Sunday, February 18, 2018

Allen Loses 3-1 as Utah Sweeps the Americans, Game Recap, Video Highlights, Division Standings Tighten, Post Game Skate Photos & More

The expectation was for a big game from the Allen Americans last night. They were coming off a disappointing 5-4 loss to Utah on Friday night and that in and of itself was motivation enough. When you add in the enthusiasm of a big crowd (4811), Olympic (aka Winter Sports) night complete with Miracle on Ice clips and a sea of red jerseys in the crowd on youth jersey night there was great optimism the Americans would beat the Grizzlies.

- What the fans witnessed last night was a 3-1 Americans loss to the Grizzlies in a game that was eerily similar to the loss on Friday. Two former Allen Americans led the way again. Just like Friday night, Jake Marchment scored the first goal of the game. Jake scored at the 1:40 mark and the goal came on Utah's first shot of the game. Joel Rumpel, who was the winning goalie on Friday night, was in the net again for Utah. Joel stopped 32 of 33 Allen which computes to a .970 save percentage.

- Just like Friday night, Allen gave up the first goal of the game and was trailing after the first period. As a reminder Allen hasn't won a home game all season when trailing after the first. The shots on goal were close (35-33) but Utah had the edge. Allen scored their only goal of the game on the power play which was great since they were mired in a 1-28 (3.6%) slump. They are now in a 2-36 (5.9%) slump. However, Allen lost the special teams battle giving up power play goals on Utah's first two opportunities.

- Allen played without Bryan Moore who was serving a one game suspension for a slew foot that was not called during the game on Friday night. In addition, goalie Stephon Williams was injured when he was interfered with at the 15:48 mark of the first period. Williams finished the period but did not return to the the ice after the first intermission. Jeremy Brodeur took over the last two periods and saved 21 of 22 shots.

- Allen's lone goal came in the first period and tied the score 1-1. Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored his 15th goal of the season assisted by Vincent Arseneau and Spencer Asuchak. Notice all of the traffic around the net on Casey's goal. Here is the Sporfie highlight package which includes all of the goals and the goalie interference that caused the Williams injury.

- The highlight package at ECHL Rewind gives you a better view of the hit Williams took. It doesn't look that violent but if you watch closely you can see Stephon's head snap back. The player that hit him is a huge guy.

- Here is the game recap issued by the Utah Grizzlies:

- Steve Martinson's post game comments+ were pretty much of a repeat of his comments after the loss on Friday. I can say with some confidence Martinson is trying to improve the roster and the trade of Marcus Basara to Wheeling is just the beginning. Coach Martinson mentioned in his pregame interview with Kayla McLain (see below) that the future considerations he received in the Basara trade would be a player he will get before the trade deadline.


- You could have made a lot of money betting the Allen Americans would lose two games against Utah this weekend and the Tulsa Oilers would beat the #1 team in the league (Florida Everblades) twice but that is exactly what happened. Tulsa not only beat Florida they did so handily winning  on Friday 3-1 and last night 3-0. Playing just one week apart Allen was outscored 8-1 in two loses to Florida while Tulsa outscored Florida 6-1 in two wins. The Americans are now in the unenviable position of being closer to fifth place and out of the playoffs than they are to third place in the Mountain Division. Tulsa is only three points behind Allen while third place Wichita has opened up a four point lead on the Americans.

- Tulsa and Wichita are both in action this afternoon while Allen is idle so things could get worse for the Americans. Wichita is at home against Rapid City and Tulsa is at home against Indy. By the end of the day Allen could be six points out of third place and one point out of fifth place. 

- Idaho beat Colorado 5-4 in a shootout last night. It was their sixth straight game against each other and contrary to conventional wisdom there were only five minor penalties called in the entire game. Idaho won five of the six games in this long series and has closed to within four points of division leading Colorado.

- With the two losses to Utah the Americans are officially a middle of the pack team or some might say a so-so team. With a .528 winning percentage there are 13 teams better than Allen and 13 teams worse than Allen. Is it just me or does it seem like with the winning tradition in Allen being in the middle of the pack feels like abject failure?

- Allen has lost five of their last six games and in those five losses has scored only eight goals averaging 1.6 goals per game. The Americans had four goals in a losing cause Friday night but in the other four losses the goals scored were 2,1,0,1.  

- As mentioned above the Allen power play has been in a free fall recently going 2-36 (5.9%) over the last seven games. The Americans power play started the season poorly. In early November the power play was ranked #24 at 11.9%. The power play was vastly improved in December and early January climbing to a ranking of #4 at 20.5%. In the last six weeks the power play has struggled again and currently ranks #12 in the ECHL at 17.5%.

- The Americans will be idle until they travel to Kansas City for two games on Friday and Saturday. Needless to say after dropping two home games to Utah it makes the games in Kansas City even more important for Allen.


- It has to be very difficult for the players to lose the way they did last night and have to stay after the game to skate with fans. I am always impressed with how great the guys are with the kids even in these trying situations. Here are a few photos from Lauren Lyssy that capture the joy of the kids meeting the players:

Mike Gunn chatting with  a future Allen American

Dalton Thrower signing this guy's new jersey

Zach Pochiro creating a great experience for two young boys and dad too

Jeremy Brodeur with an obviously pleased young scout

Love the look on this boys face as Josh Thrower signs his jersey

Post game skates can be a family affair - Big Zabby & Little Zabby

DID YOU KNOW: I frequently talk about the importance of scoring the first goal of the game. Did you know the Allen Americans are currently on a streak of 13 straight games where the team that scored first won the game. Unfortunately the Americans scored first in only five of the last 13 games.  


  1. "Is it just me or does it seem like with the winning tradition in Allen being in the middle of the pack feels like abject failure?"

    I think most who have followed the team through 8 strong seasons knew that there must come a time when the Americans weren't dominant. The thing that's puzzling to me about this season is that as recently as December, they still looked like a team. There were too many turnovers and not enough shots on goal, but there was teamwork. Passes stayed on the ice and connected instead of just being chopped and flipped randomly. Now, what is essentially the same group of guys* can't find each other on the ice with a map.

    For me, the disappointing part of this season is not that the team has a mediocre record, but that I know these guys have the skills, and I've seen them play better – much better – than what we're seeing now. The question is "Why?"

    * Archambault was called up. We've since lost Peter MacArthur but have gained Alex Guptill.

  2. Also, I completely agree with you about how tough it must be for the boys to come out for a post game skate after a loss like last night's, and that they're consistently gracious and friendly to fans in spite of that.