There wasn't much for Allen fans to cheer about last night as the Indy Fuel easily defeated the Americans 6-3 before a crowd of 3826 at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The Americans did come back from a 2-0 first period deficit to tie the score early in the second period but then gave up three unanswered goals in less than three minutes. The Fuel took a 5-2 lead into the second intermission and never looked back.
- The power play continued to perform well going 2-7 on the night but the penalty kill continues to struggle allowing Indy three power play goals. The Allen power play is 10-29 (34.5%) over the last five games and is now the #2 ranked power play (20.9%) in the ECHL. Contrast that with a road penalty kill percentage of 73.6% that is the worst in the ECHL by almost 5%.
- The stats pretty much tell the story of this loss. You can't expect to win when you allow 43 shots to a team that averages 33 shots per game. You can't expect to win when you only manage to get 28 shots on goal against a team ranked #25 in the league giving up 38 shots per game. You can't expect to win giving up six goals to a team that averages less than three goals per game. You can't expect to win giving up three power play goals for a conversion rate of 42.9%. Allen captain Joel Chouinard captured it best when he said after the game, "Another tough loss tonight, but we have to stay positive and stick together as a team. That is the only way we will get out of this funk." Good advice for Allen fans as well as the team.
- Goal scorers for Allen were Olivier Archambault (12), Spencer Asuchak (5) and Alex Guptill (13). Here are the video highlights with all of the goals: https://youtu.be/TnwdHFqwvPo
- Here is the game recap from the Indy Fuel: https://www.indyfuelhockey.com/news/detail/fuel-begin-weekend-with-6-3-win-over-allen
- I had a chance to ask coach Martinson for his thoughts on the game and here is what he had to say. With coach Martinson if you ask the question you will get an honest answer be it good or bad.
"We gave up an odd man rush in the first two minutes of the game and it cost us."
"The penalties we took were bad and the penalty kill was even worse."
"We weren't strong in front of our net on several of Indy's goals."
"Getting Gunn back should help."
"Our top 10 experienced players need to lead us in the right direction."
"Our top 10 experienced players haven't been consistent in getting the job done."
"I actually received a bench minor for telling the players to stop crying to the referee."
"After some of our players were warned I said enough bitching, if you don't like something take it out on the other team. Shows the team isn't hearing what I am saying."
ALLEN VS FORT WAYNE PREVIEW
- Things don't get any easier for the Americans as they take the short drive (120 miles) to Fort Wayne to play the Komets tonight at (6:30 pm CST) and Sunday (4:00 pm CST). The Memorial Coliseum is a difficult place to play for visiting teams. Fort Wayne has raucous fans and there are a lot of them as the Komets lead the ECHL in attendance, averaging 7577 per game.
- These teams have only met once before and that game was in Fort Wayne at the beginning of last season, October 28th to be exact. The Komets out shot Allen 45-27 and shellacked the Americans 5-0.
- Fort Wayne has won seven of their last nine home games but the good news for Allen is they have lost the last two games at home including an 8-3 loss to Kalamazoo. Over the last two seasons the Komets home record is 40-12-2-1.
- Fort Wayne played last night in Cincinnati and beat the Cyclones 6-2. The Komets had a 190 mile commute after the game to get back home.
- Allen comes into the game tonight having lost two games in a row, five of their last six road games and a record over their last 10 games of 3-7. Fort Wayne enters the game tonight with a two game win streak, winning seven on their last nine home games and has a record over their last 10 games of 6-4.
- Here are some stats comparing Allen and Fort Wayne:
ALLEN FORT WAYNE
Team Record 20-14-4-1 (45 points) 23-12-2-0 (48 points)
Division Ranking 4th - Mountain 2nd - Central
Conference Ranking 6th - Western 4th - Western
League Ranking 11th 7th
Last Game 6-3 Loss (Indy) 6-2 Win (Cincinnati)
Goals For 135 146
Goals Against 125 109
Power Play 20.9% (37/177) 18.0% (22/122)
Penalty Kill 80.8% (35/182) 84.9% (24/159)
Most PIM Moore (125) Sol (79)
Leading Scorers: Pierro-Zabotel (10-34-44) Sydlowski (20-23-43)
Makowski (7-29-36) Thompson (16-21-37)
- Here is how Allen and Fort Wayne rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:
Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 1st (24.00) - Fort Wayne 9th (16.70)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 7th (3.45) - Fort Wayne 2nd (3.95)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 14th (3.21) - Fort Wayne 9th (2.95)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 16th (32.28) - Fort Wayne 3rd (36.73)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 24th (37.15) - Fort Wayne 5th (29.76)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 2nd (20.9%) - Fort Wayne 12th (18.0%)
Home Power Play %: Allen 3rd (21.1%) - Fort Wayne 11th (18.0%)
Road Power Play %: Allen 8th (20.0%) - Fort Wayne 14th (18.0%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 21st (80.8%) - Fort Wayne 7th (84.9%)
Home Penalty Kill %: Allen 3rd (87.4%) - Fort Wayne 1st (89.5%)
Road Penalty Kill %: Allen 27th (73.6%) - Fort Wayne 21st (80.7%)
- The stats above definitely favor Fort Wayne. They score more goals than Allen and allow fewer. Fort Wayne's goal differential (goals for minus goals against) is +37 while Allen's is +10. Shots are even more telling. Allen gives up more shots than they take for a shot differential of -4.87. Fort Wayne is in the top five in the league for shots taken and shots allowed for a shot differential of +6.97.
- Allen does have a good road power play percentage (20.0%) but will be going against the top ranked home penalty kill in the league (89.5%). Fort Wayne has a home power play percentage of 18.0% but will be going against the worst road power play in the league (73.6%). Have to give the Komets the advantage on special teams.
- Allen and Fort Wayne are both ranked in the top five in fights in the ECHL according to the website hockeyfights.com. Allen has 32 and Fort Wayne has 30. Mike Gunn will be back in the lineup after completing his seven game suspension. Gunn and Josh Thrower lead the Americans with five fighting majors. Fort Wayne's leaders in fighting majors are Taylor Crunk (8) and Shawn Sydlowski (5).
- Scoring first is always important but the way Allen has been playing on the road recently getting off to a good start tonight is essential. Fort Wayne's record when tied or leading after the first period is 19-4-1-0 so that pretty much tells the story how important it is for the Americans to win the first period.
- Officials scheduled for the game are referee Tyler Puddifant (#28) and
linesmen John Tallieu (#52) and Michael Fusani (#41). Puddifant was also the referee in Indy last night.
- Even though Allen lost last night they didn't lose any ground to Colorado and Wichita because they were both idle. They play each other tonight in Wichita. Idaho beat the Oilers in Tulsa to put the Americans further back in the race for second place. Allen is now 15 points out of first place (Colorado), five points out of second place (Idaho) and two points out of third place (Wichita).
- With all of the bad news there was good news on an individual basis. Casey Pierro-Zabotel had two assists last night and has taken over the ECHL scoring lead with 43 points. He also leads the league in assists with 34. David Makowski had an assist and is now #3 among all ECHL players with 29 assists. Olivier Archambault scored his 12th goal in just 17 games and continues to lead the ECHL in points per game (minimum 10 games) averaging 1.65.
- The matchup between Chad Costello's team (Iserlohn Roosters) and Greger Hanson's team (Krefeld Pinguine) is coming up on Tuesday. Iserlohn won yesterday 3-2 over Augsburger and Chad had an assist on the game winning goal scored by Jack Combs on the power play. Greger's team (Krefeld) won 4-3 over Adler Mannheim in overtime. Greger was scoreless.
- Jamie Schaafsma is a big part of Allen Americans history serving as team captain, winning three championships and being named the playoff MVP in 2014. It will be strange when Jamie takes the ice tonight and looks over at the Allen players and only recognizes one player from his time in Allen. Spencer Asuchak is the only player in Fort Wayne that is left from Jamie's last season in Allen (2014-15).
DID YOU KNOW: The Fort Wayne Komets have operated under the same name since 1953. They have had different owners and been in several different leagues but in all of North American professional hockey only the original six NHL teams and the Hershey Bears (AHL) have played continuously in the same city under the same name longer than the Fort Wayne Komets.