week away but the Americans game on December 2nd will be quite the event. It is Nickelodeon Night and SpongeBob will be in the house. It is also the Teddy Bear Toss game. The team will be wearing specialty jerseys featuring SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star which will be auctioned off on BidPal. Have to admit Fake Biscuit on Twitter captured the essence of these jerseys perfectly, "McDonald's jerseys everywhere are celebrating the fact they are no longer the worst."
DID YOU KNOW: One way to look at which teams in the Mountain Division are playing the best hockey is to look at points earned in the last ten games. If a team went 10-0 they would earn 20 points. Here is a look at points earned by Mountain Division teams over their last 10 games:
15 - Allen
14 - Wichita
13 - Idaho
11 - Utah
11 - Colorado
10 - Rapid City
9 - Tulsa