- For the third time in as many meetings against the Mavericks the Americans did not score the first goal. Kansas City scored first at the 6:14 mark of the first period. However, Allen did the next best thing by striking back with a goal of their own 67 seconds later on a great effort by David Makowski. Before the first period was over Colby McAuley scored to give the Americans a 2-1 lead going into the intermission. That was a good sign for the Allen faithful as the Americans record this season when having a lead after the first period is a perfect 10-0-0-0.
- The second period was a nightmare for Allen with two huge exceptions. The bad news is they were out shot in the period 19-6. The good news is at the beginning of the period Allen killed 1:49 of a full two minute five-on-three power play for the Mavericks that was called toward the end of the first period. The other good news is Jeremy Brodeur was at his best stopping 18 of 19 shots he faced in the second period.
- As bad as the second period was for the Americans the third period was just the opposite. Allen out shot Kansas City 21-8, did a better job of getting pucks in deep when they didn't have a play, scored a power play goal and put the game away with a Bryan Moore empty net goal. Olivier Archambault could have scored the empty net goal himself but passed the puck to Moore. I have seen Moore do the same thing in the past and it is always good to see unselfish plays to let a teammate score the empty net goal.
- The starting five (Arseneau, Pierro-Zabotel, Moore, Makowski, Chouinard) for Allen have dominated the last two games. In the two victories (5-2 & 5-2) this group has scored nine of the 10 goals and 23 of the 27 total points. Another way to say it is the starting five has nine goals and 14 assists in the last two games, the rest of the team combined has one goal and three assists. The starting five is scoring a lot but also defending, they have a plus/minus over the last two games of +34 while the rest of the team is -11. The Allen Americans are built on depth and that depth will come through as the Americans play seven games in the next 12 days.
- Goal scorers for Allen were David Makowski (6), Colby McAuley (4), Bryan Moore (9&10) and Vincent Arseneau (11).
- Here is the Kansas City Mavericks game recap: http://kcmavericks.com/news/?article_id=1016
STEVE MARTINSON COMMENTS
- Here is coach Martinson's pregame interview with game host Kayla McLain:
- Here are Martinson's post game comments:
- I liked the third period the best. In the first two periods we were trying to be too cute. We were trying to make plays and kept turning the puck over, we didn't check any body because we weren't getting pucks in deep. Sometimes you need to get pucks in deep rather than making the pretty play. We would turnover the puck in the neutral zone or just inside our blue line and then Kansas City would counter. When you turnover pucks you aren't playing very physical. I think we had one hit in the second period.
- We had line rushes where we kept pulling up instead of getting the puck at the net with some traffic in front. That is usually our bread and butter to back them off and then pull up.
- We figured it out and played much better in the third period out shooting them 21-8. We definitely have more speed and skill in the line up now. We just have to remember you can't just skill the puck into the net. Sometimes you just have to be greasy.
- I will go back and clip some of the crappy stuff from the first two periods and the good stuff from the third period to reinforce what we did well.
- Stephon Williams will start in goal tomorrow (Wednesday) night. He is a 100% and ready to go. I gave him an extra day because I thought he needed some shots in practice.
- I plan on doing some platooning with the defense and I tried to rest some guys late in the game tonight when we got the lead. Mike Gunn will be back in the line up tomorrow.
- Some noteworthy accomplishments:
Bryan Moore: Not sure where to start as Bryan had two goals and an assist in the game and was selected the #1 star. Moore has at least one point in eight straight games, multiple points in six of the last eight games, a goal in six of his last seven games, three points in each of the last three games and is +14 over the last seven games. Bryan has played in 14 games for Allen and has 22 points (10 goals 12 assists). His 1.57 points per game average is the best in the ECHL for players with more than five games played.
Vincent Arseneau: After a hat trick in his last game Arseneau followed it up with another goal last night. Vincent battled an injury early in the season but has come on gangbusters recently. He didn't have a goal in the first six games he played this season. Since that time he has played 12 games and scored a goal in nine of them. Arseneau has five goals in the last three games, has a goal in eight of the last 10 games and leads the team with four game winning goals.
Casey Pierro-Zabotel: Casey has been Mr. Steady all season. He had four assists in the last two games and continues to lead the ECHL is assists with 23.
David Makowski: David had a big night last night with a goal and three assists and was +4. Makowski is back in familiar territory leading all ECHL defensemen in average points per game (1.05). In 21 games he has 22 points (6 goals 16 assists).
Joel Chouinard: Thanks to a plus/minus of +5 and +3 in the last two games Joel is back on top of the plus/minus stat for the Americans with a +15. The +15 is #3 in the ECHL among defensemen.
Jeremy Brodeur: Jeremy had another 40 shot night, 41 to be exact. In his last four games he has faced shot totals of 42, 40, 49 and 41. He won three of the four. Jeremy has won six of his last seven starts. His save percentage (.932) is the second best in the ECHL.
Colby McAuley: Colby may fly a bit under the radar but he has been a big contributor since arriving in Allen 14 games ago. He has a point in five of the last six games including a goal last night. He has scored at close to a point a game clip (4 goals 8 assists), goes to the front of the net, plays defense (only two minus games), finishes his checks, logs a lot of penalty kill minutes and has been willing to drop the gloves.
- A big turning point in the game last night was Allen killing a full two minute Mavericks power play at the end of the first period and beginning of the second. The scrum that resulted in two roughing calls against Allen and none against Kansas was certainly unusual and happened literally one foot in front of where I sit. There was plenty of pushing, shoving and face washes from both teams. It was good the home penalty kill unit that is ranked #2 in the league at 90.0% killed that five-on-three rather than the road penalty kill unit that is ranked #27 at 70.6%. One of the strangest stats you will ever see.
- In the only other ECHL game last night the Tulsa Oilers beat the Wichita Thunder in Wichita by a score of 4-2. It was Wichita's fifth loss in their last six games.
ALLEN VS KANSAS CITY GAME PREVIEW
- The easy answer to what the Americans need to do to win tonight is play like they did in the third period last night. Don't turnover the puck trying to make plays that aren't there, if there is no play dump the puck.
- It would be nice to score the first goal, something Allen hasn't done in the three previous games against Kansas City. If the Americans do get the first goal you have to like their chances since the are 11-0 this season when scoring first.
- Allen did a great job on special teams last night killing all three Kansas City power plays including the two minute five-on-three. They also scored a power play of their own. If you win the special teams battle you normally win the game. The Americans need to continue the good play on special teams. Best to stay away from retaliation penalties. As coach Martinson always says the smart thing to do if player does you wrong is take note of the player's number and deal with the issue later in the game or even the next time the teams play.
- Allen gave up a lot of shots last night (41) but what was different from previous games against Kansas City is the Americans matched them in shots on goal (40). If Allen can avoid a big shot differential tonight they should be fine.
- The officiating crew tonight will be the same as last night so you can expect more of the same. The referee scheduled for the game is Mike Sheehan (#11) and the linesmen are Aaron Schacht (#31) and Brian Bull (#95).
PHOTOS OF THE GAME
Photographer Dianne Webster has become a friend and colleague over the last few years. She has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help provide photos for the blog and deal with my numerous "special requests." We often call each other to commiserate about all things Allen Americans. Dianne called me earlier this week to let me know she will not be working the Allen Americans games for the foreseeable future due to recurring physical problems from a car accident she had last season. She has been trying to get better and still be the team photographer but that is no longer possible. So just like the players she is going on injured reserve until she gets healthy and can practice her love of sports photography without pain. The good news is Dianne will still be at most games but as a fan rather than a photographer. What distinguishes Dianne as a photographer is her ability to capture emotion in her photos and that is what she does best. Last night was her last game for a while and here are some of my favorites:
|Brodeur glove save|
|Water fight - Joel Chouinard|
|Bryan Moore gets whacked by KC goalie|
|Miles Liberati's cousin with the celly after scoring a goal between periods|
|I want to be just like those guys when I grow up|
DID YOU KNOW: One of the blog readers (Steve) asked about the Allen Americans winning percentage so here are some numbers from the past and what could happen this week.
.500 - Allen's winning percentage on November 5th
.660 - Winning percentage after the win over Kansas City last night
.673 - Winning percentage if Allen wins tonight
.696 - Winning percentage if Allen wins the three remaining games this week
Allen's current winning percentage (.660) is ranked #7 in the ECHL. Florida is #1 at .788 and Rapid City is #27 at .280.