It was the last of four games in 96 hours between Allen and Wichita, both teams had traveled over night to return to Allen for a 4:05 pm start and everyone was exhausted after three very physical games. The only question that remained was would this final game turnout to be tame and boring because everyone had enough and was exhausted or would it turn into a debacle/circus. It didn't take long to answer that question as a brawl broke out in warmups and the bad blood carried over to the game. There were 90 penalty minutes assessed in the first period including six roughing penalties, four fighting majors, two 10 minute misconduct penalties and a game misconduct to Wichita captain Dyson Stevenson. Don't know if it was a coincidence or not but once Stevenson was gone everything settled down and the teams played hockey. Over the last two periods there were just three minor penalties.
- I buried the lead with all the talk about fisticuffs as the important thing was the outcome of the game and Wichita prevailed with a 4-2 win over the Americans to gain a split in the four game set. A disappointing outcome for Allen who won the first two games only to turn around and lose the last two games.
- For the second straight game Allen lost after scoring the first goal. To give you an idea of how rare it is for Allen to lose when scoring first you have to go back to the beginning of last season. Allen has scored the first goal of the game 53 times and lost in regulation just four times. Two of the four were the last two games against Wichita.
- Olivier Archambault scored both Allen goals in a losing cause. It was his sixth and seventh goals of the season to go along with 14 assists and he has only played in 10 games. Archambault is leading the ECHL in average points per game at 2.10. With only 10 games played his 21 points places him fourth on team scoring.
- There is a great ECHL Rewind highlight package of over six minutes that covers some of the warmup brawl, first period fights, all of the goals and many of the missed scoring opportunities. It also shows the turnovers that led to the Wichita goals. https://www.echl.com/
- Here are the two Archambault goals from Sporfie. There were no cameras behind the net so these are broader angle views. The first goal is all Olivier dangling his way to the net and beating the goalie. The second goal is a one-timer but watch how Archambault keeps moving to find open ice and the great play Joel Chouinard makes to get him the puck.
Archambault goal #1: https://sporfie.app.link/0YZMx6TTkJ
Archambault goal #2: https://sporfie.app.link/veSQt5aYkJ
- Here is the game recap issued by the Wichita Thunder: https://www.wichitathunder.com/news/press-release/thunder-wins-penalty-filled-contest-at-allen.html
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- Sorry I am late, I was just on the phone trying to get a player from a Canadian college. Knock on wood we get him. He would bring some skill we can use right now. Peter MacArthur is done for the season so he won't be back. Zach Hall is out with an injury and we are still missing Zach Pochiro.
- Obviously I didn't like the outcome of the game. I thought they took advantage of their chances and we didn't. We had plenty of chances including a five-on-three. Not getting a goal then was a big blow as we could have been up 2-0.
- Right now we need to get healthier and get a lineup together for next weekend.
- Our power play let us down tonight (0-7) but our go to guys had to play a lot this week because of the injuries, sickness and penalties. I am not going to look at these two losses as the end of the world. We had them in position to put them down and we didn't.
- The league will review the video to see what happened in warmups. With so many players involved something will happen.
- We will have tomorrow off and then practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. We then leave early Thursday morning to fly to Boise. It is great that Jack Gulati is flying us to Boise. The team and the staff all got Christmas bonuses from Jack for the first time since I can remember and he gave everyone the maximum the league allows. For a team that isn't making any money it was a pretty good gesture.
- It is hard to tell what action the league will take after they review the warmup activities. It could be a fine for the team or individual players and/or there could be suspensions. Last season when a player from Alaska came over the red line to start a fight there was no suspension. My reporting is the Allen perspective is the incident was started by Wichita and everything happened on the Allen side of the red line.
- It was a strange turn of events for the Americans in the last two losses to Wichita. Prior to the two losses Allen was getting out shot by their opponents but scoring in bunches and winning games. The Americans went seven games being out shot but averaged almost 4.5 goals per game and never scored fewer than three. The last two games the Americans out shot Wichita in both but managed to score only three goals in the two losses. Go figure!
- The Americans have been playing shorthanded with injuries, sickness and call ups. Things could get worse depending on the ECHL's review of the warmup activities last night. With Asuchak and Arseneau in the AHL, MacArthur gone for the season, Pochiro still a few weeks away and an injury to Zach Hall, any suspensions would really be problematic.
- Attendance last night was 4545 which improved the average attendance this season (17 home games) to 3884 which ranks Allen #14 in the league. Fort Wayne leads the league in attendance (7650) and Norfolk is #27 (2185).
- It will be another important weekend coming up with two games in Idaho. Allen and Idaho are tied for third place in the Mountain Division with 41 points. Wichita moved into second place (42 points) after their win against Allen last night. Wichita plays three games this week, all at home. The Thunder play Quad City on Friday followed by Kalamazoo on Saturday and Sunday.
- Congrats to three New Years babies. Happy Birthday to Riley Gill, Josh Hepditch who played in Allen in 2011-12 and the voice of the Wichita Thunder, Jason Mals.
- Allen's second period has been the worst period all season. The Americans lost the second period 2-1 last night and 2-0 on Saturday and blew leads in both games. For the season Allen's goal differential is +14 (40-26) in the first period and +8 (37-29) in the third period. In the second period the goal differential is -5 (33-26).
- The one thing I think everyone can agree on is the ECHL is asking for trouble if they schedule four regular season games in 96 hours between the same teams, especially Allen and Wichita with the history of these teams. I don't think it was a big surprise what happened in warmups.
DID YOU KNOW: On a day the Allen Americans lost a New Years Eve game for the first time in team history (nine years) the real odd stat of the day belongs to the Dallas Stars and Dallas Cowboys who both won their NYE games by the identical score of 6-0. Now that is a record that will never be matched.