Saturday, January 6, 2018

Shorthanded Allen Loses to Idaho 6-3, Martinson's Comments, Rematch Preview, Americans, Barracuda & Sharks All Lose Allowing Six Goals & More

It was a tough night all the way around for the shorthanded Allen Americans last night as they lost 6-3 to the Idaho Steelheads before a sold out crowd of 5010 at CenturyLink Arena. To Allen's credit they fought back from 1-0 and 3-1 leads to tie the score 3-3 after two periods. Three unanswered goals by Idaho in the third period sealed the Americans fate.

- Allen was doubled up in shots on goal (48-24) including 21-6 in the first period and 15-5 in the crucial third period. Idaho took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission which was an ominous sign since the Steelheads haven't lost a game in regulation all season when leading after the first period (10-0-0-1).

- Jeremy Brodeur took the loss giving up six goals, two more goals than any of his 19 previous outings. One of the goals was scored from the neutral zone. Six goals is the most the Americans have allowed all season and that had happened only one other time prior to last night.

- The Allen penalty kill was pretty effective allowing one goal in six attempts. The Americans power play was 1-4 but allowed a shorthanded goal early in the second period to give Idaho a 3-1 lead. Watch the highlights below and you can see Joel Chouinard get knocked to the ice with an apparent cross check which led to a turnover and the shorthanded goal.

- The goal scorers for Allen were Eric Roy (8), Alex Schoenborn (5) and Bryan Moore (12). When you watch the highlights keep an eye on #91. Gary Steffes, playing in his first game since May 9th didn't get a point on the first goal but was in front of the net screening the goalie. Steffes assisted on the last two Allen goals. The backhanded pass Steffes makes on the Schoenborn goal was a thing of beauty.

- Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans:

- Here is the game recap from the Idaho Steelheads:


 "I thought Gary Steffes was our best player tonight." (Steffes was just signed by the Americans and flew to Boise to meet the team from Minnesota where he works for FCA Hockey (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). Gary is helping out the Americans temporarily (10 days or so) while the team is short handed.

 "We lost the game tonight because of way too many turnovers." (Turnovers, especially in the neutral zone, leads to opportunities for the other team and reduces time of puck possession for the Americans which is a big factor in the disparate shots on goal).

"It is difficult playing shorthanded but we lost tonight because of lack of effort and the fact that some of our top players did not compete hard enough."


 - It is a cliche but the best thing about getting outscored 6-3 and out shot 48-24 is the Americans have the opportunity to do something about it with a rematch tonight against Idaho.

- In case you haven't been following closely over the last 48 hours a roster recap may be in order. Because of suspensions to Gunn, Thrower and Makowski, Allen headed to Idaho on Thursday with only 13 skaters available which is three short of the number that can dress for a game. To make matters worse, forward Colby McAuley was recalled by the San Jose Barracuda to reduce the number of skaters to 12. Coach Martinson added forward Gary Steffes and defenseman Anthony Calabrese who was loaned to Allen by the Pensacola Ice Flyers (SPHL). Calabrese has 17 points (4 goals 13 assists) and is +15 in 22 games with Pensacola. Allen played last night with 14 skaters (9 forwards 5 defensemen) rather than the typical 16 skaters. The Americans will play shorthanded again tonight. 

- In order to win tonight (8:10 CST), based on the comments from coach Martinson, the compete level needs to be a lot higher. What does that mean looking at the stats from last night?  The shot differential has to come down if Allen is to have any chance at all. Allen often wins when they are out shot by their opponent (10-6-3-1) but not when they are outshot by 24 shots. As mentioned earlier the Americans need to have fewer turnovers in the neutral zone and just inside the blueline. If there is no play they have to dump the puck in. That along with staying out of the penalty box will improve puck possession and reduce shots allowed.

-  Hockey is a game of mistakes but the defensive breakdowns last night included two deflections where Idaho players were parked in front of the net, two goals where the Steelheads got behind or went around the defense, the shorthanded goal and a soft goal from the neutral zone. Lot's of room for improvement.

- Allen has now played Idaho six times this season and has a record of 3-2-0-1. In the six games Idaho has out scored the Americans 22-18 and has the lead in shots 217-161. Allen is 7-33 (21.2%) on the power play. Idaho is 9-39 (23.1%) on the power play. Each team had one game where they scored four power play goals. Allen actually lost (in a shootout) the game they had four power play goals. The Americans have taken more penalties (62-49) and has more penalty minutes (216-136) than the Steelheads. Allen will be playing shorthanded tonight so keeping the penalties to a minimum will be crucial.

- Officials scheduled for the game are referee Sean MacFarlane (#4) and linesmen Scott DeBaugh  (#67 ) and Brendan Gormley (#38.). It will be the fourth time in the last five games MacFarlane has been the referee for Allen. In total he has refereed seven Allen games this season and the Americans have not fared well with a record of 2-5.


- With the loss to Idaho the Americans are now in sole possession of fourth place in the Mountain Division with 41 points. Idaho is in third place (43 points), Wichita is in second place (44 points) and Colorado continues to lead the division with 50 points.

- Allen has now lost three straight games which is the second longest losing streak of the season. The Americans had a five game losing streak early in the season (October 22 - November 1). 

- The Rapid City Rush were playing in Utah last night and the game had to be postponed after the first period because of problems with the ice. Utah was leading 3-1. Here are the details from the Rapid City Journal:

- The San Jose Barracuda lost last night 6-0 to San Diego even though they out shot the Gulls 46-26. San Diego was 4-5 on the power play. Colby McAuley, who was just recalled from the Allen Americans played and was credited with one shot on goal. Spencer Asuchak did not play and has only played in one of the last four Barracuda games. The Barracuda play in San Diego again tonight.

- In other AHL action Utica beat Laval 5-2 and Vincent Arseneau did play in the game. He didn't have any points or shots but did have nine penalty minutes including a fight. Here is a link to the fight:

DID YOU KNOW:  It is the odd stat of the night as all three San Jose affiliated team lost last night and all three gave up six goals. Allen gave up three third period goals to lose 6-3, the Barracuda gave up two third period goals to lose 6-0 and the heart breaker belonged to the Sharks who gave up three third period goals when leading 5-2 and then lost 6-5 in overtime to the Ottawa Senators. The Senators scored the game winner just seven seconds into overtime. Aaron Dell was in goal for San Jose. Here are the details:  

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