- With the win last night Allen swept the weekend series with Rapid City and improved their record against the Rush this season to 4-0. Other than 21 seconds late in the second period where defensive lapses led to two quick Rapid City goals it was a strong game by a shorthanded Allen team. The Americans scored first (they are now 10-0 when scoring first), they had a 2-0 lead after the first period (they are 8-0 when leading after the 1st), they outshot the Rush 45-33, they scored a power play goal (1-3), they killed all penalties (0-4) and had a shorthanded goal. It was an impressive performance by an Allen team that has now won four of their last five games.
- Goal scorers for Allen were David Makowski (4 & 5), Bryan Moore (6 & 7), Colby McAuley (3) and Jonathan Lessard (6). The video highlights are not posted to ECHL Rewind but hopefully they will be later today.
- Props to the Rapid City Rush who provided the details about all of the goals in their game recap: http://www.rapidcityrush.com/news/?article_id=944
- Here is the game recap issued by the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/americans-pull-away-rapid-city-earn-6-2-victory/
- Steve Martinson's pregame interview with game host Kayla McLain:
- I had a chance to stop by and chat with coach Martinson after the game and he was pleased with how team played especially playing shorthanded for the second game in a row. He noted the improvement on special teams and said the team did a much better job killing penalties by getting their sticks in the passing lanes especially when the puck was down low. He also mentioned with the team not playing again for over a week (December 10 in Kansas City) he will give the players some time off before resuming practice.
- Rosters are in constant flux throughout the season the latest being Jonathan Lessard's decision to sign to play in France. While Martinson is always looking to improve the roster, Lessard's departure does not mean another player will be signed. There are still 12 forwards on the roster and even with Zach Pochiro out for at least eight more weeks Martinson expects to have most if not all of the other forwards available next weekend.
- Bryan Moore continued his hot streak with two goals and an assist last night. He has at least one point in his last six games (5 goals 7 assists). Bryan is a +8 over the last five games. With so many San Jose contracted players in Allen you never know who will get the call when the Barracuda need help because of injuries. With the way Moore has played recently he may be the next player to be recalled.
- The gap between the top four teams in the Mountain Division and the bottom three teams grew last night as Wichita, Colorado, Allen and Idaho won their games while Tulsa, Utah and Rapid City lost. As I mentioned in the Thanksgiving blog post on who will make the playoffs, history tells us teams behind by five points in the standings at this time of year rarely make the playoffs. As each game passes it looks more and more like Tulsa, Utah and Rapid City will be on the outside looking in come playoff time. Here are the current Mountain Division standings with games played in parentheses:
32 points - Wichita (19 games)
29 points - Colorado (20 games)
27 points - Allen (21 games)
26 points - Idaho (21 games)
20 points - Tulsa (21 games)
18 points - Utah (21 games)
14 points - Rapid City (19 games)
- The post game report on Connor Reilly was he is day to day. Anytime you take a shot to the head like Connor did last night you never know how serious it is for a few days. Sometimes players are symptom free for a day or two and then get symptoms. Best case scenario is Connor will be cleared to play by next weekend.
- It was announced yesterday that Jonathan Lessard has signed to play in France. By all indications including comments Tommy Daniels made on the broadcast last night, Lessard's decision to sign with Bordeaux in the top French hockey league (League Magnus) was based on personal issues and had nothing to do with playing in Allen. It is an unfortunate situation for the Allen Americans to lose a good player and the timing could hardly be worse. Credit to Lessard for staying this weekend and playing on Friday and Saturday to help out the Americans who were already shorthanded. With that said, having talked to coach Martinson many times over the last six years about signing players that have played in Europe and may have an interest in going back he can't be pleased. I know he makes it very clear when recruiting players he is not interested in signing someone unless their intent is to stay in Allen all season. It makes sense when so many players want to play in Allen that you don't want players leaving for overseas during the season. I am also sure Martinson would have made different decisions regarding recent trades had he known Lessard was contemplating leaving. In the end it is a business and everyone has to do what is in their own best interest.
- I had not noticed this until it was pointed out to me by a fan last night but it appears the goals scored by the visiting team are no longer replayed on the video board at the Allen Event Center. Not sure if it is a change in policy, a technical issue, a temporary thing or something else but I hope all goals will be replayed at home games. Most Allen fans I talk to take strong exception to teams that don't show replays when Allen is on the road. I will try and get the details and report back.
- Kudos to Eric Roy who saved the life of one Teddy Bear last night that got hung up in the netting above the glass and was about to be strangled. Eric is one of the best on the team at using his stick to take the puck away from opposing players. After three other players tried to use their stick to get the bear out of the netting and gave up, Eric calmly reached his stick up at full extension, tapped the bear gently in just the right place and saved its life. It "barely" took any effort!
- Jeremy Brodeur had another great night in goal stopping 31 of 33 shots to improve his record to 4-1-1-1. Jeremy increased his save percentage to .926 which is the seventh best save percentage in the ECHL.
- Allen fans got some real bargains in the online SpongeBob jersey auction. The high bid was $550 for the Jeremy Brodeur jersey followed by $391 for the Mike Gunn jersey. Four jerseys went for the minimum bid of $249 and a total of 15 jerseys went for $269 or less.
PHOTOS BY DIANNE WEBSTER
- Dianne always sees things with her photographer eye that are fascinating to me. Here are a few from last nights:
|A new version of linesman kiss cam with Kayla & SpongeBob looking on|
|Notice that Teddy Bear behind the bench doing his "human" impersonation to avoid the cold ice|
|Makowski and Chouinard confront Rush player after head shot to Connor Reilly|
|Rapid City bench watching some chirping with Allen bench|
DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans are 7-2-0-1 over their last 10 games. Their recent success has them ranked #5 in the ECHL in points (27) and #8 in winning percentage .643. The Americans are #1 in penalty minutes with 515 which is almost 100 minutes more than second place Idaho with 423 penalty minutes.