Thursday, December 28, 2017

Allen Wins Round One Over Wichita 7-3, Game Recap, Steve Martinson's Comments, Sporfie Highlights, Several Players Now Lead the ECHL & More

The Allen Americans got off to a fast start last night scoring three unanswered goals in the first period and cruised to a 7-3 victory over the Wichita Thunder. One of the largest Wednesday night crowds ever (4271) at the Allen Event Center (AEC) saw a balanced Allen attack score multiple goals in all three periods. With the win Allen leapfrogged Wichita into third place in the Mountain Division.

Goal scorers for Allen were Zach Hall (1), Mathieu Aubin (6), Casey Pierro-Zabotel (9&10), Colby McAuley (5), Olivier Archambault (5) and Eric Roy (7). You can watch all of the video highlights on ECHL Rewind. Here is the link:

Here are the Sporfie highlights which gives a closer view of the seven Allen goals:

Zach Hall - Watch the great effort by Zach to pick up his own rebound and tap the puck in the net from behind the goal line. It was Hall's first goal of the season. The replay doesn't catch Zach ripping the monkey off his back and throwing it into the crowd.

Mathieu Aubin - This is a great tip by Aubin in front of the net on a shot from David Makowski. Take time to watch this replay once just following Pierro-Zabotel. He didn't figure in the scoring but made the play by screening the goalie and took a lot of punishment to do so. This is a great example of what the net front guys do that many times doesn't show up in the boxscore. 

Casey Pierro-Zabotel - Three great plays on this goal. Archambault controls the puck, skates behind the goal and makes a pass to Chouinard. Joel takes a shot and places it perfectly for a deflection. Casey is one of the best around the net and tips it in.

Colby McAuley - The defensman let's Colby get close and he beats Joel Rumpel high on the glove side, a shot he practices a lot.

Olivier Archambault - Pure Archambault! The guy is dynamic.

Eric Roy - More Archambault magic on this goal. The play starts with Pierro-Zabotel winning the faceoff and passing the puck to David Makowski on the point. Makowski skates to the middle and passes to Olivier who has come to the point and he takes over. He skates to the top of the circle, gives a move like he is going to shoot but passes the puck (with a lot of pace) through the slot right on the stick of Eric Roy who puts it home in an open net. Watch the goalie bite on the subtle head fake by Archambault which opens the net for Roy.

Pierro-Zabotel - This is the Sporfie highlight of the game and you need to watch it several times to see everything that happens. Casey takes a shot, it rebounds right back to him and he takes a second shot, he again grabs the rebound and is now behind the goalie with the puck. All Casey has to do is slide the puck into the net but is goes wide. Both Casey and Joel Rumple can't believe the puck isn't in the net. Pierro-Zabotel looks to the sky but quickly recovers and goes to the front of the net just in time for another Casey tip in. You have to watch this replay once just watching Casey and once just watching Joel Rumpel. Rumpel stays down and grabs his face mask because he thinks Casey scored when the puck went wide. He never does recover when Pierro-Zabotel comes back in front of the net and scores.

- Here is the game recap from the Wichita Thunder: 


Here are the pregame and post game interviews with Tom Manning and coach Martinson and some of the comments the coach made when speaking to the season ticket holders after the game:

 - It was good to see Hall finally score. It was a great second effort on his part and a nice pass from Schoenborn. Basara also made a nice pass to McAuley on his goal.

- It is nice to score seven goals and know you are getting the second leading points per game guy (Bryan Moore) back for the next game.

- I have never seen a player in this league that is as quick as Archambault and sees the ice as well. He is so quick when he makes his moves and you saw that little head fake he made to get everyone moving before he passed the puck to Roy on his goal. He is one of those guys where you have to be ready at all times. It is a lot of fun watching him play.

- Our defense goes "D" to "D" better than any other group in the league if you ask me. We practice that every day with guys in front of the net and it pays off with those tipped goals. We actually work on shots from the point in the air, to sticks in front of the net and that worked tonight.

- We will have an easy practice tomorrow and work on our set breakout and forecheck as we have some new guys that haven't done it in a while. Some of the guys don't need to skate but we need to get some shots for our goalies so we will practice for 30 minutes or so.

- Vincent Arseneau didn't play for Utica (AHL) tonight because he has the flu. (The Barracuda did not play but play Stockton on Thursday at home).   


- The win against Wichita last night was a good start, but only a start with three more games against the Thunder this weekend. The team will have a light practice this morning before heading to Wichita for games on Friday and Saturday. The Americans close out the four game set with Wichita at the AEC on Sunday (5:05 pm).

- The win last night allowed Allen to pass Wichita for third place in the standings but also close the gap on idle Colorado and Idaho. Allen is now just one point behind second place Idaho and seven points behind Colorado. Because Allen has games in hand on Idaho they actually have a better winning percentage. Here are the Mountain Division standings based on winning percentage:

.767 - Colorado
.672 - Allen
.655 - Wichita
.645 - Idaho
.517 - Tulsa
.467 - Utah
.286 - Rapid City

- It was quite an offensive outburst by the Americans last night. The seven goals are the most goals scored all season at home. Allen did have eight goals in their first game of the season in Rapid City. The big offensive night helped several players maintain or take over the ECHL lead in the following categories.

Casey Pierro-Zabotel - Casey is #1, leading the ECHL in points (37) and assists (27)
David Makowski - David is #1, leading all ECHL defensemen in points (29) and assists (22).
Joel Chouinard - Joel is #1, leading the ECHL in plus/minus (+22)
Olivier Archambault - Olivier is #1, leading the ECHL in points per game (2.25)

- Jeremy Brodeur earned his ninth win of the season and now has a record of 9-2-2-1. He is #2 in the ECHL with a save percentage of .931. 

- If you haven't started voting in the Team Sin Bin's All-Star fan vote here is the link to vote for the Allen nominees, Casey Pierro-Zabotel, David Makowski and Jeremy Brodeur. You can see from the stats above they are all deserving. Remember, you can vote multiple times so keep voting until the voting closes on January 2.

DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans have at least one point in six straight games with a record of 4-0-2-0. That is currently the longest point streak in the ECHL. With their recent success the Americans now have the fourth best winning percentage in the league. Here are the top five:

.804 - Florida
.767 - Colorado
.714 - South Carolina
.672 - Allen
.672 - Toledo 


  1. Is the Sunday game at 5? The schedule and tix say 4.

  2. I was so happy for Zach Hall to get his first goal of the season. It will be exciting to see what he does now that the monkey of that first goal is off his back, as you said.

    I keep hoping for Jeremy to get his first shut out. Technically he had one last Saturday when he took over after the goalie fight. But that isn't what I mean. His first true shut out. He is playing so well, it is just a matter of when...

  3. I really like the "sporfire" replays on the blog. It adds a great deal to the recap and better than the replays on the ECHL website.