Sunday, January 28, 2018

Allen Snaps Losing Streak, Beats Wichita 5-2 Before Record Crowd on Star Wars Night, Game Recap, Martinson's Comments, Sporfie Video Highlights & PIMS

What a great way to snap a six game losing streak! It was Star Wars Night so plenty of concourse quotes from the movies like The Force was with us, your focus determines your reality, fear is the path to the darkside and he played like a Jedi. More important than the energy from all of the Star Wars characters was the presence of the largest regular season crowd since Allen joined the ECHL in 2014. An energized crowd of 5900 watched as the Allen Americans defeated Wichita 5-2 to snap a three game losing streak against the Thunder, a six game losing streak over all and get back on the right track after losing 11 of 13 games over the last month.

-  After a slow start early in the first period when Allen was out shot 5-1 the Americans took control. Over the last eight minutes of the period Allen out shot Wichita 10-0 and picked up goals by Dalton Thrower (2) and Spencer Asuchak (6). When Joel Chouinard scored his seventh goal of the season early in the second period to give Allen a 3-0 lead the game was pretty much decided. Wichita closed the gap to 3-2 early in the third period but could not get the equalizer. Allen had two empty net goals from their own zone in the last minute of play by Zach Pochiro (8) and Alex Guptill (14) to send the record crowd home thinking about another Star Wars quote from Hans Solo, "Great shot kid, that was one in a million."

- The game certainly wasn't perfect but it has been a long time since Allen accomplished all of the following in the same game. Scored the first goal of the game, won the first period (2-0), had a 3-0 lead in the second period, took a 3-1 lead into the second intermission, held an opponent to under 30 shots, out shot an opponent 41-29, scored a power play goal and had fewer penalty minutes than an opponent (4-6).

- Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans:

- A four minute highlight package that includes all the goals as well as some great saves by both goaltenders is posted at ECHL Rewind:

- Here are the Sporfie highlights:

Dalton Thrower - Thrower shows a lot of patience on this goal and notice Arseneau making it difficult for the goalie to track the puck. One of those instances where Arseneau doesn't get a point but was a big part of the play:

Spencer Asuchak - Another net front presence goal right from where Spencer makes a living. Notice how Arseneau gets to the side boards and passes the puck to the point. A great shot by Chouinard from the point leads to the Ashchak tap in.

Joel Chouinard - Several things to look for on this clip. Another goal where a player that is a big part of the play doesn't factor in the points. Casey Pierro-Zabotel with a faceoff win to start the play and in front of the net at the end of the play.  The play goes from Casey to Pochiro to Dalton Thrower to Chouinard. Joel takes the shot and it bounces in off the left skate of the defender.

Zach Pochiro - It was great to see Zach get a goal. It was his first since being injured on November 5 and his eighth goal in 14 games for the season. Jeremy Brodeur gets the assist on this empty netter from Allen's zone. Here are three views of the goal that iced the game for the Americans. From behind the empty net, from behind Brodeur and the bench celebration:

Alex Guptill - Alex finished the scoring with the second empty netter from inside the Allen blue line. The puck luck was with Allen as this puck was rolling on its side and curved into the empty net.

- Sometimes puck luck goes your way sometimes not. Earlier this week Allen had two goals go off their sticks into their own goal which contributed to a loss. Last night Allen got a goal off an opponents skate and two empty net goals from the length of the ice to contribute to a win. General Douglas MacArthur said it best, "The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself." That is what the Americans did last night. The harder they worked the luckier they got.


"It was a great game tonight with all of the excitement of a big crowd and Star Wars Night."

"The big difference tonight is we showed more speed, we carried a lot of speed into the offensive zone."

"If we play like we did tonight we will start winning games and we will only get better. Pochiro and Arseneau haven't practiced much because of injuries and will be even better after a few days of practice this week."

"We did a good job of getting pucks to the net with guys in front which led to a couple of goals."

"We still missed the net a half a dozen times on quality shooting opportunities."

"Brodeur was good tonight and made a couple of critical saves when the score was 3-2 in the third period."  


- The team will take a well deserved day off today but one win doesn't make a turn around and they have a tough task ahead with two home games against Colorado, the #1 team in the ECHL, on Thursday and Friday. The Americans finish another three games in three days with an away game in Tulsa on Saturday. So after the day off today it will be back at practice for the Americans Monday morning to get ready for three important games this week.

- Allen helped themselves last night with a win over Wichita but also got some help with Colorado beating Idaho. Tulsa beat Utah to stay close behind the Americans for the final layoff spot. Colorado has opened up a commanding 13 point lead in the Mountain Division but second through fifth place is separated by just eight points. Here are the current Mountain Division standings with games played in parentheses. Remember, the top four teams make the playoffs and the top two get home ice advantage in the first round.

66 points - Colorado (42 games)
52 points - Idaho (43 games)
51 points - Wichita (41 games) 
47 points - Allen (44 games)
44 points - Tulsa (44 games)
41 points - Utah (44 games)
32 points - Rapid City (42 games)

- Olivier Archambault played his third game for Syracuse last night since being loaned by Allen earlier this week. The Crunch lost to Toronto 4-2 but Archambault had another good game with an assist and was a +1. His totals for the three games he has played is one goal, one assist and +3. Do not expect Olivier back in Allen any time soon.

- The specialty Star Wars jerseys the team wore last night are up for bid at the auction site 

The current bids are as low as $150 (Calabrese) and as high as $505 (Brodeur) with many still under $300 so you may have a chance to pick up a jersey at a decent price. The bidding ends at 9:00 pm tonight (Sunday).

Vincent Arseneau modeling the Star Wars jersey

DID YOU KNOW: Allen has the most penalty minutes (991) in the ECHL by a wide margin over #2 Colorado (843 PIMS), #3 Jacksonville (831) and #4 Idaho (817). Six of the top 11 spots in PIMs are Mountain Division teams.

Even though Allen is tops in penalty minutes they are only #4 in being shorthanded, they have been on the penalty kill 200 times. Orlando is #1 with 220 penalty kills.

Allen is ranked #5 in the number of times they have been on the power play (193). The team with the most power play opportunities in the ECHL is Idaho with 224.


  1. Thank you for posting such a thorough and informative blog each day. It is really nice to keep up with the American's though we live too far away to ever see our son play. I especially enjoyed the posting about what a struggle the hockey life can be. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks you so much for the kind words. It means a lot when I hear from mom's and dad's as well as other family and friends of players that the blog provides information they don't get elsewhere and it allows them to keep up with the team. Barry